Kurt Vonnegut is bid farewell with a review of a book all about him being resurrected, to die again.
God Bless You, Dr. Kevorkian
Washington Square Press
Review by Michele Geluso
Kurt Vonnegut cleverly combines journalism and science fiction in God Bless You, Dr. Kevorkian. Strapped to a gurney in a state-of-the-art lethal injection facility, the author is escorted to the Pearly Gates (and back) by Dr. Jack Kevorkian. With the good doctor’s help, Vonnegut assumes the role of “reporter on the afterlife”.
Get this: God Bless You, Dr. Kevorkian chronicles a series of interviews conducted on the other side; the subjects of which include Clarence Darrow, John Brown, James Earl Ray and Adolf Hiter.
As he has often done before, Vonnegut uses fiction as a platform for social and political commentary. The interviews provide insights on the human condition; from its best aspects to its worst.
Listen: “This morning, thanks to a controlled near-death experience, I was lucky enough to meet … a man named Salvatore Biagini. Last July 8th, Mr. Biagini … suffered a fatal heart attack while rescuing his beloved schnauzer, Teddy, from an assault by an unrestrained pit bull named Chele…
“I asked this heroic pet lover how it felt to have died for a schnauzer named Teddy. Salvador¹ Biagini was philosophical. He said it sure as heck beat dying for absolutely nothing in the Viet Nam War.”
This pithy novella encompasses the author’s philosophy, sense of humor, and signature quirky style. For the neophyte, it is an encouraging introduction to Vonnegut’s work, while die-hards will be pleased with the new and creative handling of familiar topics.
Although this is not one of Kurt Vonnegut’s best-known works, God Bless You, Dr. Kevorkian is a notable effort on the part of the author, an important contribution to modern literature and certainly a worthwhile read.
three out of four *’s