Vonnegut's second piece I'm getting around to (after Slaughterhouse Five) is a witty and satirical post-modernist piece that is about nothing and everything. The prose takes time to get used to, there is little to no plot to speak of, and there's no point to the novel, which Vonnegut himself indirectly admits at one point, telling us that the worst books are one which do have a lesson - because there's no such thing in real life.
BoC follows a uniquely original medley of characters and backstories who live in a town colloquially known as “the asshole of America”, as they go about their everyday lives. The satire ranges from Trout's stories poking fun at how seriously we take our arbitrary notions, to pointing out ingrained and internalised sexism, racism, consumerism and even some throwaway discussions on the environment.
Vonnegut's self-insertion, the amateurish drawings on display (always prefaced with “they look something like this”), and his warped worldview make for quite the ride. Even though I can understand why some might deride this, it made for brutal, maximalist and hilariously poignant reading. You go from “how the fuck did someone think of this?” to “yeah, I'm going to hell for laughing at this” in five seconds flat, and those are the best kinds of novels, as we all know. And so on.