The Young-Adult Appeal of Kurt Vonnegut

Kurt Vonnegut Jr. as he smokes a cigarette outside the Michigan State University Student Union, East Lansing, Michigan, April 9, 1992. (Douglas Elbinger/Getty Images)
A new documentary about the Boomer-revered novelist says a lot about the pacifism and idealism of a generation.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE Y ou discover him when you’re 15 or 16, when you have just realized that all adults are numbskulls and that the solutions to the world’s problems lie in whimsical, simple slogans. Peace is better than war! Love beats hate! Corporations are destroying our souls! Money is evil! We should all be like family! Nobody more expertly harnessed those adolescent impulses than Kurt Vonnegut, the greatest young-adult writer of his time. Vonnegut combined silly sci-fi comedy with even sillier oversimplifications to such meretricious effect that his true peer was not another novelist but Dr. Seuss.

Back in high school, the film and

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