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Short story by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., included in the collection Welcome to the Monkey House. First published in Ladies' Home Journal, 1960.

Reading Kurt Vonnegut has always been difficult for me - his cynicism weighs me down, and I get sad and snarly. When I rediscover the balance between his spikiness, and his true love of good words, that's when I remember that his books make me swim as well as sink.

Whenever I get to feeling literarily guilty and know I should fill in my Vonnegut gaps, I start with Long Walk to Forever. It's a quick read, only 7 pages or so, simple enough plot. It's a love story, non-controversial, easy to imagine published in Ladies' Home Journal between an article on breastfeeding and recipes for summer squash.

It's wonderful - please don't let the words "love story" turn you off. No one could have told this one quite like Vonnegut, and every time I read it, it makes me curious to see what else he can do that no one else can, how many ways he might surprise me with his strange brain and lyrics.

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