"THE CLOSEST THING WE HAD TO A VOLTAIRE" (TOM WOLFE): FIRST EDITION OF GOD BLESS YOU, DR. KEVORKIAN, INSCRIBED BY VONNEGUT WITH HIS SELF-PORTRAIT
VONNEGUT, Kurt. God Bless You, Dr. Kevorkian. New York, London, Toronto: Seven Stories, (1999). Octavo, original half blue cloth, original dust jacket. $750.
First edition of "classic Vonnegut," a volume of "21 koanlike pieces he composed while serving, briefly, as a 'reporter on the afterlife'" for NYC radio station, WNYC (New York Times), inscribed on the half title by him with his self-portrait, dated "Sept. 7, 2000."
To Tom Wolfe, Vonnegut was "the closest thing we had to a Voltaire. He could be extremely funny, but there was a vein of iron always underneath it, which made him quite remarkable." This 1999 work, God Bless You, Dr. Kevorkian, contains "21 koanlike pieces he composed while serving, briefly, as a 'reporter on the afterlife' for WNYC… he staged a series of near-death experiences in order to visit what he calls 'the 100 yards or so of vacant lot between the far end of the blue tunnel and the Pearly Gates' and interview the dead. The idea of bringing eternity down to earth, as it were, is classic Vonnegut… the book's subjects range from Eugene V. Debs and Sir Isaac Newton to James Earl Ray and Adolf Hitler, not to mention the longtime Vonnegut alter ego Kilgore" (New York Times). Cover design by Jules Feiffer. "A Seven Stories First Edition" on copyright page.
A fine copy.