Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Jailbird - post II

Without going overboard Vonnegut paints a picture of corruption not just in the Nixon administration but also at the heart of the top tier of American politics and business. As he links in with themes not just of Watergate but also how large corporations are running most of the country he is able to build up a much more subtle indictment of corruption than if he had gone for its hammer and tongs.

Bullet points between pages 40 – 130

* Walter Starbuck is a difficult target for the zealous Christian trying to have one last time converting him to the right path before Starbuck leaves prison and the lead character is finally taken out of his cell by his guard

* As he wanders over to the main gate and freedom he coincides with the arrival of one of the senior government ministers being sent into serve his term for corruption charges

* Starbuck gets in the convicts limousine and heads off into the city and then travels to New York to stay in a hotel he once stayed the night in when he took his first girlfriend out for a meal

* It was a disaster because he had been told to behave like an aristocrat by his mentor Alexander McCone and he blew it by over tipping a violin player and appearing to rub his dates nose in his wealth

* He came clean about what he was doing and they became friends but never married because she ended up with one of his good friends Leland Clewes, who Starbuck had betrayed in the anti-communist witch hunt of the post-way years

* His betrayal of Clewes, who served time in prison and had his political ambitions ruined, lost Starbuck a lot of friends and made it very difficult to get a job or even now have someone to lean on after he came out of prison

* He heads back to New York stays in the hotel where it is so run down they are amazed he has made a reservation and then he wanders into the quarter of the city where his old betrayed friend lives

* He spots Leland Clewes before he in turn is seen and although he could turn and walk away he stays rooted to the spot making a meeting between the two old friends inevitable

More tonight….

No comments: