Vonnegut

Discussion in 'Books' started by backtothelab, May 15, 2004.

  1. backtothelab

    backtothelab Senior Member

    KV is such an amazing author, my absolute favorite. I love how his stories never have to be about anything. They are'nt sci fi or fantasy or mystery or floklore or romance, they just are. I mean, the amount of characters and plot intricacy just astounds me. What's everyone's fav and why
     
  2. darsunt

    darsunt Member

    Vonnegut is great. He tries to see things beyond the rose colored glasses that the government and media want to put on our eyes. The result are his worlds are closer to the strangeness of reality, at the same time more wonderful and more terrible than the bland 'reality' we are spoonfed every day.

    The only title I can remember is Cat's Cradle. Two idealistic westerners come to a poor isolated island, filled with ex-slaves, and they try to create a better society. But they find they cannot overcome the grinding poverty and the reality of human nature. So in the end they decide to play a game just to keep the population happy. One plays the evil oppressor (the official government) and one plays the heroic rebel. Over time both idealists become psychotic and start believing their roles, and the violence grows. In the end, because of some technology introduced by the outside world, this crazy society brings the whole world to an end.

    Facinating ideas, and very dark. But considering how crazy the real world is, I suspect his reality is closer to the truth than the 'reality' most people believe in.
     
  3. Aditi

    Aditi Member

    i just finished kv's hocus pocus. he wrote it on scaps of paper, so it is divided into small sections that bounce from vietnam stories, to stories from the characters teaching days, to the story of his life, and the life of this town where there is a college for dumb rich kids who can't get in anywhere else and across the lake there is a prison run by a japanese company housing 90% black inmate population. he gets fired from his job, because the uptight trustees think he is giving students a bleek worldview and anti-american sentiment (in other words, the truth, classic kv style). he gets a job teaching at the prison. there is a prison break, and the inmates (calling themselves freedom fighters) run over the town - killing dozens. the social commentary and all in this book about war, health care, class division and all is great. the irony he constantly throws in your face is hilarious.
    i also read breakfast of champions. kilgore trout is awesome.
    i am reading timequake now. there is a glitch in the time space contineum, ans the year goes from 2001 back to 1991. everyone must live the last ten years of their lives again, and they can't change a thing. torture, learning experience. hmmmm. anyway i love vonnegut. he amazes me. he says something like, for a nuclear physicist on a planet where the smartest beings want to die so bad, there is no need for apologies. anyway -- later all
     
  4. Acorn

    Acorn Member

    my brother really likes his books, i just started reading cats cradle. its good but i thought i understood when he says: "all of the true things i am about to tell you are shamelss lies." now im not so sure, the more i think about it the more confused i get.
     
  5. darsunt

    darsunt Member

    I think what Vonnegut means is that the person speaking is a politician speaking honestly. That he knows we want him to tell us truths, he knows we want to believe him. But actually he is telling us outrageous lies...and he knows we might believe him even though he's admitting that he is telling lies.

    If that helps.
     
  6. FreakyJoeMan

    FreakyJoeMan 100% Batshit Insane

    Ups to K-Von :p Ya know, he's the Prez of the American Humanists Society. :)
     
  7. the word for this is prevarication-look it up fits the quote to the T
     
  8. ImaPeach

    ImaPeach Member

    i just got Slaughter House 5 from an op shop today. Never read any kv before and can't wait to start reading it! only problem is it's a second hand book and smells pretty funky. but that's what you get for 50c i spose!
     
  9. scarlettchasingroses

    scarlettchasingroses strawberry tart

    i really enjoyed breakfast of champions.....slaughterhouse 5 is very good as well...there hasn't been a book by him that i didn't enjoy.....the man is a genius....
     
  10. darsunt

    darsunt Member

    Slaughterhouse 5 was great. The main character, Billy Pilgrim meets a spaceship in his middle age, which enables him to travel back and forth in time throughout his life. The most crucial period is his experiences when he is caught up in the American defeat at the Battle of the Bulge.

    Vonnegut uses the strangest techniques in his books, such as time travel. But I think these techniques enable him to show us how strange life really is...as opposed to how life is supposed to be.

    The key quote in the book is this I think (this is memory, it may not be exact)

    give me the strength to change the things I can
    courage to accept the things I cannot change
    and wisdom always to know the difference
     
  11. sky_pink

    sky_pink er... what's the time?

    I like the fact that's there's something very instinctive about understanding Vonnegut's "truths".
     
  12. Tradere

    Tradere Member

    Galapagos is my favorite Vonnegut book...It's about Evolution...But the best thing about it is the moral...how human brains are too big to be practical...Wow it changed the way I thought about human thinking.
     

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