Friday, March 29, 2013

God Bless You Dr. Kevorkian

Author: Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
Title: God Bless You Dr. Kevorkian
Publication Date: 1999
Number of Pages: 79
Geographical Setting: The Pearly Gates, Execution Chamber in Texas (lethal injection facility)

Time Period: 1990s
Subject Headings: imaginary conversations --death --humor --short stories --ficto-journalism
Appeal: thought provoking, lyrical, humorous
Summary: In this short fictional piece, Vonnegut becomes a "reporter on the afterlife" and works with Dr. Kevorkiaan to have "controlled near death experiences." He straps himself to a gurney and lets Dr. Kevorkian work his magic in order to go to the pearly gates and interview people. While in the "blue tunnel" Vonnegut befriends Saint Peter and gets to interview dozens of people such as: John Brown, Hitler, Eugene Debs, William Shakespeare, Isaac Asimov, Sir Isaac Newton, and many more. The interviews are quite short and humorous ranging from one to four pages in length. Each story imparts some sort of moral or irreverent value and shows what a genius Kurt Vonnegut really is. It's an insanely quick read and showcases Vonnegut's zany and brilliant writing style.

If you haven't guessed by now, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. is one of my all time favorite authors. If you haven't read him, do so! Immediately!!
Similar Works:
1. Fiction: (via Goodreads)
¨ Coffin Humor by John Brinling
¨ Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
¨ Welcome to the Monkey House by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
¨ Bagombo Snuff Boxby Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

2. Non-Fiction: (via WorldCat)
¨ And So it Goes: Kurt Vonnegut: A Life by Charles J. Shields
¨ Prescription: Medicide: The Goodness of Planned Death by Jack Kevorkian, M.D.
¨ “I asked this heroic pet lover how it felt to have died for a schnauzer named Teddy. Salvador Biagiani was philosophical. He said it sure beat dying for absolutely nothing in the Viet Nam War.”
¨ “During my most recently controlled near-death experience, I got to interview William Shakespeare. We did not hit it off. He said the dialect I spoke was the ugliest English he had ever heard, “fit to split the ears of groundlings.” He asked if it had a name, and I said “Indianapolis.””
¨ “I am honorary president of the American Humanist Association, having succeeded the late, great, spectacularly prolific writer and scientist, Dr. Isaac Asimov in that essentially functionless capacity. At an A.H.A. memorial service for my predecessor I said, "Isaac is up in Heaven now." That was the funniest thing I could have said to an audience of humanists. It rolled them in the aisles. Mirth! Several minutes had to pass before something resemble solemnity could be restored.”

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