View Full Version : Other Kurt Vonnegut fans?

08-30-2001, 02:02 AM
Ok, welcome to the second thread I've ever started :)
If there are (and I would certainly hope so) any other Vonnegut fans out there: What's your favorite Vonnegut book?
For me it's either "Galapagos" or "Timequake", very hard to decide. Are there any "sleepers" our there that I should try to get my hands on? Any other authors that I'd love? I need something to read in between classes so I have an excuse not to study...help me out here.

08-30-2001, 02:49 AM
Yup, me too!

Cat's Cradle is my favorite, followed by Breakfast of Champions...

Oh! And Slaughterhouse 5...

08-30-2001, 03:01 AM
His last book, Timequake is my faveorite. He's so twisted and sick.... so dreamy

08-30-2001, 03:10 AM
Slaughter House Five will always be my favorite. I read it in college and grew to appreciate it more when my daughter read it for a high school lit class.

His bouts with mental illness make his work more intriguing; they had to lead to writing this book.

Here are some great sites:



08-30-2001, 05:37 AM
"Mother Night", also well worth watching the film. Great performance by Nick Nolte.

08-30-2001, 08:12 AM
Another Vonnegut fan, here... I've read all of his books (that I know of, that is). I'd have to go with Slaughterhouse 5 and Breakfast of Champions.

Look for Venus on the Half-Shell by Kilgore Trout. While not actually written by KV, it's still a fun read. (and no, it's not REALLY by Kilgore Trout, either. Phillip Jose Farmer, I think?)

08-30-2001, 08:19 AM
Killgore Trout was I character in some of Vonnegut's books right? I thought Killgore Trout was just Vonnegut under an Alias.
Never read anything by KT though

08-30-2001, 09:39 AM
Cat's Cradle

08-30-2001, 09:45 AM
I've also read and enjoyed nearly everything he has written.

Hard to choose favorites, though. Maybe Cat's Cradle, Breakfast of Champions and Mother Night, although Slaughterhouse Five may well be his most important work.
I just reread Bluebeard and enjoyed it much more the second time. I'd only recommend Timequake to people who have read most of his other stuff. It's sort of a farewell book (sad as that may sound).

08-30-2001, 09:51 AM
I did Vonnegut the same way a lot of folks do - all at once, in high school. Unfortunately by the end, I was kind of soured on him, and haven't read anything from Hocus Pocus on. I keep meaning to go back to him, now that I think I can appreciate it a little more. (Which isn't to say I didn't love it all at the time.)

The ones I really enjoyed were Cat's Cradle, Slaughterhouse-Five, and Mother Night. I don't remember much of Galapagos, Deadeye Dick, or Slapstick, as I was burning out on him by that time, but I do remember perkig up for Bluebeard.

Now I need to start rereading all of them again...

08-30-2001, 10:00 AM
By far, my favorite Vonnegut is the commencement address he gave about sunscreen. ;)

Timequake and Slapstick. I seem to be one of the few who truly like Slapstick. Dunno why, though.

08-30-2001, 10:26 AM
I've always enjoyed Vonnegut, not sure I could pick a favorite. I re-read Sirens of Titan recently, and while it was a nostalgic kind of trip it was probably not great literature.

As for the reference to Kilgore Trout, I have always considered Trout to be Vonnegut, the way he perceives himself: interesting ideas but not a great author, at least in the classic sense. His characters are usually less interesting and less fleshed out than his ideas and plot devices, sort of two dimensional.

08-30-2001, 12:09 PM
Does anyone know where I can find the sunscreen address online? I haven't been able to find a useful link yet.
I always assumed that Trout was Vonnegut as well, I never thought to search around for any books by anyone named Trout.

08-30-2001, 12:17 PM
The sunscreen address is not by Vonnegut.


However, the link above does link to the text.

08-30-2001, 12:18 PM
According to Snopes (http://www.snopes2.com/quotes/vonnegut.htm), it wasn't given by Vonnegut, but by Mary Schmich. Do a google search on her name and "sunscreen" and you should find what you're looking for.


Why A Duck
08-30-2001, 12:19 PM
I picked up "Venus on the Half-Shell" (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN%3D0899683061/002-9992272-5864031) years ago at a bookstore. I think it may have been Trout's only published work. Was it great? Not really, but then again at the time I devoured anything KV related.

08-30-2001, 12:20 PM
But here's (http://www.mat.upm.es/~jcm/mary-schmich--wear-sunscreen.html) a copy of the actual speech.


08-30-2001, 12:21 PM
Cats Cradle
Sirens of Titan
Slaughter House 5

08-30-2001, 12:38 PM
I never read Vonnegut in school. When I was a sophmore in college, an incoming freshman introduced me to his work and I devoured it, and love it to this day. My favorites, I guess, are _Cat's Cradle_ (the first one I read) and _Sirens of Titan_. Oh, and _God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater_. Vonnegut takes up a half a shelf in my library, and there are very few authors I can say that about.

Chance the Gardener
08-30-2001, 01:07 PM
I'm with ShibbOleth: it's hard to pick a favorite. I guess I'd have to say that Cat's Cradle, Bluebeard and Mother Night are my favorites—though not necessarily in that order.

I've heard of the book written under the name Kilgore Trout, but I've never read it. I did read something by Vonnegut lately where he finally admits who Kilgore Trout really is. Kilgore Trout is a gentle parody of science-fiction writer Theodore Sturgeon, who died back in the 1980s. While Sturgeon was still alive, Vonnegut didn't like to admit who was Trout's inspiration. But now that Sturgeon is riding that great killdozer in the sky, Vonnegut feels comfortable admitting the origin of this affectionate parody.

Jane D'oh!
08-30-2001, 02:10 PM
Deadeye Dick, Jailbird and Timequake.

I just finished the short stories in Bagamobo Snuff Box. A great collection of his previously published short stories. My dad (80 yrs old!) really enjoyed Bagamobo too! I think the war stories help him come to terms with his own experiences.

08-30-2001, 05:55 PM
Galapagos is my favorite!
And I liked his cameo in Rodney Dangerfield's movie, Back To School.

08-30-2001, 06:27 PM
Mother night is my favorite. Ive read Cats Cradle, Wampeeters foma and granfallons, player piano, breakfast of champions, and a few others.

08-30-2001, 07:07 PM
While were on the topic, am I the only one here who saw (and - I admit - liked, despite the bad reviews) the Breakfast of Champions movie?

08-30-2001, 07:12 PM
I like Vonnegut. Read all that my school library has to offer. (As I'm typing this, Cat's Cradle is sitting next to my computer. I didn't like it very much.)

I prefer his short stories to the novels, though. The novels just seem so unfocused and I keep losing the thread of the story (assuming it existed in the first place). Unfocused can be good, sometimes it isn't. Depends on my mood.


08-30-2001, 07:46 PM
One vote for Welcome to the Monkey House.

custard dragon
09-01-2001, 01:00 AM
I read Vonnegut all at once in high school. My memory of his work is much like the memory of a fabulous night out. I don't recall many specifics, but lord, I know I had a good time.

I've thought about going back to some of those books, but I fear that it would be like East Shinjuku at 10 a.m.

Commander Fortune
09-01-2001, 07:29 AM
I'm reading Palm Sunday, a collection of his speeches and essays, right now. Outstanding.

11-18-2001, 11:17 PM
Cat's Cradle.

11-18-2001, 11:34 PM
Wow, I haven't read any Vonnegut in years. I really loved a lot of the stuff he did. Probably Galapagos is my favorite. It nearly drove me insane with its weird shifts in time ("Three hours later, he would be dead.") but I'm glad I hung in there, it was really rewarding. Sirens of Titan, another favorite, is another one where you really have to hang in there for the ending. I read Mother Night in a day and don't remember much about it, but I remember loving it. I must see the movie sometime.

11-18-2001, 11:38 PM

I'm ashamed to say that while I love Vonnegut, I haven't gotten around to reading everything he's written. I'll have to reread Slaughterhouse Five one of these days just to get my older impression of it, but it didn't jazz me the first time around. I loved The Sirens of Titan, especially the chapter with Boz and the harmoniums. Other faves are Galapagos and Timequake. Oh, and Welcome to the Monkey House.

11-19-2001, 12:41 AM
I love Kurt Vonnegut. His writing has changed the way I view life. The more of his writing that I read, the more I understand and appreciate the messages in the books.

A great writer.

11-19-2001, 01:00 AM
Breakfast of Champions was entertaining. Although, it seemed more like the outline for a novel than an actual novel. Avoid the movie at all costs.

11-19-2001, 01:04 AM
The Kilgore Trout book Venus on the Halfshell was written by Piers Anthony, IIRC. Anywhoo, I read a blurb by whomever wrote it saying that he was a Vonnegut fan and as a struggling writer he really identified with Kilgore Trout and wrote Vonnegut for permission to write the book.

I like everything of his that I've read, but being an Ohioan, there's a special place in my heart for Dead-Eye Dick.

11-19-2001, 01:43 AM
Another vote for Welcome to the Monkeyhouse.
but I will say that Breakfast of Champions is the only book that ever made me laugh outloud.

Doctor Goo Fee
11-19-2001, 01:45 AM
Mr. Vonnegut and I belong to the same karass. We went to the same grade school (PS 43) and high school (Shortridge High School) but not at the same time.

I remember going into Vonnegut Hardware store when I was a little boy. Not sure if it's still open (I think maybe it's an ACE now)

But you say this guy wrote NOVELS? I never knew. Interesting.

11-19-2001, 02:19 AM
You're joking, right?

11-19-2001, 02:37 AM
The Breakfast of Champions and Timequake...*thumbs up*

11-19-2001, 08:53 AM
I'm with Commander Fortune, Palm Sunday is among his best work.

Player Piano is his best novel, especially if you've ever worked for a Ross Perot company.

So it goes.

11-19-2001, 11:13 AM
Originally posted by Tuckerfan
The Kilgore Trout book Venus on the Halfshell was written by Piers Anthony, IIRC. Anywhoo, I read a blurb by whomever wrote it saying that he was a Vonnegut fan and as a struggling writer he really identified with Kilgore Trout and wrote Vonnegut for permission to write the book.

I like everything of his that I've read, but being an Ohioan, there's a special place in my heart for Dead-Eye Dick.

Actually, I heard it was Philip Jose Farmer.

11-19-2001, 05:11 PM
I love Vonnegut.

Just let me 3rd the vote for Welcome to the Monkey House. Some of the stories in there have deep philosophical and/or political power to them, especially when he tries to gaze into the future.

11-20-2001, 11:48 PM
I love Kurt Vonnegut. I have read Slaughterhouse Five, and Breakfast of Champions. We just finished reading Harrison Bergeron in Enclish Class.

Great Dave
11-21-2001, 02:29 PM
hmmm... it's hard to pick just one, especially since I haven't read all of them, and none for a few years now, but I'll say Breakfast of Champions followed closely by all the rest.

11-21-2001, 02:49 PM
Yup - must be time to dig them out again - in an MPSIMS thread I conflated Slaughterhouse-5 & Sirens of Titan.

Like others have said, I went on a Vonnegut kick during my senior year in high school. That & Ayn Rand (what a combo!)

I think I like his older stuff better - the 2 listed above & Cat's Cradle. I enjoy his short stories & essays as well.

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