Books: Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut

Sometimes, I gravitate towards books that shock me. I can’t get enough of a good satire. Mother Night is one such book and the gripping morality tale revolves around this quote:

We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be.

The main character is a US spy who dabbles in evil, spewing Nazi Propaganda in order to be convincing enough to the enemy that he is on their side. After World War II the American government refuses to acknowledge his role (because he has played it too well) and in the end he is captured and tried for war crimes.

The title of the book ‘Mother Night is taken from Goethe’s “Faust”. I read the play by Christopher Marlowe which was based on Faust, and found it an extremely disturbing. Dr Faustus signs away his soul for the greed of temporary power. It all seems such a waste to me.

Vonnegut graded his own work and this is one of his books that he gave an A+ to. The humble writer even graded some of his books with a C as revealed in this interview.


Nick Nolte starred in a movie version of the book which I haven’t watched.

About bookjunkie

Blogging about life in Singapore & recently cancer too.
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4 Responses to Books: Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut

  1. kirsten says:

    I haven’t read Kurt Vonnegut before but I want to start! I have Slaughterhouse 5, and I’ll go from there. 🙂

    (I started getting interested because this ridiculous Internet meme thing “analysed” my writing and said I write like him. I don’t think it would be accurate at all but it pushed Vonnegut higher up my list out of curiosity!)

  2. whatsaysyou says:

    Thanks for the update about a book like this and I so need to check it out.

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