If This Isn't Nice, What Is?: Advice for the Young

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9781480537361: If This Isn't Nice, What Is?: Advice for the Young
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Master storyteller and satirist Kurt Vonnegut was one of the most in-demand commencement speakers of his time. For each occasion, Vonnegut’s words were unfailingly unique, insightful, and witty, and they stayed with audience members long after graduation. As edited by Dan Wakefield, this book reads like a narrative in the unique voice that made Vonnegut a hero to readers of all ages. At times hilarious, razor-sharp, freewheeling, and deeply serious, these reflections are ideal for anyone undergoing what Vonnegut would call their “long-delayed puberty ceremony” — marking the passage from student to full-time adult. This audiobook makes the perfect gift for high school or college graduates — or for parents and grandparents who remember Vonnegut fondly and want to connect with him in a new context.

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About the Author:

Kurt Vonnegut is a unique voice in the American canon — a writer whose works are hard to categorize, often straddling the space between literature and science fiction, and filled with cutting satire and dark humor. Like Mark Twain before him, Vonnegut's reputation and impact on American writing and reading will continue to grow steadily and increase in relevance as new insights are made. Vonnegut was born in 1922 in Indianapolis, and studied at the University of Chicago and the University of Tennessee. In the Second World War, he became a German prisoner of war and was present during the bombing of Dresden. This experience provided inspiration for his most successful and influential novel, Slaughterhouse-Five. Vonnegut — admired as much for his views and his “Vonnegutisms” as for his publications — wrote extensively in many forms, including novels, short stories, essays, plays, articles, speeches, and correspondence, some of which was published posthumously.

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“One sort of optional thing you might do is to realize there are six seasons instead of four. The poetry of four seasons is all wrong for this part of the planet, and this may explain why we are so depressed so much of the time. I mean, Spring doesn’t feel like Spring a lot of the time, and November is all wrong for Fall and so on. Here is the truth about the seasons: Spring is May and June! What could be springier than May and June? Summer is July and August. Really hot, right? Autumn is September and October. See the pumpkins? Smell those burning leaves. Next comes the season called “Locking.” That is when Nature shuts everything down. November and December aren’t Winter. They’re Locking. Next comes Winter, January and February. Boy! Are they ever cold! What comes next? Not Spring. Unlocking comes next. What else could April be?

“One more optional piece of advice: If you ever have to give a speech, start with a joke, if you know one. For years I have been looking for the best joke in the world. I think I know what it is. I will tell it to you, but have to help me. You have to say, “No,” when I hold my hand like this. All right? Don’t let me down.

“Do you know why cream is so much more expensive than milk?

“AUDIENCE: No.

"It is because the cows hate to squat on those little bottles.”

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9781609805913: If This Isn't Nice, What Is?: Advice to the Young-The Graduation Speeches

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ISBN 10:  1609805917 ISBN 13:  9781609805913
Publisher: Seven Stories Press, 2014
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9780795333767: If This Isn't Nice, What Is?: Advice for the Young

Rosett..., 2013
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