Updated: Nov 12, 2021
Kurt Vonnegut is an author that has influenced so many of my favorite pieces of content. because why and the way he told stories. He was a postmodern writer who used straight-to-the-point sentences and simple language that could help all the smartest town fools and all the foolish clever men to understand the meaning behind it. He was honest. He criticized technology over humanity., American society, war, and capitalism. He pondered over life's purpose and time itself. All the while making you laugh along the way. His use of meta-commentary gives these books so many dog-eared pages. I want to give a breakdown of each book in depth. I regret being so late In the process. I have been reading the first 7 books he published in his career throughout the course of the year. When I complete the book, I send a text to my group chat. These reviews are typed and complete in under five minutes. These are shoot at the hip thoughts. I will take a deeper dive looking at the symmetry, connections, hall of fame pages down the road. Before that though, here are my quick thoughts of the books I have read so far. (Unedited from the day I texted them. If you want to get a better sense of the type of writer Kurt was, watch this dope video of him explaining the craft and excellent storytelling. Keep scrolling for the reviews. This post will continuously be updated the more I read.
Player Piano (1952)
Saturday, May 29th, 8:13 AM
Interesting to go back and see how it all began. Comp it to going back watching your favorite athlete's rookie season. To see the seeds and roots before the growth. Kurt Vonnegut has not found his voice yet but his footing has a writer still better than most with his debut novel. A more off-beat dystopia, about how machines can do most of the jobs for us, and regular joes don't have to. His warning misses the mark because of how creative you can be with tools/tech that is given to us, BUT how many people use those tools for ideas and self-discovery? He hits in on the head with corporate culture, For anyone that resonates with Bob Dylan's lyrics "gargles in the rat race choir/Bent out of shape from society’s pliers" this book might be for you. Kurt here asks the question of what are people for? When the rise of automation and technology eliminates any need for purpose and self-worth? BUT Do people really want that independence again? To make, to create, to live? Or is it simply too damn hard after how we have been conditioned?
8.5/10 but must read if you ever go down the Vonnegut rabbit hole
Let's have a great Saturday gents.
The Sirens of Titan (1959)
Monday, June 7th, 2:47 PM
Ahhh. Another one down. A gem at that. Questions of what's free will? Purpose? What is moral and immoral? Are questions that can be too broad and perhaps too cliche - dense- dry- boring? If there is something controlling us, does that matter? Can we still get something out of life? Can bad things be justified for good causes? Are we all destined for something? I don’t know. Vonnegut doesn’t pretend to know either, but he gives a lens and a context to give us his best guess in one of the most fun zany plots I have had the privilege to read. It has been a long time I have not wanted to put a book down, not just because of the message, but how the message is being executed in a story. There is a reason Dan Harmon is adapting this into a show. (Potentially) The deep dive into these thematic devices has never been so hilarious. 9.5 out of 10. The plot can feel rushed at times and want more details because the world he creates is so enthralling but it's okay. Did not get too far into hitchhikers guide, but the closest comp I can think of, and Rick and Morty of course. Highly recommend. Go on this adventure of a handsome billionaire travels across space, as another predicts his future and the purpose of all humanity
Let's have a good day boys
GOODBYE BLUE MONDAY
Mother Night (1962)
Tuesday, August 3rd, 6:59 PM
"We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be."
Kurt does something interesting here. He writes a fictional memoir written by Howard J Campbell edited by Kurt Vonnegut. A play on how to construct a narrative when we are controlled by them. Really interesting and such a playful way of writing to take it off of you and put it on your character. He does some funny things with this. Howard writes and explains his tenure as a spy of WW 2 while he is tried as being a nazi. He was a writer but mostly a propaganda machine for ole Hitler. Kurt here breaks down not only how dumb and easily influenced we are by media, but how it's leveraged to fuel any nationalistic agenda (real estate) that we are then even more conditioned by to perhaps even start a war, but what part do you play in it? Can you justify it? What is more powerful, The ideas? Or the armies carrying them out? Morally gray book. Some plot points were easily deduced which made the read less engaging than past experiences with Vonnegut but has some hot streaks
8.8 out of 10. Maybe higher if I didn't stop and take so many breaks through the summer.
Happy Tuesday boys!
Cat's Cradle (1963)
I have not read it since college. Need to re-read. I recommend it fully though.
God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater (1965)
Friday, November 12th, 10:44 AM
This one pains me with laugher and gives us the truth of our class structure in America. The book poses fewer questions but gives you hard answers. Life is not fair. We are not born equal. The rich get richer and the poor stay poor. We already know about the rigged system we called life, but Kurt writes it in a way that makes us feel better about it. He does something interesting here and he tells us the main character of the book is a large sum of money. That is how he literally starts it. Everyone becomes less human because they have more of it or less of it for different reasons. The only thing we can do is be kind to one another. That is the real value and gift of being human. Go on this very off-beat not much going on a tale about Eliot Rosewater a trust-fund millionaire who runs a help center to those are now deemed utterly useless. The story does not have many ups and downs. When you think it will be more dramatic, it just drops the curtain more on our life by showing how wealth has impacted a number of people. Some might get bored with it, but I thought was wonderful.
Only keeps getting more relevant. 9.25 out of 10
Next in the queue
Breakfast of Champions (1973)
Saturday, May 22, 11:35 AM
Idk where I put it in my rankings of books. (Can I?) But def one of the most unique and the ending the most cathartic. For anyone who likes metafiction, takes it to another level. Deconstructing not just the literary world but our own through beautiful prose and introspection. going levels deeper than I have seen before Can't even give this book a grade because it's beyond arbitrary letters and numbers.
I do not know how if I will continue after BOC, but I admire his work. The guy constantly inspires me about life and my own creative ideas. Kurt created his own report card for some of his books. I agree with some, but not others check it out below.
Thanks for reading faithful readers