Sometimes, I gravitate towards books that shock me. I can’t get enough of a good satire. Mother Night is one such book and the gripping morality tale revolves around this quote:
We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be.
The main character is a US spy who dabbles in evil, spewing Nazi Propaganda in order to be convincing enough to the enemy that he is on their side. After World War II the American government refuses to acknowledge his role (because he has played it too well) and in the end he is captured and tried for war crimes.
The title of the book ‘Mother Night is taken from Goethe’s “Faust”. I read the play by Christopher Marlowe which was based on Faust, and found it an extremely disturbing. Dr Faustus signs away his soul for the greed of temporary power. It all seems such a waste to me.
Vonnegut graded his own work and this is one of his books that he gave an A+ to. The humble writer even graded some of his books with a C as revealed in this interview.
Nick Nolte starred in a movie version of the book which I haven’t watched.