Book Review: Deadeye Dick

I  first read this book 30 years ago and had categorized it as sort of a typically delightful Vonnegut book but not among his best. I might still say that after this second reading but doing so only emphasizes the greatness of Vonnegut’s wit and imagination. I read a description of the book that describes it as being about the death of innocence, but I rather think it is more about redemption. The narrator calls himself a double murderer for accidentally killing a pregnant woman at the tender age of 12, but he eventually learns to forgive himself and many other people around him who commit various life-changing sins of their own. It is replete with incisive observations, including one I have made myself, which is that a curious feature of watches is that the less you pay for one, the more reliable and sturdy it is. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this as the book to read if you were only going to read one Vonnegut novel, but it’s definitely a thought provoking, darkly hilarious joy to read.

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