Thursday, April 2, 2015

Mother Night

Today's Book Recommendation is Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut.

In Israel, Howard W. Campbell Jr. is on trial for crimes as a Nazi war criminal. The thing is? He was an American spy who was sending coded messages within his Nazi propaganda war announcements. On top of that there was only ever one man who knew that Campbell was a spy and he is nowhere to be found. It would seem that Campbell will indeed be sentenced for his crimes, but is he really guilty?

The novel covers some of the time that Campbell spent working for the Nazi's, some of his time hiding out in New York city before he was discovered, and then of course his time in the Israeli prison. Told with dark humor and wit this novel will having you seeing shades of gray.

This was my first soiree into Vonnegut territory. It was recommended to me by a good friend and fellow bookworm. I will admit to be slightly apprehensive as I had tentatively tried out Vonnegut before. Picking up his more popular novels in the book store, reading the back cover, and even opening it for a few pages. Something always drove me to put the book back. Let me say that it had nothing to do with his writing. Vonnegut is an amazing writer. But, it just didn't seem like my type of story. I typically like Science Fiction and Fantasy. Or more contemporary titles that would probably be considered chick lit.

I am so glad that I set that assumption aside and tried out this book. While reading it there were moments where I was sure of Campbell's innocence. Then there would be a chapter about his time during the Nazi occupation or about some of his activities in New York and I would find myself wondering if he was actually a good guy. Did he believe what he was saying on the radio or was he really just trying to send coded messages?

I think if you have never read Vonnegut that this is a good book to start with. I know that after reading it I have every intention of checking out his other works. I just haven't decided which one yet.

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