Speaking of Kurt Vonnegut…
I joined a book club not too long ago; as if I needed *more* excuses to read, and we picked Bluebeard as our next book to read. (Our first was Bel Canto, which I suggested when asked about recent “quick” books that we’ve read. Bluebeard was also my suggestion from my “to read” list, so here’s hoping that next time we pick someone else’s book, much as I do love being a benevolent dictator.) Everyone agreed on Vonnegut and Bluebeard was chosen somewhat randomly as it focuses on an artist and we have two artists in the group (a significant number in a group that is thus far five people!).
I’ve really loved the Vonnegut that I’ve read, which up until now has been Cat’s Cradle, Slaughterhouse Five, and that one about Dr. Kevorkian (you’ll have to forgive me for not being able to look these things up. I’m surreptitiously typing from work as my little one watches Elmo, which also explains why there’s no cover image on this post.). Bluebeard isn’t as deep into the meaning of life, and while I suppose it does provide a sort of commentary on Abstract Expressionism and the role of art in general, it is more entertaining than it is thought-provoking.
Due to this distinction, I didn’t enjoy Bluebeard as I have Vonnegut’s other novels. I started off with his most famous works, and it’s easiest to see how they earned their reputation. Bluebeard is by no means a *bad* book, but in my estimation, it is not a *great* book either. It felt more like reading Tom Robbins than reading Cat’s Cradle. I am not Tom Robbins’ biggest fan, but I was passingly amused by Still Life With Woodpecker.
So, yes, damning with faint praise. I guess that’s the long and short of it.