[Kurt Vonnegut] has never been more satirically on-target Nothing is spared.” —People Jailbird takes us into a fractured and. In his last novel, “Slapstick” (), Kurt Vonnegut told us that he believed In his new novel, “Jailbird”–his best, in my opinion, since “Mother. Kurt Vonnegut tells us why he abandoned the sketchy sci-fi plot lines in favor of a sharp-eyed political realism of.

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But it isn’t as good as those earlier works by Vonnegut, and its message of treating others with kindness and civility probably comes across better in God Bless You, Mr.

Jailbird – Wikipedia

I had been cochairman of the Harvard chapter of the Young Communist League. In the intro to JailbirdVonnegut refers to a letter he had kuft received from a high-school reader who told Vonnegut he had read almost everything by him and wanted to share the single idea he found at the core o I don’t mind so much the Republicans who embrace greed and kurrt douche-baggery. Inspired by Your Browsing History. I had forgotten the title refers to the least significant of the Watergate conspirators, one Walter F.

Jailbird is written as a standard memoir, revealing Starbuck’s present situation, then coming full circle to tell the story of his first two days after being released from prison. There was a problem adding your email address. This acerbic page book is what most people mean when they describe a work as “Vonnegutian” in scope. So now old Walter is getting out of minimum-security prison where he has met Vonnegut’s Kilgore Troutwithout a friend in the world–his wife is dead and his son is “a very unpleasant person.

Jailird hero was the ghost of Albert Einstein. No, just my mood in general at the time was hoping for more zany and unforgettable pulp sci-fi on the order of The Sirens of Titan. Browse all BookRags Study Guides. Vonnegut had told his uncle that he was interested in a labor union job and instead of discouraging him, his uncle had arranged the lunch with his Harvard classmate. I also loved the intricacy of the story, and the amazing coincidences that caused all of the pieces of the story to fall together just so.


It was flawless and had not been reported as stolen. Jailbird kind of combines his skipping around style with a more straight line style a la Player Piano. At the same time, Starbuck also re-encounters the ex-friend he betrayed decades earlier, and is surprised to discover that he Starbuck has been forgiven by both the friend and by Mary Kathleen who, Starbuck says in narration, he dumped because she wasn’t high class enough.

Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Eventually Starbuck arrives in New York City, where he lived as a capitalistically inclined young man and where he had his first actual encounters with both women and socialism.


This was my first foray into Kurr Vonnegut territory, and I expected to have stronger feelings one way or another about his work. And I like that too.

Hapgood had a colorful history; he had been jailed many times for his union activities, had led pickets at the executions mailbird Sacco and Vanzetti, and in fact had just come to the restaurant after a morning of testifying in court about a labor case. The lunch was at a restaurant in Indianapolis with his uncle and father and a labor organizer named Powers Hapgood, who had attended Harvard with Vonnegut’s uncle, who was politically rather conservative.

He wondered if they might not be sadists.

Who puts an i Maybe this really deserves four stars, I just can’t tell anymore. He told the judge, “Why? Starbuck is a Harvard man, a minor public servant who does time in a white-collar p One of the central conceits of Jailbird is that the RAMJAC corporation seems to own everything, and it is owned by Mrs.

The novel begins with a lengthy prologue written in jaiobird character of the author and ostensibly a summary of the novel’s historical origins. Unlike other versions of the character, this “Kilgore Trout” is revealed to be the pseudonym of a character in prison, deliberately contradicting the autobiographical details of Trout’s life in other Vonnegut novels.

Be the first to discover new talent! But the humor turns dark when Vonnegut shines his spotlight on the cold hearts and Jailbird takes us into a fractured and comic, pure Vonnegut world of high crimes and misdemeanors in government—and in the heart.


The characters in this text jqilbird for the most part very decent people. That RAMJAC is more of a trojan horse than anything is jailvird, though I wish Vonnegut had played with the idea more instead of just stating it flat out towards the end. Yet, nothing ever comes of these ideals. His disappointment that this approach is all too seldom used is the root of his cynicism but it is never disheartening to read because of that glimpse of childlike hope that we really could learn to be kind to one another.

Nor had I been a dabbler, a mere parlor pink. Jul 28, Pages.

Jan 12, Pages Buy. His imaginative leaps alone. Einstein did not get to see God. Once again Vonnegut gives us a hapless protagonist who lets the waves of life wash over him, rarely taking the time to notice or care all that much. Still, I’m a better person for re-reading it, and the recent anti-labor movements in places like Wisconsin and Michigan make Vonnegut’s concerns in this novel all the more relevant today. Sep 01, notgettingenough rated it really liked it Shelves: Get Jailbird from Amazon.

I could barely remember Jailbird ; I knew there was a bag lady and references to unions, but that was about it.

Jailbird Summary & Study Guide

I will say this: Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Dec 12, lit.

Feb 03, Descending Angel rated it really liked it Shelves: Return to Book Page. The book is regarded as Kurt Vonnegut’s ” Watergate novel.

And on and on. But it’s those Republicans who cloak themselves vonnevut smug, moral self-righteousness, the ones who invoke God and think somehow Jesus would be on board with their selfish hypocrisy, that really annoy me.