Kurt is a clear writer who awakens bourgeois high school kids to the sheer contingency of human existence and the unprecedented loneliness of our time. And he does it in a funny and even "sophomoric" way. Then the kid spends the rest of his life diverting himself with uneven success from what he really knows, with Vonnegut remaining his guilty and furtive pleasure. Vonnegut would have been better had he known anything about the personal God or the personal pride of political life. And you’d be better off reading Pascal or St. Augustine or even Walker Percy instead. But Pascal and St. Augustine are relatively short on the jokes, and Percy isn’t always so clear. And even with our evangelical and orthodox outposts, most of our high school kids aren’t moved by that religious stuff.