In 2005, Kurt Vonnegut asked of America in what was to be his last published book, his essay collection A Man Without a Country, “What can be said to our young people, now that psychopathic personalities, which is to say persons without consciences, without senses of pity or shame, have taken all the money in the treasuries of our government and corporations, and made it all their own?” He was, of course, talking about the Bush administration.
Twelve years later, on the 10th anniversary of Vonnegut’s death and less than 100 days into the Trump administration, the same questions can and should be asked, with even more urgency and outrage. Vonnegut’s body of work, including all 14 of his novels, engages with issues of corruption, militarism, capitalism, evangelism, and many of the other -isms that define the struggles and challenges of modern society.
In 2017, Vonnegut’s work is as salient as it ever was, and in some cases, his novels have become even more relevant as they age. In honor of the 10th anniversary of Vonnegut’s death, we’ve revisited each of his 14 novels and ranked them in order of how relevant they are to a modern day reader.