Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Now Online: Michael Crichton's 1969 Review of Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five

The New Republic has given us a very special treat: online publication of Michael Crichton's 1969 book review of Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five. Crichton wrote a number of book reviews in the 1960s, but most are not available on the web. I've had to scrounge around university libraries and wrestle with microfilm to find many of them.

From the review:

We live in an age of great seriousness. We are accustomed to getting our art in heavy, pretentious doses. Anything funny is suspect, and anything simple is doubly suspect. Here we come to the second difficulty with Kurt Vonnegut. His style is effortless, naive, almost childlike. There are no big words and no complicated sentences. It is an extraordinarily difficult style, but that fact is lost on anyone who has never tried to write that way.