Putting my pants on back to front this morning made me think of this madly sane and funny anti-war book.
Preface. Those things sticking up in the air are my hands. I don’t pretend to follow some of what goes on with the intergalactic hero Billy Pilgrim. I’ve always thought of his journeys as blameless, get-away-from-it-all escapes into his head. (For me, that would be too echoey.)
Vonnegut uses three main pulses throughout. Given their make-up, they’re tricky to carry off with panache. Especially in a book that’s frightening one moment, funny the next, and freaky the one after. But the pulses give us emphatic beats in which to absorb the message, pause for thought.
So, let’s touch on those. Oh, and also want to share some flair in describing a sexy lady. Hell, why not.
Most top ten lists of bloody brilliant novels have Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina in them.
Leaving aside the oft-discussed and compelling story of betrayal, hanky-chewing, faith, nail-gnawing, marriage and related hand-wringing unravellings, here a couple of slices of Tolstoy style to savour. Nom nom.
Dang, the man could write. No mean feat, given his marshmallows were well toasted most of the time.
To give a sound a colour without blinking like the ‘orchestra… playing yellow cocktail music’ is pretty, pretty cool. And he’s right – it is yellow. I can hear it drifting across the lawn down to the water’s edge. Eat your heart out, Kandinsky.