Jeff Giles
March 11, 2009 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Love as Always, Kurt

Current Status
In Season
Loree Rackstraw
Da Capo Press
Nonfiction, Memoir

We gave it an B

During Kurt Vonnegut’s lifetime, some critics thought he was a lightweight because his novels looked suspiciously like fun. Loree Rackstraw clearly hates those jerks. She spends the less interesting parts of this memoir shoring up Vonnegut’s rep as the 20th century’s Mark Twain — and the more resonant passages simply paying tribute to the author as a lifelong buddy and mentor. (She apparently slept with him early on, but she’s coy on the subject.) Vonnegut emerges in the book as a sort of rascally humanist, deeply concerned about the stuff people do to one another. When Love as Always, Kurt is at its best, the ”love” in Rackstraw’s title seems to refer not just to Vonnegut’s love for her, but his love for all of us. B

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