Book of the Week - "And so it goes. Kurt Vonnegut: A life" by Charles J. Shields. Kurt Vonnegut was an American novelist, known for works blending satire, black comedy and science fiction, such as Slaughterhouse-Five (1969), Cat's Cradle (1963), and Breakfast of Champions (1973). Vonnegut's life was a fascinating tragicomedy worthy of his best novels. Charles J. Shields manages a rare feat: offering a lucid assessment of Kurt Vonnegut's literary life alongside the moving tale of an American original and a misunderstood hero. From his harrowing survival of the Dresden firebombing through 40 years of culture clashes, here is the Vonnegut we all thought we knew and the man we never got to see, a writer of searing wit and wisdom, of driving ambition, and perhaps most of all, of aching loneliness.