Deadeye Dick is Kurt Vonnegut's funny, chillingly satirical look at the death of innocence. Amid a true Vonnegutian host of horrors - a double murder, a fatal dose of radioactivity, a decapitation, an annihilation of a city by a neutron bomb - Rudy Waltz, aka Deadeye Dick, takes us along on a zany search for absolution and happiness. Here is a tale of crime and punishment that makes us rethink what we believe...and who we say we are.
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"If I aimed at nothing..nothing is what I would hit"
"Human beings always treat blizzards as though they were the end of the world," he said. "They're like Birds when the sun go down. Birds think the sun is never going to come up again. Sometimes, just listen to the birds when the sun goes down."
--Kurt Vonnegut, Deadeye Dick
This is one of those Vonnegut novels, I'll probably hold off giving to my son to read. Not yet son. You aren't quite ready for this depth of existentialist Vonnegut despair. The world is sometimes a rotten place, it really is, but I don't want to step on all his hope too early. Once when I was young, and I said something cynical and sarcastic in front of my father, he rebuked me and said, "Son, leave sarcasm, cynicism, and Depend® undergarments to men above the age of 50. It isn't becoming in a kid so young." I now get what he meant. This is Vonnegut for old, cynical Vonnegut fans wearing a comfortable pair of Depends®. This is for those of us in our Epilogue years.
There is always a darkness to Vonnegut that is masked by his humor and his nonchalance. You often forget that there is an actual 1000 foot canyon beneath Vonnegut as his prose dances on the line of absurdism, death, and inhumanity. In this novel, you don't forget. That is part of the act, see? Vonnegut is pointing out the bodies on the rocks below and blaming the audience a bit. Still, it is pretty d@mn good stuff.
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