This is a little tardy, but in my defense, my status message on the day of his death was “R.I.P. Kurt.” I am not only mourning the man, but that period of youth, somewhere between 15-23 where a writer can completely take hold of your mind. There are three novels that I’ve forced people to read: (1) 1984, (2) Slaughterhouse 5; and (3) the Secret History. This stage in life is so universal, that the NYT editorial devoted to Mr. Vonnegut perfectly summed up the feeling:
If you read Kurt Vonnegut when you were young — read all there was of him, book after book as fast as you could the way so many of us did — you probably set him aside long ago. That’s the way it goes with writers we love when we’re young. It’s almost as though their books absorbed some part of our DNA while we were reading them, and rereading them means revisiting a version of ourselves we may no longer remember or trust.