Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist


When I was a youngster I never read the writers that were cults. I never read Kerouac, I never read Bukowski, I never read Ian Fleming, I never read Joseph Heller. It was partly because I was a snob. But also because I figured those guys were in the air. All you had to do was open the Sunday Times Colour Supplement, inhale deeply and you'd find you knew all you needed to know about 'em and then some.

In the main I don't regret it. In the time I saved by not reading On The Road and Casino Royale I was reading Hilaire Belloc and G.K. Chesterton and other long dead dudes and generally making myself interestingly eccentric and unfit for life in the late 20th century- and why not?  It was a high perch and I had it to myself.

But there's one cult writer of my youth I'm regretting not having encountered earlier. I've been reading the obits and the interviews and the edited highlights and finding out what everyone else has known for decades- that Kurt Vonnegut was really cool. Damn! Why did I cheat myself of this purling stream of righteous indignation and furious humour?

So, Amazon, here I come! It seems a bit cheap not to read a man until he's dead but I don't think he starved for lack of my custom....
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