Sunday, November 13, 2016

Ten of the best books by Kurt Vonnegut

Marc Leeds is the author of The Vonnegut Encyclopedia, co-founder and founding president of the Kurt Vonnegut Society, and a founding board member of the Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library in Indianapolis.

One of ten essential Vonnegut books he tagged at Publishers Weekly:
The Sirens of Titan

The premise of the novel is that all of human history has been one big Rube Goldberg invention by the Tralfamadorians for the single purpose of getting a spare part to their stranded but intrepid intergalactic messenger, Salo. It takes nearly all of human history to do so.

Beyond that grossly inadequate summary, Sirens is the birthplace for key Vonnegutian concepts that reappear in later novels. It is here we first learn of Tralfamadore, as well as the chrono-synclastic infundibulum (where otherwise contradictory viewpoints are all truthful), and the untoward influences of organized religion that has too often been wielded with vengeance. It is also a continuation of Vonnegut’s literary and personal struggle with identity and the capriciousness of wealth and desire.
Learn about the other books on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue