Today is Kurt Vonnegut's birthday.
Kurt is probably the most-influential living writer, or at least living American writer. And he's a good-ol' Midwestern boy (or fresh water person, as he would put it) who even spent a good deal of time at the Iowa Writer's Workshop. As a socialist, semi-Christian, cynic, and all-around cantankerous old man, he's come to embody pretty much everything good about America. Thankfully, he broke his own promise to never write again by releasing a new book "A Man Without a Country," a semi-autobiographical work full of his musings on the state of the world.
Being a huge Vonnegut fan, I snapped it up right away, and read it cover to cover in one night. Almost. Seeing as Kurt has gotten quite old, it's extremely likely that this will be the last book he evers writes. As such, I just can't bring myself to read the last page of the book, because once I do, there will officially be no new Vonnegut books. Ever. From then on out, I'll just be re-reading classics, which is fine, but just not the same.
You see, Kurt is one of the few living legends that folks such as myself can look up to. Sure, there are other great, and possibly even better, figures in American literature (Twain, Heller, etc.) but they're all dead and gone. There just seems to be so much more urgency in reading brilliant works by those still inhabiting the earth. Probably the same feeling people used to have when a new Hednrix album would come out. Or the feeling we used to get every sunday night watching the Simpsons from seasons 4 through 8.
Anyway, go out and buy the book. It's good. Well, at least everything up to the last page.