Q: What hyped up book was worth all of the fuss?
I don't know whether this counts as a book hype, but if it does it's going to be a popular answer: Harry Potter. I got the first book in German from a family member who works at a massive German publisher, who happened to publish Harry Potter. I loved the first book so much and was hooked straight away. In my mind, the hype didn't start until later, when the movies came out. And I have never been disappointed by either the books or the movies, which doesn't mean I always agree with what happened in the books. For example, the entire thing in St Pancras in the last book. I did like it, but it was also a bit strange. But the hype around Harry Potter was definitely deserved and I don't know anyone who regretted really getting into the series.
I am currently reading 'Breakfast of Champions' by Kurt Vonnegut, which is great, he's an amazing author. So I decided to use that one for Book Beginnings (Rose City Reader) and Friday 56 (Freda's Voice).
'This is a tale of a meeting of two lonesome, skinny, fairly old white men on a planet which was dying fast. One of them was a science-fiction writer named Kilgore Trout. He was a nobody at the time, and he supposed his life was over. He was mistaken. As a consequence of the meeting, he became one of the most beloved and respected human beings in history. The man he met was an automobile dealer, a Pontiac dealer named Dwayne Hoover. Dwayne Hoover was on the brink of going insane.'
This is so typical of Vonnegut's writing style throughout the book. Straightforward, plain and really funny. His humor is so dry and it really feels like you are sitting in a cafe with an old friend who is telling you a story.
'Dwayne Hoover sat in the used Plymouth Fury in his own vacant lot for an hour, listening to West Virginia. He was told about health insurance for pennies a day, about how to get better performance from his car. He was told what to do about constipation. He was offered a Bible which had everything that God or Jesus had actually said out loud printed in red capital letters. He was offered a plant which would attract and eat disease-carrying insects in his home. All this was stored away in Dwayne’s memory, in case he should need it later on. He had all kinds of stuff in there.'
Again, the language and writing is really straight forward, he describes what his character heard without being overly dramatic and is thereby able to capture exactly what it is like to listen to those kind of radio shows: loads of information you don't need but you still remember.
I decided, because this is a Friday, to share one of the drawings Vonnegut has made for the book. They are absolutely amazing and it is just so funny to read a book by a literary genius and have him say:
There was a picture of a flamingo sandblasted on the glass of the bathtub enclosure. It looked like this:
I'd say it's a pretty good drawing of a flamingo, which just goes to show how amazing Vonnegut is. I have to warn you, I'm turning into a major Vonnegroupie!
So, what have you got for us this Friday? Don't hesitate to post your link in the comments below!