A writer, or any man, must believe that whatever happens to him is an instrument; everything has been given for an end. This is even stronger in the case of the artist. Everything that happens, including humiliations, embarrassments, misfortunes, all has been given like clay, like material for one's art. One must accept it. For this reason I speak in a poem of the ancient food of heroes: humiliation, unhappiness, discord. Those things are given to us to transform, so that we may make from the miserable circumstances of our lives the things that are eternal, or aspire to be.
A solid study of how man has used religion and ritual, from "primitive" to "historical" (i.e. modern) times, to deal with the vagaries of life and the "terror of history". It's always interesting to see the similarities between various people's beliefs and how religions, such as Christianity, absorbed or even perpetuated beliefs and myths that had been around for hundreds of years. Read it if you have any interest in the use/development of religions, or the philosophy of history.
Funny, learned, and bizarre. If any of those things appeal to you, you'll probably enjoy this book. Certain elements of the story reminded me of Cat's Cradle, but not in an he-obviously-copied-Vonnegut way.