I finished Mother Night. It’s going to take me a while to remove myself far enough from the book to judge fairly where it ranks in my list of favorite Vonneguts. Because if I were to answer right now I’d without hesitation say that it’s my favorite, in no uncertain terms. I loved it. It’s a fascinating plot that I could not put down, but had to put down sometimes to scribble quotes and passages down in my notebook. Like the other best novels of Vonnegut, it’s a shining example of how the issues he writes about are still relevant today.
Here are my favorite lines:
“Since there is no one else to praise me, I will praise myself – will say that I have never tampered with a single tooth in my thought machine, such as it is. There are teeth missing, God knows – some I was born without, teeth that will never grow. And other teeth have been stripped by the clutchless shifts of history–
But never have I willfully destroyed a tooth on a gear of my thinking machine. Never have I said to myself, “This fact I can do without.”
“I had taught myself that a human being might as well look for diamond tiaras in the gutters as for rewards and punishments that were fair.”
“There are plenty of good reasons for fighting, but no good reason ever to hate without reservation, to imagine that God Almighty Himself hates with you, too. Where’s evil? It’s that large part of every man that wants to hate without limit, that wants to hate with God on its side. It’s that part of every man that finds all kinds of ugliness so attractive.”
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