Posted in Short Stories

“Show us which button to push, Lou.”

Last week, Jay at Bibliophilopolis posted about Kurt Vonnegut’s short story, “The Package”, included in the collection Bagombo Snuff Box.  He didn’t disclose the story’s ending but made the build up so interesting that I had to give it a try.  It was well worth it.  I won’t go into all the details of the story because you can read both the story and Jay’s post for yourself.

The story’s timeframe and setting was both brilliant and humorous,  a good way of describing much of Vonnegut’s work.  The encounter between pull-himself-up-by-his-bootstraps Earl and born-with-a-silver-spoon-in-his-mouth Charley takes place over the course of a few hours, decades after the two were fraternity brothers in college, while Earl and his wife are discovering their brand new large house with photographers from Home Beautiful magazine.  The home comes with all the latest gadgets requiring the continuous pushing of buttons.

While the ending has a certain twist to it, Vonnegut really gives you everything you need to know throughout the story in order for the ending to “ring true”.  The story is one of my favorites so far this year.

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