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Pure Vonnegut but nothing new
am 9. Mai 2000
This time out, Vonnegut imagines a near future where prisons are outsourced to the Japanese. He addresses the hypothetical question, "What is the difference between schools and prisons?", and doesn't seem to find much fundamental difference - both being represive institutions that are subject to the whim of the moneyed classes. The humor and delightful Vonnegut quips are all here. His eye for detail has never been better and his use of deadpan delivery of skewering observations is right on. BUT, this is essentially the same kind of stuff that he has been serving up for decades. To those who are coming to his work fresh this must be an eye opener, but I suspect to a lot of veteran Vonnegut readers it will just seem like more of the same. I can't really complain because I like his style, agree with much of his world view, appreciate his dark humor and keep coming back for more. But I keep hoping for something that has the lyrical freshness I found in Slaughterhouse Five or the fierce apocalyptic fun that was Cat's Cradle. Maybe Vonnegut has just spoiled us and we want him to top his past success. I'll keep hoping he can.