Deadeye Dick is a novel written by Kurt Vonnegut, and published in 1982. As such, it was published after Vonnegut had already established himself as a famous and distinctive writer. While Vonnegut's prime was often seen as the period between Sirens of Titan and Slaughterhouse-5, some of his later work was arguably just as good, and showed development of technique and subject matter.

The novel tells the story of Rudy Waltz, a young man growing up in the midwest who accidentally kills a woman at the age of twelve. That, at least, is the pivotal incident of the book, although Vonnegut makes it just one thread in a tapestry. The setting around it is gradually and richly detailed, including Waltz' wealthy yet emotionally distant parents, his seemingly more successful brother, and the half innocent, half malicious small Ohio town he grows up in. To me, some other Vonnegut books, (such as Timequake) seemed to carry such conversational asides to the point of utter self-indulgence, but here, they seem like they are used deliberately to build a story and setting.

Overall, this is one of my favorite Vonnegut books. It lacks the pyrotechnics (mostly) of such apocalyptic novels as Sirens of Titan, Cat's Cradle or Slaughterhouse-5. It lacks the chatty self-indulgence of such works as Breakfast of Champions or Hocus-Pocus. While it deals with the same issues as many Vonnegut books, such as absurdity, violence, strained family relationships and the decline of America small town life, it deals with it by detailing a single character in a fashion that could be seen as almost conventionally biographical.

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