I've always loved Vonnegut, but this book is very different from his others. In most cases (Breakfast of Champions, Timequake, etc.), Vonnegut is a master of narrative distance. His stories are reminiscent of a rambling old man's fairy tales; they're very spacey and overblown. That's not the case here. This novel is special, because while most authors hide behind their stories, Vonnegut does not. We go into it expecting to see an author, but we're shocked and delighted to find a man. It feels as if he's personally sitting down to tell you his life story- but he intertwines it with his own warped perceptions of reality, painting a convoluted but beautiful picture of his own internal twistedness and the fact that - even after years and years - he never really left that morning in Dresden, when he stepped into the sunlight to find a city turned to dust overnight.
"Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt."
It seems, to me, that this story was the first and only of his writings to truly delve into the soul of its author. Really, this story is what writing is all about- not profit, not hobby, but to use stories about others to help us better understand ourselves, and the way this beautiful, disastrous human race eternally lives, fights, and struggles for balance.
It's the best piece of Vonnegut out there.