Not all of the fourteen stories in Look at the Birdie are a complete loss. A couple look like “Harrison Bergeron” compared to the others. But a couple hits among a plethora of misses isn’t enough for me to up Look at the Birdie from a 1 to a 2.
For the most part, the stories contained within its covers aren’t just disappointing, like most of the unpublished material the publishers dredged up. It’s also lacking in the level of wit one expects from Vonnegut.
As in Fever Pitch, I struggled to even find attempts at humor, let alone successful ones. These were rare instances of Vonnegut telling it straight and, let me tell you, he doesn’t fare well.
No differently than the other posthumous collections, this is only for Vonnegut completionists such as myself. Trust me, there’s a reason Vonnegut left these unpublished.
Travis Smith’s blog, containing this review, as well as others, photography, and more, can be found here.