[50/50] Book #12 “Galapagos” — Kurt Vonnegut (1985)
“Hey you like to read? Ever read Vonnegut?” — every guy who ever hit up on my wife in the Midtown Tavern
For postmodern gonzo literature, it was a tossup between Tom Robbins and his “Still Life with Woodpecker” and a trio of Kurt Vonnegut books. Vonnegut gets the edge though, thanks to an inside joke between me and my wife, and the fact that his existential view of people and our place in the universe seems to get more and more veracious the older one gets. This was never more apparent than with his last great novel “Galapagos,” as the ghost of the son of the fictional stand-in for Vonnegut follows the evolution of mankind over the next million years, watching as they become fleshy blobs who sit around on the beach all day laughing at fart jokes. (Yes, decades ago, Kurt accurately predicted MTV’s current programming.) Bitter, cynical and beautiful, Galapagos deftly sums up Vonnegut’s philosophy in one neat package.
(For my wife’s brilliant take on Tom Robbins, and the hazards of meeting your idols, dig up her 2003 article in the Urban Hiker)