Kurt Vonnegut

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Kurt Vonnegut

Postby DavidTate on Tuesday, 23 September 2008, 11:29 pm

Is Kurt Vonnegut a less-than-one-star author in your view, or are you not familiar with his speculative fiction works? Of the few I have read, I would say that Slaughterhouse Five, Player Piano, Cat's Cradle, and Slapstick are clearly sf. All of those are good, and there was a time when I thought Slapstick was great. I haven't re-read it since college, though, so it would be hard for me to make a confident assertion at this point. The Sirens of Titan is certainly sf, but I have not read it and can't comment on its quality.
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Re: Kurt Vonnegut

Postby owlcroft on Wednesday, 24 September 2008, 5:46 am

I hate to say this out loud, lest the partisans run me out of town, but frankly Vonnegut gives me a pain in the sitter. I find his humor unfunny and his seriousness trivial. He continually wields The Great Hammer Of Obviousness, and I find that if Asimov embodies what 12-year-olds think profound, Vonnegut embodies what collegians think profound.

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Re: Kurt Vonnegut

Postby DavidTate on Wednesday, 24 September 2008, 9:09 am

No disclaimers necessary; it's your site and these are your rankings. I'm certainly not the person to go to the wall in defense of Kurt Vonnegut's place in the pantheon. For one thing, I'd need to go back to Slaughterhouse Five or Slapstick to see if I still feel the same way about them that I once did. As you note, one's collegiate tastes need not be durable. There are books I deliberately avoid re-reading, lest the cold light of middle age reveal their tawdry nature.
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Re: Kurt Vonnegut

Postby Jeroen on Monday, 27 October 2008, 6:54 am

I have read The Sirens of Titan. It is a rather curious book and has a surreal mood. It is written in a tongue-in-cheek language and I'm not sure if that's Vonnegut regular style, but judging on the comments on his other books I suppose it is. It hops a few times to completely different characters and environments but does get together at the end. It's a bit Vonnegut's version of a Douglas Adams novel.

I wasn't really impressed at first, but I realize now that this book has some nice ideas. Some sequences on Mars and Mercury (I believe it was) really got stuck in my memory.
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Re: Kurt Vonnegut

Postby ricky.martin4545 on Saturday, 30 October 2010, 9:18 am

Jeroen wrote:I have read The Sirens of Titan. It is a rather curious book and has a surreal mood. It is written in a tongue-in-cheek language and I'm not sure if that's Vonnegut regular style, but judging on the comments on his other books I suppose it is. It hops a few times to completely different characters and environments but does get together at the end. It's a bit Vonnegut's version of a Douglas Adams novel.

I wasn't really impressed at first, but I realize now that this book has some nice ideas. Some sequences on Mars and Mercury (I believe it was) really got stuck in my memory.

It is written in a tongue-in-cheek language and I'm not sure if that's Vonnegut regular style, but judging on the comments on his other books I suppose it is.
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