Manhattan has become the Island of Death. The former President of the United States stands barefoot in a purple toga around a cooking fire in the lobby of the Empire State Building. He is Dr Wilbur Daffodil-II Swain and Slapstick or Lonesome No More! is his story - one of monstrous twins, orgies, revenge, golf, utopian schemes, and very little tooth brushing. In this post-apocalyptic black comedy - dedicated to Laurel and Hardy - Vonnegut is at his most hilarious, grotesque, and personal.
Plus ca change, well just what? Well, the "And so ons" and "ETCs" of Breakfast of Champions to Hi Ho, even if he was going to give up Hi Ho after about the fifth one. This is Vonnegut as you knew and loved him, or didn't, with the reductivist simplicities and more than faintly identifiable referrals and the one-pea-in-a-peapod story. As daydreamed by Kurt en route to the funeral of his uncle with his older brother (a "couple of nice old Andy Gumps" - he finessed you out of that comic strip put-down, didn't he?). The fantasy's about a crazed old pediatrician-centenarian Wilbur Daffodil-II Swain who had a twin sister Eliza and when they put their heads together they were geniuses and when they were apart they were very slow non-learners. But finally the're separated for good and Wilbur - with the help of tribenzo-Deportamils and his Lonesome No More slogan - becomes President of the US. "This is truly the work of children." Truly. But then you'll either accord it a smile or a hi-ho-hum in the bum since reactions to Vonnegut are as immiscible as oil and rosewater. (Kirkus Reviews)
Published: 6th December 1991
Dimensions (cm): 19.7 x 13.1 x 1.2
Weight (kg): 0.14