I remember some friends from high school talking about Kurt Vonnegut so the name is familiar but I never really knew who he was (What? read books/literature? Who does things like that!) But I came across his book While Mortals Sleep and decided to read it to see why Vonnegut is famous and for another reason…

While Mortals Sleep is a collection of short stories that were published in 2011 after his death in 2007. The second reason this book attracted me was because they were short stories so I could read a bit here and there. The stories are indeed short, and each can be consumed in about 15 minutes (i.e., perfect when you have to watch or feed a baby).

I did a bit of research and and Vonnegut was an American author know for his dark humor and satire, and these techniques were used quite frequently in his short stories. Some of the stories were good and some were not so good – all had a theme behind it; kind of like an grown-up version of “the morale of the story is…”. Usually that is hidden behind literacy artistry and doesn’t reveal itself until last few paragraphs; but some are pretty obvious.

If you like reading about first world human issues from the 1950s, then the themes and stories are for you. The first few I read were interesting because of the generation gap between the world we live in and the lifestyles that Vonnegut describes; but after awhile I got bored because I couldn’t connect with the setting anymore!