A long overdue thank you letter to Kurt Vonnegut -
Dear Mr. Vonnegut,
I owe you a word of thanks for saving my hide in High School. When I was a sophomore, my English teacher broke our class up into a number of small groups and assigned each a book to read and do a group project on. One group got David Copperfield, another got The Good Earth, and another Wuthering Heights. My group's assignment? Slaughterhouse Five. Not only did I read the assigned book, but everyone else in my group did too - something I'm fairly sure could not be said for the groups assigned the considerably more mammoth novels. It was a pleasure for once not to have to be one of the few participants in a group project that has actually done the work.
Did I enjoy the book? Yes, I recall thinking it was interesting. Did I understand it? Not a lick. Did I do any research to help my understanding? I don't really recall. Did I watch the movie? Yes. Was showing scenes from the movie a large part of our presentation (and the only part I remember)? Yes.
So thank you Mr. Vonnegut for writing a short interesting, book. A book that in my busy high school career, I had the time to finish. A book that for many years, until I read "Cat's Cradle" for a college assignment, allowed me to say, "Oh yeah, I've read Vonnegut. I like his stuff".
And oh yeah...I promise to re-read Slaughterhouse someday and try to truly understand and appreciate it...and to finally get around to David Copperfield. As for The Good Earth...I'm not making any promises.