Book Review: Look at the Birdie by Kurt Vonnegut


In this series of perfectly rendered vignettes, written just as he was starting to find his comic voice, Kurt Vonnegut paints a warm, wise, and funny portrait of life in post–World War II America—a world where squabbling couples, high school geniuses, misfit office workers, and small-town lotharios struggle to adapt to changing technology, moral ambiguity, and unprecedented affluence. 

Kurt Vonnegut was one of the best writers of the last hundred years. Probably better than most of the literary establishment ever gave him credit.


Because this writer believed in the inherent beauty of one’s soul, in some values and principles of humanity, in something that offers us a great deal of hope when having to fight against insurmountable odds.

Think is, he liked to joke around a lot. Probably the most sarcastic writer ever to have lived, Vonnegut’s writing makes you laugh when you know you should be crying.

Look at the Birdie: Short Fiction is a series of fourteen never before published stories. The ones that editors have rejected over the years.

Like most of his other stories, these are the stories of normal folks, of people who become intriguing for a few hours or a day or maybe a week, when the micro universe they call comfort zone is being invaded. Something that shatters their illusion of safety. Vonnegut is the master of pulling people out of the mundane while they are still capable of suspending disbelief.

Maybe it’s because we perceive funny people as being more trustworthy.

You trust in the reliability of Vonnegut’s stories even though the events described are as outlandish as they can be.

Reality is what we make it to be.

Truth be told, only a master can achieve so much in a 20-30 page short story.

And each and every single one of these fourteen short stories is proof of Kurt Vonnegut’s undeniable mastery of the written word.

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