Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Vonnegut In Retrospect: Jailbird

Jailbird (1976)

Ugh. I may have reached Vonnegut overload after reading his biography and first eight novels in short order. I had to force myself to get through Jailbird. I honestly cannot tell how much of the struggle was the fault of a poor book or just my head space not being compatible with it. If I pick it up again in a few years, maybe it would strike me as worthy of Vonnegut's catalog. It took me close to three months to finish it, and there would be long periods where I didn't pick it up, and I had a hard time remembering what had already occurred. Now that I've finished it, the story remains murky. There are themes of labor vs. ownership, communism vs. capitalism, the Watergate scandal, the idealism of youth...but little sticks with me. There were a few lines and passages in the book that resonated, and were enough to make the slog worth it in the end. But I'll be taking a little break before diving in to finish the last five Vonnegut novels.