Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut

July 2003

This is only the second book I've ever read by Kurt Vonnegut (after Slaughterhouse 5, of course). It was a blisteringly fast read, and while it may not have left the lasting impression on me that Slaughterhouse 5 did, it certainly kept me engrossed. I found the protagonist - Howard W. Campbell, Jr., an American Nazi propagandist set adrift after WWII - to be an oddly blank sort of character, but that was, perhaps, the whole point. If nothing else, the book offered a few interesting concepts to mull over, namely the warning that "you are what you pretend to be", and the idea that a couple can form a "nation of two", a sovereign territory separated from and defended against the madness of the world around it. Like any good satirist, Kurt Vonnegut manages to write hilarious and dreadful things all at the same time. Recommended.

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