29 episodes

Join reader-comedians Alex Schmidt and Michael Swaim for a fun, digressive trip through the Kurt Vonnegut canon. It’s a book club, a comedy show, and a cavalcade of smart, entertaining segments. Discover Vonnegut works you’ve never read! Rediscover your Kurt favorites! And cure the terrible disease of loneliness by going on a K.V. appreciation deep dive with a friendly karass of your fellow listeners.

Kurt Vonneguys Alex Schmidt & Michael Swaim

    • Comedy
    • 4.9 • 292 Ratings

Join reader-comedians Alex Schmidt and Michael Swaim for a fun, digressive trip through the Kurt Vonnegut canon. It’s a book club, a comedy show, and a cavalcade of smart, entertaining segments. Discover Vonnegut works you’ve never read! Rediscover your Kurt favorites! And cure the terrible disease of loneliness by going on a K.V. appreciation deep dive with a friendly karass of your fellow listeners.

    The Writer's Crusade: Kurt Vonnegut and the Many Lives of Slaughterhouse-Five

    The Writer's Crusade: Kurt Vonnegut and the Many Lives of Slaughterhouse-Five

    Alex Schmidt and Michael Swaim, the original Kurt Vonneguys, are back to break down the new nonfiction book 'The Writer's Crusade: Kurt Vonnegut and the Many Lives of Slaughterhouse-Five'! If this isn't nice, what is?

    The book is written by Tom Roston, and published by Abrams Books: https://www.abramsbooks.com/product/writers-crusade_9781419744891/

    Vonneguys news: this is our last episode of this new run. Thank you all so much for re-forming this karass for another round of Vonne-joy.
    Enjoy Michael's new show 'Like Razorblade Pie' at Small Beans: https://www.patreon.com/SmallBeans
    Enjoy Alex's show 'Secretly Incredibly Fascinating': https://linktr.ee/sifpod

    SEGMENTS:
    Franken-Time (00:02:35)
    Summary Time (00:13:10)
    The Meat (00:36:15)
    Tom Rosto-grades (01:07:25)
    Related Reading (01:10:30)
    Vonnegut News (01:17:35)

    LINKS for Related Reading:
    'The Things They Carried' by Tim O'Brien: https://www.arts.gov/initiatives/nea-big-read/things-they-carried
    "Ahab’s gift: Herman Melville’s Moby Dick and the meaning of pain" by Xi Chen: https://hekint.org/2020/06/23/ahabs-gift-herman-melvilles-moby-dick-and-the-meaning-of-pain/
    The Autobiography Of Mark Twain: https://www.ucpress.edu/book/9780520267190/autobiography-of-mark-twain-volume-1

    LINKS for background about this book:
    'Kurt Vonnegut: Letters', edited by Dan Wakefield: https://bookshop.org/books/kurt-vonnegut-letters/9780385343763
    Tom Roston's website: https://tomroston.com/
    'The Most Spectacular Restaurant in the World: The Twin Towers, Windows on the World, and the Rebirth of New York' by Tom Roston: https://www.abramsbooks.com/product/most-spectacular-restaurant-in-the-world_9781419737992/
    'I Lost it at the Video Store: A Filmmakers' Oral History of a Vanished Era' by Tom Roston: https://books.google.com/books/about/I_Lost_it_at_the_Video_Store.html?id=TpzmsgEACAAJ
    Review from Kirkus Reviews: https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/tom-roston/the-writers-crusade/
    Review from Publishers Weekly: https://www.publishersweekly.com/978-1-4197-4489-1

    Full spreadsheet of Alex & Michael's "Vonnegrades" plus other grades: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1F2juhwV4ia1MzdQC8krE0yiV9e7rdrpkbMguGL037uo/edit?usp=sharing

    Homepage for the Kurt Vonnegut Museum & Library: http://kvml.org/
    Their next annual 'Night Of Vonnegut' is April 10th, 2022.
    Kurt Vonnegut's 100th birthday would've been November 11th, 2022.

    • 1 hr 22 min
    Kurt Vonnegut: Unstuck In Time

    Kurt Vonnegut: Unstuck In Time

    Alex Schmidt and Michael Swaim, the original Kurt Vonneguys, are back to break down the new documentary 'Kurt Vonnegut: Unstuck In Time'! If this isn't nice, what is?

    The documentary is by co-directors Robert B. Weide and Don Argott. Here's its website and how to watch: https://www.vonnegutmovie.com/

    Vonneguys news: we're still returning once more, in 2022, for an episode about 'The Writer's Crusade' by Tom Roston. Find out more about that book here: www.abramsbooks.com/product/writers…_9781419744891/

    SEGMENTS:
    Franken-Time (00:02:15)
    Summary Time (00:26:00)
    Highlight Reel (00:37:57)
    Vonne-MEH (00:56:30)
    The Meat (01:03:55)
    Robert B. Weide-grades (01:17:15)
    Related Reading (01:22:45)
    Vonnegut News (01:35:07)

    LINKS for Related Reading:
    'Life Itself' documentary: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2382298/
    'Meeting People Is Easy' documentary: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0195909/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0
    'Too Funny To Fail' documentary, streaming on Hulu: https://www.hulu.com/movie/too-funny-to-fail-the-life-death-of-the-dana-carvey-show-c6c29995-0c40-4442-aed6-156bd11e2d9e
    'The Brothers Vonnegut' by Ginger Strand: https://us.macmillan.com/books/9780374536534
    'The Century Of The Self' documentary series: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0432232/

    LINKS for background about this documentary:
    Library Of America interview with Robert B. Weide: https://www.loa.org/news-and-views/1917-kurt-vonnegut-at-100-with-robert-weide
    transcript of the "Why a duck?" scene in 'The Cocoanuts' (1929): https://www.marx-brothers.org/whyaduck/info/movies/scenes/whyaduck.htm
    IMDb listings for Robert B. Weide: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0004332/?ref_=tt_ov_wr
    IMDB listings for Don Argott: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0034531/?ref_=tt_ov_dr
    'Kurt Vonnegut: Letters', edited by Dan Wakefield: https://bookshop.org/books/kurt-vonnegut-letters/9780385343763
    'The Brothers Vonnegut' by Ginger Strand: https://us.macmillan.com/books/9780374536534
    Review from RogerEbert.com: https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/kurt-vonnegut-unstuck-in-time-movie-review-2021
    Review from Variety: https://variety.com/2021/film/reviews/kurt-vonnegut-unstuck-in-time-review-robert-b-weide-1235115093/
    Review from NPR: https://www.npr.org/2021/11/17/1056477983/kurt-vonnegut-unstuck-in-time-remains-faithful-to-the-authors-spirit
    Review from the Los Angeles Times: https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/movies/story/2021-11-18/review-kurt-vonnegut-unstuck-in-time-robert-b-weide-don-argott

    • 1 hr 37 min
    Slaughterhouse-Five (graphic novel)

    Slaughterhouse-Five (graphic novel)

    Alex Schmidt and Michael Swaim, the original Kurt Vonneguys, are back to break down the new 'Slaughterhouse-Five' graphic novel! If this isn't nice, what is?

    The graphic novel is by writer Ryan North and artist Albert Monteys. Publisher page: https://shop.boom-studios.com/collections/slaughterhouse-five

    Also here's a link to a *VIDEO VERSION* of this podcast episode (it's the same audio, plus some photos of what we're talking about): https://youtu.be/5BghQzkY0iE

    Vonneguys news: we're returning once more, in 2022, for a new episode about 'The Writer's Crusade' by Tom Roston. Find out more about that book here: https://www.abramsbooks.com/product/writers-crusade_9781419744891/

    SEGMENTS:
    Franken-Time (00:03:55)
    Plot Time (00:24:55)
    Kurt Blurt Redux (00:43:45)
    Recurring Characters Redux (00:51:45)
    Kurt Cameo Redux (00:58:05)
    VonneWHAT Redux (01:00:30)
    The Meat (01:04:20)
    Ryan North and Albert Monteys-grades (01:17:25)
    Related Reading (01:21:25)
    Vonnegut News (01:26:00)

    LINKS for Related Reading:
    'Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid On Earth' by Chris Ware: https://bookshop.org/books/jimmy-corrigan-the-smartest-kid-on-earth/9780375714542
    'Bone Sharps, Cowboys, and Thunder Lizards' by Jim Ottaviani and Big Time Attic: https://bookshop.org/books/bone-sharps-cowboys-and-thunder-lizards/9780966010664
    Quote from Tennessee Williams: https://www.themarginalian.org/2018/07/30/tennessee-williams-love/
    'Synedcoche, New York' (2008 movie): https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0383028/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0

    LINKS for background about this graphic novel:
    ComicsBeat.com interview with Ryan North: https://www.comicsbeat.com/interview-adapting-slaughterhouse-five-with-ryan-north/
    Publisher interview with Ryan North and Albert Monteys: https://youtu.be/BU5xv4AhoCc
    Article about Albert Monteys leaving 'El Jueves' over censorship: https://www.thelocal.es/20140606/spanish-comic-censored-jueves-king-joke/
    Image Comics page for the 'Solid State' graphic novel by Jonathan Coulton, Matt Fraction, and Albert Monteys: https://imagecomics.com/comics/series/solid-state
    Vox.com article citing new Dresden statistics: https://www.vox.com/culture/2019/3/31/18287062/slaughterhouse-five-50th-anniversary-kurt-vonnegut
    January 2018 'Dinosaur Comics' strip that quotes 'Slaughterhouse-Five': https://qwantz.com/index.php?comic=3236
    August 2021 news from Deadline.com on Noah Hawley's adaptation of 'Cat's Cradle': https://deadline.com/2021/08/noah-hawley-cats-cradle-not-moving-forward-at-fx-tca-1234814354/
    Review from The AV Club: https://www.avclub.com/slaughterhouse-five-is-a-near-flawless-adaptation-that-1845419158
    Review from Polygon: https://www.polygon.com/comics/2020/9/15/21438090/slaughterhouse-five-comic-graphic-novel-kurt-vonnegut-ryan-north-albert-monteys
    Review from MonkeysFightingRobots.co: https://monkeysfightingrobots.co/review-slaughterhouse-five-is-a-perfect-graphic-novel-adaptation/

    LINK to a Google Sheet with all of Alex and Michael's past Vonnegrades: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1F2juhwV4ia1MzdQC8krE0yiV9e7rdrpkbMguGL037uo/edit?usp=sharing

    • 1 hr 33 min
    A Man Without A Country

    A Man Without A Country

    Franken-Time (00:01:20)

    Essay Time (00:04:25)

    VonneART (00:05:10)

    Ad Time (00:40:25)

    Kurt Blurt (00:54:05)

    Recurring Characters Update (01:09:40)

    Kurt Cameo (01:09:55)

    VonneWHAT (01:10:15)

    The Meat (01:13:25)

    VonneGRADES (01:18:45)

    Related Reading (01:21:25)

    Vonnegut News (01:26:25)

    • 1 hr 30 min
    God Bless You, Dr. Kevorkian

    God Bless You, Dr. Kevorkian

    Cosmologut (0:00:50)
    Vonne-Interviews (0:07:00)
    Kurt Vonnegut reading Mary Ainsworth interview (0:14:45)
    Vognettes (0:26:05)
    Kurt Blurt (0:59:50)
    Recurring Characters Update (1:05:50)
    Kurt Cameo (1:06:00)
    VonneWHAT (1:06:45)
    The Meat (1:09:00)
    VonneGRADES (1:15:45)
    Related Reading (1:17:20)

    • 1 hr 25 min
    Bagombo Snuff Box

    Bagombo Snuff Box

    Franken-Time (00:01:10)
    Intro Time (00:08:15)
    Creative Writing 101 (00:13:45)
    Story Time (00:20:45)
    Coda Time (01:30:45)
    Kurt Blurt (01:40:35)
    Recurring Characters Update (01:41:05)
    VonneWHAT (01:42:40
    VonneGRADES (01:46:45)
    Related Reading (01:51:10)

    • 1 hr 59 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
292 Ratings

292 Ratings

Jeff Guindon ,

Good stuff

This podcast got me excited about reading again

just a vonnegut fan! ,

The new DOC

I wanna hear your views on the new Documentary out soon!!!!

Indy Kurt Fan ,

In-Depth & Accessible

This is great for long-time Vonnegut fans and people just picking up the book. I love how much research the hosts put into each book and how it relates to KVJ's other books and SciFi/literature in general. They really engage with the themes of the books, provide a detailed description of the plot, and aren't afraid to point out where Kurt came up short, particularly his sexism. It really helps you appreciate & understand the full context of his work, and revisit classics you've read years ago.

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