My father is a very educated man and consequently has a lot of books. When I was younger, I would occasionally skim through the titles in his library, which took up a whole wall in our house.
One day I ran across a book with a split spine and the cool artwork you see here:
I asked my father about the novel and he didn't know that much about it--he seemed to know who Vonnegut was, but didn't really remember the book. At any rate, he said I could borrow it and read it (not sure how old I was then--late teens?). So I did.
And I completely loved it. In my estimation, both then and now, it's the perfect book--provocative and challenging but easy to read. It's highly imaginative and takes on so many aspects of the human condition that "Slaughterhouse-5" pales in comparison. To me, anyway--to be honest, I never finished "Slaughterhouse-5."
I then began to haunt secondhand bookstores and collected all of his writing I could find. I meant to read every one of them, but I still have yet to do that. After all, as the man himself said:
"Listen: We are here on Earth to fart around. Don't let anybody tell you any different."
So I farted around some, but I did read a lot of his books multiple times. His sense of humanity and his iconoclastic take on the world is one of a kind. Given that, I am so glad that he lived long enough to help us make some sense of the Bush II years. Vonnegut wasn't afraid to point out that the emperor had no clothes, or to put it another way:
"No damn cat, no damn cradle."