So Long, Kurt
Breakfast of Champions was my first. Slaughterhouse Five and others came after in short order. I remember the first time I cracked Breakfast of Champions.
This is a tale of a meeting of two lonesome, skinny, fairly old white men on a planet which was dying fast.
I must have been in the 7th or 8th grade. The neighbor kid from across the street, who was a little older than me, had read me a few passages both dark and funny. He loaned it to me. I was hooked immediately. I read on, amazed, because I'd never known that anyone could write this way and still have it considered literature, let alone art. Before then my literary education had been Tolkien, a little science fiction and whatever "young adult" drivel they tried to shove down my throat at school. Literature had seemed so high sounding -- even the science fiction -- full of big values and grand themes. I still love that kind of literature, too, but Vonnegut helped me to look at the world in a new, perhaps more personal and less abstract way.
I'll miss the old bastard. You will , too.
Ciao, Kurt. If there's a heaven, I hope you're eating your breakfast of champions with Isaac Asimov and Hunter S. Thompson and the rest.