06. A Man Without a Country, Kurt Vonnegut (February 13)
I’m now convinced I’m not in charge of the books I’ve been choosing to read. I’ve come to this decision after finishing this book, which I found in the English section of my local Book Off for Y350 (4 shelves, totally disorganized). In this book, Kurt Vonnegut wrote in 2006: “What can be said to our young people, now that psychopathic personalities, which is to say persons without consciences… have taken all the money in the treasuries of our government and corporations, and made it their own?”
This, after just reading The Psychopath Test, which dove right into people of this class being in positions of power and how to spot them.
The universe is choosing the books I read. I have no idea how. Psychopath Test was a recommendation, and I found this in the used books section in Tokyo. I love it. I’m just waiting for my current book to continue the chain somehow.
I thought the title and description might fit the way I feel lately: an immigrant from the USA who doesn’t want to live there, who doesn’t agree with most of what’s going on, and hates having to defend it (or hear about it from people who have never lived in MY country). I imagine a large number of people living abroad from ‘my country’ feel the same way. I appreciate that one of these people was a world-famous author who wrote about war.
I love that on the 2nd page, he says he can’t respect anyone who hasn’t read the Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce. Done it. I also love that he recommends books to read as well IN the book, and that one of them was also mentioned multiple times in The Psychopath Test. I’m definitely going to try to find THAT ONE (now very hard to find) and read it. I’m taking book recommendations from Kurt Vonnegut.
It was a very quick read. I knocked it out in just under 2 hours, on my daily commute. It’s printed in very large type and the book is also full of Kurt’s artwork, so I blazed right through it. It was a lot like listening to your grandfather on a rant, for a few hours, about a few different topics.
One thing is abundantly clear: Kurt is really NOT happy with the Bush administration, or any of the psychopaths in charge of the country (in 2004-2006, as the book was written). He mentions that multiple times. I really appreciate his point of view. I also really appreciate that someone older than the baby boomers thinks all of them are crazy and entitled. I can definitely see his point.
If you want to feel like you’re having a conversation with Kurt (who died only a few years ago), then definitely check this one out. I think he and I would have been friends.