When I think about Vonnegut, it brings back memories of my own undergraduate years, when it seemed lile everyone on campus would trade the curly one's novels back and forth. He truly was a BMOC, back in the day.
My heavier friends considered him a bit of a lightweight, however. Their preferences were along the lines of Hesse and Castaneda. But these were the same guys that were also into certain music -- such as Weather Report and Gentle Giant-- that I had a hard time getting my hands around, and those two writers had the same effect on me. For this middle class kid going to a middle class college and not wanting to push his brain too far into overdrive, Mr Vonnegut did the trick just fine. His works were accessible, to say the least, humorous and perfectly timed.
Not bad for a former GE-Schenectady PR flack, huh? Go check (or revisit) out his breakthorugh novel Player Piano, and see how his brief tenure over at Edison's Garage shaped his view of the world and sent him on the way to fame and glory.