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Welcome to the Monkey House (Dell #9478)
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Welcome to the Monkey House (Dell #9478)

4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  36,120 ratings  ·  1,236 reviews
This long-awaited volume brings together the finest of Kurt Vonnegut, Jr."s, shorter works. Sex, machines, pills, men, women, society, good, evil, outer space, inner space, time past, present and future, are among the subjects infused with the fascinating, fantastic and formidable Vonnegut magic. It is a funny, sad, explosive, wildly gyrating gathering, a mind-bobbling gra ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 308 pages
Published 1973 by Dell Publishing (first published 1968)
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Previously read June 2003 (among many other times)

Like many offbeat/outcast teens, I went through a Vonnegut phase - and am glad to say I never completely recovered. I would heartily recommend Welcome to the Monkey House for anyone new to Vonnegut's body of work, as it covers basically the first two decades of his career (and IMHO, the best years)

It contains an honest-to-goodness love story - "Long Walk to Forever" that always makes me sniffle a little. Then there's the familiarly sardonic "Rep
Vonnegut does a wonderful job with a short story and while most stories were "okay" to "yeah, I liked it I guess", it's definitely worth it for the few 4 to 5 star ratings.

"Where I Live" (Venture- Traveler’s World, October 1964) - 2/5 Kinda boring and no real plot. Just meandering
"Harrison Bergeron" (The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, October 1961) - 5/5 Loved this one - science fiction - Handicapping people so everything is fair and no one can take unfair advantage because of their lo
Welcome to the Monkey House by Kurt Vonnegut is a collection of short stories from the 50s and 60s and demonstrates Vonnegut’s tremendous range as a writer.

I have read one critic who did not like Vonnegut, saying that all of his novels are essentially the same, with his voice and tone narrating each new set of facts. I agreed somewhat, but still liked the way he writes and have enjoyed every one of his works I have read. The stories in this collection, however, written earlier than most of his
1982 January 6
2014 October 3

Where I Live - Keenly observed. I wonder what an update would be like 50 years on?

Harrison Bergeron - This one has aged a bit, but it's still good.

Who Am I This Time? - I vividly recall the American Playhouse production with Susan Sarandon and Christopher Walken. Magic.

Welcome to the Monkey House - Likewise aged, not that there aren't people who would be delighted to see the sex drive killed for everyone else, but those people tend not to be in favor of birth control
The world is overpopulated, and they have Ethical Suicide Parlors, where public minded citizens are encouraged to go in and get a lethal injection from the attractive hostesses. There's a big thermometer outside, showing how many people there currently are in the world.

So the guy comes in, and he's chatting with the hostess. He wants to know how much the mercury will go down if he decides to do it. A foot?

No, she says.

An inch?

Not quite, she says.

Suddenly, he changes his tone. Every inch, he says
I could write a long review and talk about every short story in this collection, but I'm not going to do that. There are just too many good stories in this collection. My personal favorite was probably "Harrison Bergeron" but I would have to think about that. It's not necessary that I have a "favorite" per se, but my mind just works that way.

If you're a Vonnegut fan, you've probably read this. If you've never read Vonnegut, give it a shot. It's a great way to start your journey into his mind. He
This collection of early short stories, mostly from the 1950s, displays Vonnegut's versatility--of subject matter, theme, and style; and also his grasping for an identifiable, unique personal style. At this point, he already is a mature, assured writer. Except for possibly "The Manned Missiles" (which nonetheless has the same clever twist ending as many of the other stories in this collection) all of the stories in this compilation are great. Vonnegut's command of narrative and descriptive detai ...more
MJ Nicholls
This collection, along with Bagombo Snuff Box, collects short stories from Vonnegut’s time writing for the glossies, dailies and slicks. The pieces range from speculative fiction to standard romance fare, each only hinting at the greatness he would achieve as a novelist. He wrote these for money, no doubt about it, and although several spar with some of his Big Stuff, they lack the scathing black humour, wild absurdity and heartbreaking pathos of . . . hmm, well, start at The Sirens of Titan and ...more
In the 70s I taught this at community colleges, and it was wildly popular--the three scifi pieces on future overpopulation, or taking the joy out of sex ("ethical birth control") astute. The Cape Cod autobiographical shorts are wonderful views of an enviable past--the Yacht Club on the Bay side that is barely a shed, etc. My students could talk about this book for days, and did--though I never came up with paper assignments that evoked their best writing. Not sure why. Maybe Vonnegut's own prose ...more
I heard once from an old English teacher that the hardest pieces to write are short stories and short films. To develop a plot and characters in a short and constricted time frame requires no small amount of skill. There's no room to waste words and phrases; to do so would turn your short story into a novella. Poe was great at it. And I feel Vonnegut was great at it too.

Welcome to the Monkey House has been a favorite book of mine for a long time. I may have inadvertently acquired this copy from
I think Vonnegut's best talent as a writer is his knack for stripping away the gap between facade and reality. He loves to sketch out characters that are (or simply seem) amazingly rich or powerful or charismatic. Then he breaks their circumstances down such that they're stuck with only their base humanity, and they have to confront themselves as they really are. How degrading to find out how much you're just like everyone else!
Jaye Donnelly
My favorites were: The manned missiles, unready to wear, the lie, next door and all the king's horses! All of the short stories were good; I didn't read any that I didn't like.
The Basics

A series of short stories (and even a couple of articles) by Kurt Vonnegut.

My Thoughts

Sad to say, the first thing I want to address is that the title story of this collection (“Welcome to the Monkey House”) is one of the most horrifically unfortunate things I’ve ever read. I want to sit here and tell myself that Vonnegut was from a different time, blah blah. I can’t justify it. And I can’t not talk about it openly and honestly. TRIGGER WARNING: the story has what is basically date rape
PS: - povestirea cea mai impresionanta (greu cuvantul pentru niste povestiri prin excelenta impresionante si surprinzatoare) e pentru mine, de departe, Toti caii regelui, despre cum e sa ai in maini viata celorlalti si sentimentul de-a fi la moftul cuiva, gandire limpede in tensiune, thriller in toata puterea cuvantului, ca la PROTV.

- mi-a placut in mod deosebit Colectia de primavara-iarna, despre o lume utopica(?) in care oamenii pot invata sa-si paraseasca corpurile, pricina tuturor nazurilor
Aseara dupa ce am intrat in posesia cartii, mi-am spus "hai sa vad cum incepe". Am citit prefata (semnata de autor) si nu m-am mai oprit pina nu am terminat primele 5 povestiri, printre care si Harrison Bergeron o scurta distopie de tip orwellian, absolut tulburatoare, de care eram interesat in mod deosebit dupa ce am vazut ecranizarea-i superba in filmul de 25 de minute, 2081.

In mare, filmul respecta povestea, dar, nu reuseste sa redea latura ironica existenta in povestire — un amanunt nesemni
Oct 13, 2007 Annalisa rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who enjoy science fiction
This was a summer reading assignment for me in high school and I remember being hooked by Vonnegut's social satire. I loved his imaginative stories, humor, and slightly sci-fi plots to portray human pitfalls. The book left we pondering considerably and hungry for more Vonnegut and I soon read every one of his novels. Recently I reread the collection of short stories and it wasn't the amazing book I remember from my youth, many of his warnings about humanity are old news now. But as a youth I was ...more
This man was a genius!!!! And ---a loving Husband -father! One heck of a decent human being!!!

A few stories were soooooooooooooooooo good, that I was wishing I could 'go-back' and change a few things about my College days. I would have loved to be talking about this book in a College Class. I'm ready now!!!!!

I'm really happy I won this book. I could have missed it. THANK YOU --THANK YOU ---THANK YOU ---to whom ever 'picked' my name as a 'first read'.

I enjoyed reading other reviews --early this
In my mind, Kurt Vonnegut is the writerly equivalent to an eccentric, sarcastic, but kindly old uncle, the one you can always count on to take the stuffing out of your more puffed-up, less agile-minded relatives at family Christmas parties, while giving you a sly wink. In an important way, he was a voice for America in the 1950s and 60s, both a counterpoint to and a commenter on "mainstream" attitudes. He could do zaniness, anger, sorrow, and gentleness equally well.

This collection is a fine int
Cathi Davis
I haven't read any Vonnegut for a long time. So when this was the kindle deal of the day, I thought, why not? Glad I reread it. I knew I liked his writing style, but this just refreshed the thought. He is good. This is a collection of short stories, from various publications. Some are dated and quaint. You can't help but giggle out loud at his sense of humor, perhaps even more appealing today in the face of so much "serious" fiction.
An example from "Where I live"--
"So he went down the narrow ya
Alison Looney
I like Kurt Vonnegut's short stories. Many of his protagonists are ordinary blue collar workers, middling salesmen, or high school band directors who offer a glimpse into post war middle class Americas. They frequently end up brushing elbows with politicians, entertainers, and the fantastically wealthy, offering Vonnegut's commentary on the American dream. With hard work and a can-do spirit, you too can install storm glass for movie stars.

I think Mr. Helmholtz, a high school band director with a
Elizabeth Wallace
You'd THINK that, what with Vonnegut having written one of my all-time favorite classic sci-fi novels "Sirens of Titan", not to mention "Slaughterhouse Five", you'd think I'd have remembered that he wrote "Harrison Bergeron," one of the great classic sci-fi short stories (it was even in a school textbook of mine) and the second story in this collection. Somehow I never put that together in my head, that it was a Vonnegut story, though I should've; a dystopian more-than-a-little-tongue-in-cheek s ...more
Welcome to the Monkey House - Kurt Vonnegut

One foot in front of the other - through leaves, over bridges. 56

A chance is a girl. You smile at her, you be friendly, you be glad she's a girl. ... If men are nice to me and make me happy, I kiss them sometimes. 87

...if folks would swallow their self-respect and pride, there wouldn't be any more divorces. 129

But I can tell you now, darling - it's awfully hard for a woman to admire a man who actually doesn't do anything. 159

That's a mistake (to think).
25 short stories originally written between 1950 and 1968. The collection was published in 1968.

Narrators are Bill Irwin, Maria Tucci, Dylan Baker, David Strathairn, and Tony Roberts - one narrator per story. Some of the narrators are better than others. All are adequate.

The stories range from slice-of-life to science fiction, and the tone ranges from gentle compassion to savage satire. Unlike a lot of Vonnegut's later work, most of the stories have what might be considered "happy endings."

Over the years, I had encountered a few of these short stories before. But I never sat down and went through the entire collection. I enjoyed at least 60% of them and a few seemed a bit like filler. My favorites are when Vonnegut tackles the absurd and really uses his wit to challenge our notions of ourselves. I Found that I enjoyed the title piece, "Welcome to the Monkey House" more this time than in the past. However, somehow "Harrison Bergeron" was less compelling to me now that I am older. A ...more
Dec 06, 2008 Andrew rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all
Recommended to Andrew by: English professor at SFCC
A long remembered book from early college days read before my great awakening at the hands of the Federal Government.

As usual, Vonnegut's humanism comes through in fanciful ways with tragedy and humor. Very helpful to me, along with Slaughterhouse Five, through a barbaric period of my life.

I cannot convey my gratitude to Vonnegut for having written so much on pleasure and light amid the devastation of life.

These stories all had new depth for me as I re-read them. Some I thought somewhat trite o
Aug 20, 2008 Jil rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Science fiction & short story lovers
Recommended to Jil by: Matthew
I think Vonnegut really ought to have been a short-story writer. As much as I love some of his novels, the character of Kilgore Trout and frequent synopses of HIS short stories show me that deep down, Vonnegut just wanted to spin out wild short fiction tales.

And here he gets the opportunity, except some of these stories are not wild and just interesting and pleasant. In looking at a listing (on Wikipedia, of course) of the stories in this book, I'm surprised at how many of them make me think, "
Mar 30, 2007 Maeve rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone, especially Vonnegut virgins.
Shelves: fiction
This was the first Vonnegut book I read. I spotted on my Dad's bookshelf, said to myself "I've been meaning to read some Vonnegut" and picked it up to read without even glancing at the back cover. I loved the first chapter, then read the second and loved it too but had no idea how it connected to the first. When I got to the third and it was also completely different I finally glanced to the cover and noticed it was a collection of short stories! They are all wonderful. Some funny, often in that ...more
I hadn't read any Vonnegut for a while and was forgetful/unprepared from the mastery of these short stories. They were nearly all flawless, It's easy to see why teens get in a Vonnegut phase (or did when I was a teen) many of the characters have teens as main or side characters. Harrison Bergeron was one of my LEAST favorite, but all they dystopian fans of today would do well to read it. "More Stately Mansions" and "The Foster Portfolio" will possibly stay with me forever.
Fiona D'Arcy
Vonnegut, where have you been all my life?? I read only one of his other works back in High School (Cat's Cradle) and didn't care for it at all. Looking back, I honestly can't say why because I'm pretty sure it's exactly what I want in a book. Needless to say I'll be re-reading it in the near future.

This collection of short stories was simply perfect. I'm obsessed with his style and his ability to write on topics that are so diverse, while maintaining his unique voice. He reminds me a bit of Ray
How do you review a classic like this? How do you quibble with Kurt Vonnegut? This is a collection of his short stories, and naturally it seemed brilliant. I don't generally seek out classic writing simply because it was classic, but I made a reading barter with someone, and this was my assigned part of the barter. I'm not sorry I read it. I enjoyed it more than Cat's Cradle, read for college long ago, and yet oddly never forgotten, although detested at the time. Vonnegut has a way of laying bar ...more
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Kurt Vonnegut, Junior was an American novelist, satirist, and most recently, graphic artist. He was recognized as New York State Author for 2001-2003.

He was born in Indianapolis, later the setting for many of his novels. He attended Cornell University from 1941 to 1943, where he wrote a column for the student newspaper, the Cornell Daily Sun. Vonnegut trained as a chemist and worked as a journali
More about Kurt Vonnegut...
Slaughterhouse-Five Cat's Cradle Breakfast of Champions The Sirens of Titan Mother Night

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