About the book (from jacket flap):
Slapstick is the story of Wilbur Rockefeller Swain and his twin sister, Eliza, who are so immensely hideous, helpless and vile in their infancy that their wealthy parents are forced to send them to live in a grand richly-furnished mansion surrounded by apple trees on a nearby asteroid. Here they are ministered to by servants who must hose them down after meals and perform the other chores called for by children who simply grow more preposterous each day. Meanwhile the twins are, unsuspected, learning Greek, Latin and reading the world’s great literature in secret passages between the mansion’s walls.
How Wilbur goes on to become the President on the United States and eventually abide old age in a nest of rags in the Empire State Building makes astonishing reading. How Eliza is separated from her brother, spurned by society and tragically dies in a Martian avalanche is almost unbearably moving. Kurt Vonnegut has said that Slapstick is the closest he will ever come to writing an autobiography. It shows what life feels like to him. He has called it Slapstick because it is ‘grotesque situation poetry’ like the films of Laurel and Hardy. It is also Vonnegut’s most hilarious writing to date.