Armageddon in Retrospect: Book summary and reviews of Armageddon in Retrospect by Kurt Vonnegut

Armageddon in Retrospect

By Kurt Vonnegut

Armageddon in Retrospect
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  • Published in USA  Apr 2008,
    240 pages.

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Book Summary

To be published on the first anniversary of Kurt Vonnegut's death in April 2007, Armageddon in Retrospect is a collection of twelve new and unpublished writings on war and peace. Written with Vonnegut's trademark rueful humor, the pieces range from a visceral nonfiction recollection of the destruction of Dresden during World War II - a piece that is as timely today as it was then - to a painfully funny story about three privates and their fantasies of the perfect first meal upon returning home from war; to a darker and more poignant story about the impossibility of shielding our children from the temptations of violence. This is a volume that says as much about the times in which we live as it does about the genius of the man who wrote it. Also included here is Vonnegut's last speech, as well as an assortment of his drawings, and an introduction by the author's son, Mark Vonnegut.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

".... short stories, most dealing with war and violence, some with the experiences of POWs. The best of them, "Happy Birthday, 1951," is a touching but wrenching cautionary tale of the fascination of the very young with the machinery of war; its final image of a little boy on a ruined tank is almost unbearably poignant-and hopeless. The other stories are previously unpublished for good reason; they are repetitive and predictable, little more than discarded shavings from the rich sculptures of Vonnegut's major works." - Kirkus Reviews.

"Starred Review. In his final speech, Vonnegut lets go some of his zingers (jazz is “safe sex of the highest order”) and does what he always did best, tell the truth through jokes." - Publishers Weekly.

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Author Information

Kurt Vonnegut Author Biography

Kurt Vonnegut was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, on November 11, 1922. He studied biochemistry at Cornell University (1940–2) before attending the Carnegie Institute of Technology in 1943.  He served in the US Army from 1942-1945.  As an advance scout with the US 106th Infantry Division during the Battle of the Bulge, Vonnegut was cut off from his battalion behind enemy lines and was eventually captured in December 1944 and held as a prisoner of war.  He was held in Dresden where he witnessed the February 1945 bombings that destroyed much of the city.  He was one of just seven American prisoners of war in Dresden to survive, in an underground meatpacking cellar known as "Slaughterhouse Five".  This experience formed the basis for his ...

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Name Pronunciation
Kurt Vonnegut: kert VAHN-uh-guht

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