logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: Kurt-Vonnegut
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-11-07 02:40
Hocus Pocus ★☆☆☆☆ (DNF)
Hocus Pocus - Kurt Vonnegut

I gave it my best for 40 pages, but finally just saw no reason to continue. This book does have a perverse sort of humor and is funny in places, but it was also off-puttingly angry. The conceit of this book is that it is the disjointed scribblings of a (possibly mad) man who is imprisoned in a library, and he decides to write his life story on random little scraps of paper he found laying about. So even as I recognize that the story's rambly structure and style is meant to illustrate the set up, I still found myself utterly unable to summon the will to keep reading. YMMV

 

DNF at 40/325 pages. Paperback, picked up from... somewhere, and had been sitting on my shelf for 3 years. Fly free now, little book, and I hope you end up with someone who wants to read this kind of drivel. 

 

I was attempting to read this for The 24 Tasks of the Festive Season game, for door 19 Festivus (Dec. 23) book task: Read any comedy, parody, or satire. Instead, I'm going to listen to the audio of Carol Burnett's In Such Good Company

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2018-11-05 13:18
Hocus Pocus - 0/324pg
Hocus Pocus - Kurt Vonnegut

It's probably a bad sign when I'm already expecting I might DNF a book before I've even read the first page, but I have very low expectations here. I picked this up on a whim at a used books sale, but I'm always hit/miss with Vonnegut and based on other user reviews this is going to fall into the dark humor category as I see descriptions of both "funny" and "angry". Also, it also relies on a shifting timeline narrative and I think I've probably had enough of that from the book I just finished. 

 

Oh, well. I'm reading this for The 24 Tasks of the Festive Season game, for the Festivus door, and if I hate it then I have a Calvin and Hobbes book as an alternate. And although those cartoons are also an acerbic social commentary, they are still more fun than angry, so I won't have trouble finishing THAT one, for sure. 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-08-14 21:05
Review of Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
Cat's Cradle - Kurt Vonnegut

Vonnegut is certainly quirky, but I always enjoy his novels.  This book sarcastically looks at life and death, weapons of mass destruction, religion, and relationships.  The book moves quickly with 127 chapters - each only a few pages long.  The story itself is somewhat interesting, but really just a means to an end for Vonnegut to make his points.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-04-14 19:42
An important book of its time
The Seventh Cross - Anna Seghers,James A. Galston,Kurt Vonnegut

Without doubt one of the main issues that often causes concerns when talking about the 2WW is just how much information the everyday German populace received or knew about what the Nazi party were involved in on a day to day basis. Here of course we are referring to genocide and the manipulation and control of not only the German people but those in neighbouring countries which soon fell under the control of jack booted terrorists and in particular the annihilation of groups who did not conform to the Nazi Aryan ideology. So digging deep within the storyline of The Seventh Cross we are almost exclusively given a glimpse into the thinking of the everyday German at that time and in particular their knowledge or lack of just what was happening on a daily basis. Did they know of the existence of concentration camps in the years immediately before war broke out? And if they did know were they supportive? Did they condone what was going on? Were they prepared to help individuals who were incarcerated and brutally beaten for merely condoning a particular belief?

 

Anna Seghers book is of particular significance as it a product of its time. It paints a picture of a country in change/turmoil but most importantly it is written from someone who actually lived through the rise of Nazism, the emergence of an elitist SS, the indoctrination of the very young into the Hitler Youth, the brown uniforms and fascist beliefs held by the SA whose official role was to protect party meetings, march in Nazi rallies and physically assault and intimidate political opponents. 7 men imprisoned in the fictitious Westhofen camp have escaped. George Heisler, a communist, is the main character and the story follows him negotiating the outlying countryside and taking shelter with those who were prepared to risk the wrath and torture of the Gestapo. As the story unfolds six of the escapees are gradually captured. The title of The Seventh Cross refers to the work of the camp commandant "Fahrenberg" where he has ordered the creation of seven crosses from nearby trees to be used when prisoners are returned not as a means of crucifixion but a subtler torture: the escapees are made to stand all day in front of their crosses, and will be punished if they falter. As in historical document this is an important work primarily because it portrays the mindset of the German people; would they adhere to the barbarous actions of a ruthless government in waiting or were they prepared to stretch out the hand of friendship and help the escapees.

 

I must confess that as a story I did not find the book as well written as I had hoped (that honour must certainly go to the wonderful Alone in Berlin by Hans Fallada. and the dangerous actions that Otto Quangel takes when he discovers that his son has been killed on the Russian front) yet it is still an excellent account of its time, written by a lady who herself was a committed communist. Many thanks to the good people at netgalley and the publisher Little Brown Book Group UK, Virago for a gratis copy in exchange for an honest review and that is what I have written.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-04-10 21:52
The First Vonnegut
Player Piano - Kurt Vonnegut

Well, this was disappointing.

 

Player Piano was not a good book, although everything about it seemed so promising at first – I hate it, when that happens! I really adore Vonnegut, therefore it is hard for me to admit, that he really did come a long way since his first novel and that he was not born the amazing writer I know him to be. Also, on the bright side – I am now convinced, that there is hope for every single amateur writer out there.

 

The whole story of a couple of very smart people planning a revolution and to overthrow the system (which I had a very hard time getting into right from the start) reminded me a lot of Superstoe and I am wondering if Mr. Borden was a fan of Vonnegut as well? Probably.

 

But instead of rambling and complaining about why I didn’t like Player Piano I tried to find something to take away from having read it. You know, always focus on the glass that is half-full. So I interpret it as a search for a purpose in life, because as comfortable as it is if you’re provided for concerning all your basic needs, it does not quite make life worth living per se (especially if machines are doing all the providing-work). Everybody needs a purpose in life and wants to feel useful in some way or another. The other thing I am taking away from Player Piano is the importance to just give a damn about what you are doing. I think this is something I (if not we all) ought to embrace more these days.

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?