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3.87  ·  Rating Details  ·  49,904 Ratings  ·  1,922 Reviews
Galápagos takes the reader back one million years, to A.D. 1986. A simple vacation cruise suddenly becomes an evolutionary journey. Thanks to an apocalypse, a small group of survivors stranded on the Galápagos Islands are about to become the progenitors of a brave, new, and totally different human race. In this inimitable novel, America’s master satirist looks at our world ...more
Published 1985
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Apr 07, 2016 Lyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kurt Vonnegut, Isaac Asimov, Theodore Sturgeon and St. Peter sit in a bar in the Great Hereafter discussing, among other things, Vonnegut’s 1985 novel Galapagos.

Isaac: [Looking at Peter] What are you laughing about?

Peter: You know. [laughing]

Isaac: It’s still funny, after all these centuries, that me, a self described atheist and humanist, finds himself here in the Great Hereafter?

Peter: Yep, still funny.

Theodore: Well, it’s like Kurt’s book Galapagos, where Kilgore Trout’s son Leon is a ghost a

Rewritten after rereading in July 2012.

This darkly humorous satire starts with a world financial crisis in 1986 (hopefully that’s where the similarity with current times ends), leading to WW3 – though it’s not really about either: it’s fundamentally about adaptation.

A million years in the future, the only “humans” left on Earth are the descendants of a small but diverse group of survivors of a Galapagos islands cruise, and they are more like seals than 20th century humans. Most of the story is
Dan Schwent
One million years in the future, a man recounts humanity's origins in the Galapagos islands.

This was the third Kurt Vonnegut book I've read and my third favorite. Actually, it reminds me of one of Grandpa Simpson's rambling stories that circles back on itself, only with novel-y bits like themes and messages and such.

Galapagos is part satire, part cautionary tale. There's a shipwreck on Galapagos and it turns out those people are the only ones who can reproduces. I'm pretty sure this is mentioned
Sep 09, 2013 Amanda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: blog
As a fan of sarcasm, cynicism, pessimism, and nihilism (yup, I'm fun at parties), as well as an absurdist plot, I'm a smitten-kitten when it comes to Vonnegut. However, I'm not in love with Galapagos. In deep like? Yes, but, for me, the gold standard when it comes to Vonnegut is Cat's Cradle, followed by Mother Night. I did, however, like Galapagos better than Slaughterhouse-Five.

Galapagos is set one million years after 1986, when the world as we know it ended and, through a series of fluke even
Anthony Vacca
May 03, 2016 Anthony Vacca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely adored the central conceit of this novel: In the midst of the death of the human species, a pocket of "humanity" manages to trundle on for at least another million years into the future, but the caveat being that these far-flung descendants are forever marooned on an ashy isle of the Galapagos where they have devolved into furry small-brained creatures with flippers--and the species and the planet couldn't be better off for it! The conceptual remove from its characters will probably t ...more
May 21, 2014 Jason rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-kindle, reviewed, 2014
FINALLY. A Vonnegut book I didn’t like. I didn’t think it were possible!

Narrated by the million-year-old ghost of Kilgore Trout’s son (Trout being the obscure science fiction writer whom Vonnegut fans will undoubtedly recall from such books as Breakfast of Champions and Slaughterhouse-Five), Galápagos tells the story of the end of human civilization as we currently know it. Which is, incidentally, a million years before Trout’s telling of it. And by this description one might expect to be highly
Jun 11, 2011 Ryan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kurt Vonnegut explains that the greatest achievement of The Origin of Species is that it has done "more to stabilize people’s volatile opinions of how to identify success or failure than any other tome." The thinking is that so long as we continue to survive challenges, we will have improved over those that came before.

We often associate survival with success, merit and quality, and Vonnegut goes out of his way to undermine this notion in one of his less appreciated novels, Galapagos.

Leon Trotsk
Aug 13, 2007 Andreas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
It will be interesting to see what becomes of the legacy of Kurt Vonnegut now that he is dead. Many great authors don't receive the recognition they deserve until after they have taken the giant step to the other side, but Vonnegut's Slaughter House Five was being taught in high schools across
America while the author was still alive so I guess it can be said that he was a legend in his own time. Maybe his appeal will diminish with age, but I kind of doubt it. I consider him one of the most bril
Galapagos: Our biggest problem is our oversized brains
Originally posted at Fantasy Literature
This year I read or reread my favorite Kurt Vonnegut books after a two-decade gap: The Sirens of Titan (1959), Mother Night (1961), Cat’s Cradle (1963), and Slaughterhouse-Five (1969). In these works, his trademark cynicism and resignation towards humanity’s recurrent vanity and folly was mitigated by his gallows humor and simple, unadorned prose. It’s a formula that really transcends any period and keep
I hadn't read anything by Vonnegut since 1990. No real reason for the lapse, just life, I guess. But boy, am I glad he's back in my life again.

Like most of THE MAN'S books, this one is about everything and nothing.

The ghost of Leon Trotsky Trout (sprung from the loins of Kilgore Trout) spins a salty yarn from one million years in the future, telling us all about the mating rituals of humans and blue footed boobies in the year 1986. Seems that once upon a time, mankind had bigger brains and oppos
Liz BooksandStuff
Jul 14, 2016 Liz BooksandStuff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
"In the era of big brains, life stories could end up any which way. Look at mine.”

This is my favourite of Kurt Vonnegut’s books. It is a story told through the eyes of Leon Trotsky Trout, son of one of Vonnegut’s recurring characters, Kilgore Trout. Leon has been watching over humanity for around a million years as a ghost, and by watching over I mean he just sits there and watches them, not in any divine form.

Galapagos takes quite a big chunk being about Ecuador in 1986 during the Latin Ameri
MJ Nicholls
Jun 11, 2012 MJ Nicholls rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels, merkins
I have been told to spread my legs a little, open up my work to the desperate reading masses. So let me interrupt this blank space to bring you the latest M.J. Nicholls book experience, The Casserole Dishes of Letitia Elizabeth Landon. Here’s the synopsis:

“In my first non-fiction book, I explore the hidden culinary talents of the 19thC poet and writer, known largely for her simple and sentimental verse.

In 1821, at the age of nineteen, Landon published her first book of poems, The Fate of Adelaid
Aug 06, 2007 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've read a few of Vonnegut's novels now, and I can't get enough. I love his writing style, his dark humor, and his incredible imagination. He has this way of making his bizarre visions of the future seem perfectly plausible, and makes me worry for our future and laugh at the same time.

Galapagos is told from the point of view of a person a million years after 1986. He relates the story of events in 1986 that led to the remnants of all of humanity being situated on one tiny island a million years
Daniel Clausen
Jan 11, 2016 Daniel Clausen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is either the best or the worst travel book ever written. I was traveling through central Europe while I read this book. And as I read, I kept thinking that perhaps I was on my own "Nature Cruise of the Century." I thought that perhaps my own version of James Wait was around every corner. Now, let my oversized brain ruin a simple book review, let me finish by saying that there were no currency crises, wars, drunken captains, or con artists (at least that I knew of) on my trip. I wasn't stra ...more
Apr 13, 2015 Algernon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015

The ship, a fragment detached from the earth,
went on lonely and swift like a small planet.

I love to come across Joseph Conrad quotes, and the one above is eminently appropriate as a one line review of Galapagos . The whole Earth is reduced in this novel to a single vessel, a modern Noah's Ark carrying the last survivors of the human race to the haven of the Galapagos Islands. By placing the action of the novel in 1986, only one year into the future considering the date of publication, Vo
Chris "Stu"
May 17, 2007 Chris "Stu" rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2007
"Galapagos" is, as far as I can tell, when Kurt Vonnegut decided to become "Kurt Vonnegut." This book feels like an imperfect parody of Vonnegut's style. It's not _bad_, per se, it's just not very good. Narrated from 1 million years in the future, by Kilgore Trout's son, this book has flashes of real resonance, like when Leon Trout speaks of his time in Vietnam. All in all, however, the entire thing feels misanthropic in a way that definitely would have appealed to me back in junior high, but fe ...more
Mike Calabrese
Feb 15, 2008 Mike Calabrese rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Mike by: Josh Avin
I've read a whole lot of Vonnegut. I can summate my general feeling toward his works as follows: it's an incredibly engaging and interesting read that you simply fly through, but over the course of a few days after finishing it the plot is all but totally forgotten, and the protagonist appears increasingly underdeveloped the more you think about it. So not expecting a Raskolnikov or Mersault from Vonnegut leads me to take his books at face value.

Galapogos, however, was different. The characters
Joshua Nomen-Mutatio
Aug 15, 2013 Joshua Nomen-Mutatio rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Joshua Nomen-Mutatio by: Jimmy
Shelves: fiction
I just really, really regret not ever reading Vonnegut as a teenager. Would've been the perfect time. It's still good now, but I feel a bit like I have to time-travel while reading it in order to appreciate it more. I've also been told that this is not exactly the best Vonnegut to start with, especially as a full-grown adult with pretentious literary sensibility and high intellectual expectations. Still, I enjoyed it quite a bit. I like the wildly speculative and I'm a fetishist of sorts for evo ...more
For a first time reading Vonnegut, I can't say it was all that bad. Especially since the book was borrowed.

The core of the story is how a group of people colonise an island of the Galápagos Archipelago, and the evolution that ensues from that. The action takes time in 1986, the actual time is a million years after that, and the narrator is a ghost that refuses to enter the Blue Tunnel of the Afterlife.

Sounds crazy? It is crazy.

Especially because humanity's big problems are derived from our big b
Jul 01, 2007 Tiffany rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Now, really... am I the only person who doesn't love Vonnegut?
Apr 10, 2016 Ints rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: january-2016
Šī gada sākumā man parādījās jauna krāšanas mānija. Biju nolēmis savākt visas izdevniecības Tapals izdotās Kurta Vonnegūta grāmatas. Savākt bija visai viegli, lai gan priekš lietotām grāmatām viņu cenas bija iespaidīgas. Gandrīz visas savācu un, tad skatoties, cik smuki viņas izskatās plauktā man radās jautājums, kad es viņas visas izlasīšu? Tehniski jau lasīšana nav nekas grūts, paņem grāmatu atšķir pirmo lapaspusi un tad sākot no augšējā kreisā stūra lasi rindiņu uz labo pusi, kad ticis galā, ...more
Marius van Blerck
I read most of Vonnegut's books many years ago, as an impressionable young lad. I am now re-reading them as an older somewhat cynical man with a fashionably world-weary attitude. He impressed me then. He impresses me even more now. What went on in this man's brain? When I read him, I really really say to myself, "I wish I had written that phrase" ...."I wish I had had that idea". He is beyond description. He is so sane, that it's frightening. Wherever you are today Kurt, whether in consciousness ...more
May 09, 2015 Tony rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've no idea how this avoided my attention for such a long time but I'm glad the game of hide-and-seek eventually ended.

No one else wrote like Vonnegut. Many tried, some even stealing Kilgore Trout's name and mini-stories from other books.


This is a lovely little tale. It's by no means the best of his work, far from it, but it draws you in and even though the future of characters and main aspects of the plot are shown right from the outset, he still shocks and surprises throughout.

Jun 05, 2007 Kate rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: dreamers, cynics
For many people, this is a lesser of the Vonnegut books. The giants 'Slaughterhouse Five' and 'Cat's Cradle' eclipse it. Perhaps because those are required reading, they charm me less. They go in the same category as The Great Gatsby and Catcher in the Rye -- brilliant as they go, but ubiquitous.

This is more of a forgotten gem, and so I cherish it more. It's very Vonnegut in that it's unabashedly cynical, yet somehow hopeful. I love the bizarre meaning in his frank storytelling, and the amused
Jun 06, 2016 Jason rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2016
Such a clever book. Started this thinking it was going to be all about Galapagos, some sort non-fiction book, I was well wrong. It's a vision of a future that we might be heading for, with the poor getting poorer and the rich getting richer, world hunger still a major concern and us always seeming to be on the edge of WWIII, it seems quite an accurate prediction... time to book a spot on the "Nature cruise of the century".

I was surprised how dark and bitter Vonnegut got at times, at one point he
Narrated by the ghost of a man killed during the building of the Bahia de Darwin cruise ship, Galapagos is an absurd, original and funny look at the evolution of man, from the perspective of a million years into our future.

Detailing the tiny accidents, coincidences and circumstances (mostly caused by humanity's troublesome big brains) that led to the few passengers booked on to the 'Nature Cruise of the Century' during a financial crash getting trapped on a Galapagos island and unwittingly becom
May 24, 2009 Molly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Oh how I love this book. Parts of it do come off as a bit dated now, but the overall theme about all that we, the human race, and our oversized brains are doing to make ourselves extinct is still very resonant.

This is a tale of "The Nature Cruise of the Century" to Darwin's Galapagos islands in 1986 and how the small group of people beached on one of the islands ends up becoming the future all of humankind.

The detached narrator looks back on the pivotal moments leading up to and including that d
Mar 11, 2011 Judy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, 2011-reads
This is the first book I've read by Vonnegut. I enjoyed its unique style and creativity. What else can I say? Afterall,
Quoth Mandarax:

"Any reviewer who expresses rage and loathing for a novel is preposterous. He or she is like a person who has put on full armor and attacked a hot fudge sundae."

-Kurt Vonnegut
(1949 - 2007)

Mar 17, 2015 Efka rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, satyra
Labai keista knyga. Ji nėra bloga, priešingai, kaip satyra tikrai gera, kaip sci-fi, na, gal šiek tiek prastesnė (iš tos pusės, kad sci-fi čia iš esmės neegzistuoja). O bet tačiau, jos trūkumas tas, kad joje praktiškai nieko nevyksta. 280 puslapių trypčiojimo vietoje ir dar pastoviai autoriaus mintims šokinėjant no vieno prie kito, tada vėl grįžtant atgal, tada peršokant kaži kiek į priekį, tada nusukant prie šalutinė minties, tada peršokant atgal, tada vėl prie šalutinės, tada pirmyn, atgal ir ...more
Sep 02, 2007 Adam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lit
I've read most all of the Vonnegut's at this point, and this is undoubtedly one of the best. An ironic look at evolution based on a twist to the Gilligan's island premise. Basically, a group travelers stranded on the islands are forced to breed to repopulate after some (i forget, honestly) travesty has befallen humanity.

The concept follows a familiar Vonnegut theme - that humans are too clever and emotional to be humane - hence evolution moves these island dwellers away from intellectual greatn
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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
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“Some automatic device clicked in her big brain, and her knees felt weak, and there was a chilly feeling in her stomach. She was in love with this man.

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