Kurt Vonnegut

Armageddon in Retrospect

Kurt Vonnegut had been scheduled to speak at Indianapolis’ Clowes Hall. He never made that engagement, passing away two weeks earlier. But his entire intended speech is just one of the gems presented in Vonnegut’s first posthumous book, Armageddon in Retrospect. From his inauspicious beginnings as a struggling author to one of the sharpest, most fluid minds of the 20th century, this collection of unpublished works spans his entire lifetime, most notably tackling his service during World War II. War and peace serve equally as the connecting threads throughout these 13 pieces. Clearly impacted by the ridiculous horrors of war, we get a rare glimpse into the formative years. His utter opposition to warfare is represented by families, lost souls and entire cities that are utterly relatable. The scope of where Vonnegut found humor ranged far beyond the scientific and the fantastical. As arguably literature’s most inventive and wicked satirist, he still manages to find a touch of humanity in nearly every story he wrote, and the triumphant Armageddon in Retrospect is no exception.