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This selection of commencement speeches from legendary author Kurt Vonnegut will prove a thoroughly comforting companion for recent graduates as they move out into the so-called real world and attempt to determine their own place within that often overwhelming realm.

Vonnegut's advice, dispensed at countless graduation ceremonies over the course of his life, is by turns moving and comical, indelibly stamped with his unique outlook on the world, and voice actors Kevin T. Collins and Scott Brick take great pains to capture his distinctive authorial tone in their performance. Vonnegut is sometimes sardonic, sometimes sarcastic, sometimes straightforward, but he is always empathetic, a fact well-reflected in Collins and Brick's thoughtful narration of this inspiring work.

Publisher's Summary

Master storyteller and satirist Kurt Vonnegut was one of the most in-demand commencement speakers of his time. For each occasion, Vonnegut’s words were unfailingly unique, insightful, and witty, and they stayed with audience members long after graduation.

As edited by Dan Wakefield, this book reads like a narrative in the unique voice that made Vonnegut a hero to readers and listeners of all ages. At times hilarious, razor-sharp, freewheeling, and deeply serious, these reflections are ideal for anyone undergoing what Vonnegut would call their "long-delayed puberty ceremony" - marking the passage from student to full-time adult.

This book makes the perfect gift for high school or college graduates - or for parents and grandparents who remember Vonnegut fondly and want to connect with him in a new context.

©2013 Kurt Vonnegut Jr. Copyright Trust (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about If This Isn't Nice, What Is?

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woah

I might have to listen to it 3-4 times to fully grasp it. Having said that, I do think this was a great book that surely made me wiser than I was before.

I highly recommend it

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  • nina
  • 23-03-14

This IS nice

What did you love best about If This Isn't Nice, What Is??

The man! I love his wisdom, his simple way of telling truths we all need to hear. He is funny, also when he talks about serious topics

Who was your favorite character and why?

Vonnegut himself

What did you learn from If This Isn't Nice, What Is? that you would use in your daily life?

I wrote a blog post after listening to it, about following your dreams. I felt inspired to talk about my knowledge in psychology, and thought I must learn to say important things like he does. I will listen to it again, to use some of the questions he asks, with clients

7 people found this helpful

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  • Blair K. Hartman
  • 01-11-16

Lovely

This is a nice little collection of speeches from an excellent writer and thinker. If you're very familiar with the author, you probably won't find much new, but it is an easy and concise read that will stimulate your mind weather you agree with him or not.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Wayne
  • 05-12-18

Life advice from the ultimate cynic

Life advice from Kurt Vonnegut narrated by Scott Brick is worthwhile listening even if one disagrees with much of it.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Steven Ray Hill
  • 06-01-20

What can I say!

The master of pointing out the obvious that most people overlook said it all again.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Pen&Paper
  • 23-06-16

Wonderfully. quotable

Great ideas for new grads and also for anyone who is thoughtful about life. I'll listen tho this again and again because of this isn't nice, what is?

4 people found this helpful

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  • JackMargo
  • 01-06-16

Loved it!

Five stars all around! A wonderful book full of wisdom and thought provoking ideas. This ought to be required reading in college English 101.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Trent Greenwell
  • 10-04-17

If this isn't nice, what is?

Great messages cleverly delivered by the author and well-performed by the reader. Some content repeats from speech to speech, but not at any detriment to the overall experience.

2 people found this helpful

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  • R. Robinson
  • 12-09-15

Loved this book!

I found this audio book entertaining, thought provoking, and funny. I highly recommend this book.

2 people found this helpful

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  • JM
  • 26-01-22

Very Good, Highly Enjoyable

This is a very good book, I really enjoyed it, Recommend for the young and old alike, a collection of commencement speeches from Kurt Vonnegut, There are fourteen speeches in all (11 at colleges; the Indiana Civil Liberties Union speech; the speech when he received the Carl Sandburg Award; and the anti-war speech he gave months after the publication of Slaughterhouse-Five. Kevin T. Collins and especially Scott Brick were awesome as narrators.

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  • RDP
  • 09-05-22

If it wasn’t for Scott Brick it would not have happened!

What you may ask? The finishing of the book. I never liked Kurt Vonnegut‘s style Or his “I cannot expect you to understand” attitude but Scott Brick’s reading of it made it enjoyable.

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  • A Friend
  • 13-03-16

a delight to the ears

It goes without saying that Vonneguts words are all absolutely masterful. An amazing guy. I only got this as I saw it was £2 and didn't expect much but I'm so glad I did. I'm sure I'll be listening to this many more times yet

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  • Dave Woodall
  • 24-07-22

Excellent life advice with entertaining delivery.

Excellent life advice with entertaining delivery. The content was well shared between the two narrators.

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  • Normas Yakin
  • 27-04-22

i wish I had the same

Same wit and same way of talking. I imagine he was quite an inspiration.

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  • Caroline S.
  • 12-04-22

Confusing!

Although I did enjoy KV's commentary, I found it hard to follow (not from a logic standpoint, but that it seemed to be snippets of speeches that followed no logical flow). I think overall, this would have been better presented by themes rather than talks.

The narrator was good.

I've read KV's works before. Although I don't agree 100% with his POV, all the time, he is a legend of our time

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  • Mr Chris Green
  • 11-04-22

Great but lots repeated

I wish they had edited it so we didn’t get the slightly different retelling of the same story or advice. Otherwise great

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  • sochel rogers
  • 22-11-21

Well read recount of Vonnegut's wisdom to youth

Obviously, it's wisdom for everyone. Profound and very human view of the world and the rules for making life worth living.
Excellently narrated

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  • Steve R
  • 07-09-21

absolute pap and general know it all meanderings

claptrap, bilge and an unlistenable dirge from somebody who loved to prattle on. If it wasn't free then I'd be angry, as it is I'm just mildly vexed

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  • LC
  • 16-08-21

Thought provoking and fun

I enjoyed this speech/talk and found it interesting and fun as well as containing genuinely useful advice

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  • Duncan Russell
  • 04-01-21

heartwarming freethinking compassionate funny

Kurt Vonnegut holds his wisdom and his childlike wonder in either hand and shows them to us so that we may marvel at both. It made me happy to listen to his speeches. True, there is repetition and not too many themes, but I didn't care. It's just so refreshing to hear such a cogent and brave American voice speak so well about the human condition and what is required of us as Planet Earth's most destructive tenants.

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  • H. Fosdike
  • 16-03-18

Just wonderful

It's Kurt Vonnegut giving life advice. What's not to like? As his Uncle used to say, if this isn't nice, what is?

The narration is clear and makes for an easy listen. A lovely way to spend a few hours even if a few moments in the book are repetitive.

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  • Michael Fleming
  • 24-08-21

So it goes

A unique intellect so beautifully expressed. wisdom gleaned from a life you couldn’t make up.