Hardcover

English language

Published May 30, 1979 by Delacorte Pr.

ISBN:
978-0-440-05851-9
Copied ISBN!
OCLC Number:
644637426

View on OpenLibrary

4 stars (41 reviews)

Mother Night is a daring challenge to our moral sense. American Howard W. Campbell, Jr., a spy during World War II, is now on trial in Israel as a Nazi war criminal. But is he really guilty? In this brilliant book rife with true gallows humor, Vonnegut turns black and white into a chilling shade of gray with a verdict that will haunt us all.

13 editions

Review of 'Mother Night' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

5/5
Recommend (identity/morality)


I have confused feelings towards the characters in this book. Some I despise and some I can't come to a decision about. That is exactly why I am giving this book a 5, it fulfilled everything it set out to do. Vonnegut emphasises the grey between black and white morals like no other.

Intriguing premise, poor execution

2 stars

Vonnegut is a frustrating author to me. He has a sharp wit and he picks worthwhile targets to satirize. But his books are thin and scattershot. This one leaves me with the impression that he has not really thought through what Nazism was or the specific ways that the U.S. was morally compromised and ideologically conflicted during World War II and the years immediately before and after. It's hard to take Howard W. Campbell seriously as a character because he often seems to exist on the page mainly so that Vonnegut can just riff on his chosen themes.

Review of 'Mother Night' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

Re-reading this (in 2020) many, many years after I read it last, and it is astonishing how much more immediate and pressing the anti-semitism and the absurdity of the lunatic fringe now seem. The hatred has been with us for a long time, of course, but why did we feel so insulated from it 20 years ago? Were we naive or complicit way back when the 90s were coming to a close?

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Subjects

  • Fiction