God Bless You, Dr. Kevorkian

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Seven Stories Press, 1999 - Fiction - 79 pages
32 Reviews
From Slapstick's "Turkey Farm" to Slaughterhouse-Five's eternity in a Tralfamadorean zoo cage with Montana Wildhack, the question of the afterlife never left Kurt Vonnegut's mind. In God Bless You, Dr. Kevorkian, Vonnegut skips back and forth between life and the Afterlife as if the difference between them were rather slight. In thirty odd "interviews," Vonnegut trips down "the blue tunnel to the pearly gates" in the guise of a roving reporter for public radio, conducting interviews: with Salvatore Biagini, a retired construction worker who died of a heart attack while rescuing his schnauzer from a pit bull, with John Brown, still smoldering 140 years after his death by hanging, with William Shakespeare, who rubs Vonnegut the wrong way, and with socialist and labor leader Eugene Victor Debs, one of Vonnegut's personal heroes.
What began as a series of ninety-second radio interludes for WNYC, New York City's public radio station, evolved into this provocative collection of musings about who and what we live for, and how much it all matters in the end. From the original portrait by his friend Jules Feiffer that graces the cover, to a final entry from Kilgore Trout, God Bless You, Dr. Kevorkian remains a joy.

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User Review  - brleach - LibraryThing

Somewhat entertaining, but very short and shallow. To be translated effectively from the medium of radio to the medium of books, I think the story needed to be significantly elaborated. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - AliceAnna - LibraryThing

A light bit of fluff with some social commentary woven in. I'm really not sure why he didn't go ahead and make a novel of it. His supposed retirement, I guess. The premise is that of orchestrating near-death experiences so that he could interview the dead. Read full review

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Page 9 - I am a Humanist, which means, in part, that I have tried to behave decently without expectations of rewards or punishment after I am dead.
Page 11 - Humanists, having received no credible information about any sort of God, are content to serve as well as they can, the only abstraction with which they have some familiarity: their communities.
Page 10 - If it weren't for the message of mercy and pity in Jesus's Sermon on the Mount, I wouldn't want to be a human being. I would just as soon be a rattlesnake
Page 10 - ... CIO members who had made trouble. The judge stopped the proceedings at one point and said, "Hapgood, why would a man with your advantages, from a wealthy, respected family, Harvard graduate, lead such a life?" Powers Hapgood replied, "Why, the Sermon on the Mount, sir." Not bad, huh? Incidentally, I am honorary president of the American Humanist Association, having succeeded the great science fiction writer and biochemist Dr. Isaac Asimov. John Updike, who is religious, says I talk more about...

About the author (1999)

Kurt Vonnegut is among the few grandmasters of 20th century American letters, one without whom the very term American literature would mean much less than it does. His works include Slaughterhouse Five, Galapagos, and Welcome to the Monkey House. He is the author, most recently, of God Bless You Dr. Kevorkian.

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