One of Vonnegut's favorite recurring characters, Kilgore Trout, is invited to a Festival of the Arts in Midland City, to speak at the opening of a new arts center. This book tells the story of Trout's journey, with parallel stories for the characters he will meet when he arrives in Midland City.
Vonnegut uses very dark humor and satire to novelize society's wretched underbelly of shortcomings: racism, sexism, inhumanity, war, advertising, apathy, pollution, and so on -- it's all exposed to daylight. I enjoyed the metafiction component and Vonnegut's own sketches which are sprinkled throughout the print text.
The message is intricate, immense, and simple all at the same time. To quote another of his stories, it seems to always boil down to this: G*d dammit, you've got to be kind.
WARNING:Gallows humor and heavy satire infuse this story. If you don't appreciate or are unfamiliar with satire, you'll be offended by this book.