"Take no heed of her...She reads a lot of books."
~Jasper Fforde

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Look at the Birdie

Spring Break has officially started, and I've finished my first book of pleasure reading since Christmas Break! Kurt Vonnegut's Look at the Birdie is an amazing collection of short fiction from a cache of this great American writer's unpublished pieces. Sadly, I've not had much experience with Vonnegut as a whole, never having read his more famous works, like Slaughterhouse Five or Cat's Cradle. In fact, previously, the only one of his works that I had read was the short story "Harrison Bergeron", which has now become one of my favorite short stories ever. So, when I recognized Vonnegut's name on a collection of more short fiction, I just had to check it out.

Look at the Birdie has a little bit of everything. A family learns the dangers of bringing their deepest, darkest secrets to life; a hypnotist is questioned by the police about the disappearance of several women last seen in his shop; two myrmecologists discover a shocking truth about the history and evolution of ants; and a genius, his teacher, and his slow-witted classmate learn a very valuable lesson from a female classmate.

This was a book that I could literally not put down! I was drawn right into the world of Vonnegut's imaginings, in a manner that rivaled Neil Gaiman; one of my favorite short story writers. I would highly recommend this collection to anyone who has an interest in short fiction or Kurt Vonnegut; or someone who is just looking for a good read. You will not be disappointed!


  1. Wow. I'm totally picking that up. I've read all my readings...

    Where to from here?

  2. @TheSovietChairman...

    I was going to move on to Frankenstein's Monster by Susan Heyboer O'Keefe, but abandoned it because the narrator's voice was too whiney for me. So, now I'm on to another volume of short stories: What I Didn't See by Karen Joy Fowler.

  3. Heh heh. The Vonnegut hook has been set. Welcome to the Vonnegut club of the hooked.

  4. @OldFool...

    Haha; could you suggest any Vonnegut works that I should start on next? I'm thinking about picking up Slaughterhouse Five...

  5. I just started reading Vonnegut's Player Piano. It is good so far. Besides myself, you are the only person I have ever heard of who has read Harrison Bergeron! Did you know there is a movie of it starring Sean Astin? The film is excellent, you should look it up.

  6. @Robby...

    I had no idea that they made a film! I'm going to have to check it out right away! And, unless you absolutely hate it later, I think that I'll put Player Piano on my summer reading list :).

  7. Sweet. I need some new reading. I just finished the Kite Runner. I cried.


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