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The Petrified Ants

3.74  ·  Rating Details  ·  233 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews

Look at the Birdie
is a collection of fourteen previously unpublished short stories from one of the most original writers in all of American fiction. In this series of perfectly rendered vignettes, written just as he was starting to find his comic voice, Kurt Vonnegut paints a warm, wise, and often funny portrait of life in post—World War II America–a world where squabblin
ebook, 18 pages
Published September 29th 2009 by Delacorte Press (first published 2009)
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Jan 20, 2010 Shelley rated it liked it
Super quick read that was pretty amusing. Two scientists in the Soviet Union find a collection of fossils (petrified ants). They find that the ants had societies and were able to map out the evolution of the ants. The people up the chain do not like the findings- the ants were too free thinking and too much against the views of the government. The government has the two scientists write a more "favorable" report, covers up the dig site and sends the two scientists to Siberia to work the rest of ...more
Jun 23, 2015 Ammar rated it liked it
interesting short story about fossilised ants found in the bottom of a uranium mine in Stalin Russia.

the ants were civilised and cultured. They had homes , books and a sense of society and culture.

Vonnegut uses his trademark satire to reflect his story on our times and how each human could have represented a pincerless ant.
Apr 22, 2016 PeterB rated it really liked it
Excellent short story. Typical KV insight and humour. Loved it.
Mar 11, 2014 Jeanne rated it it was amazing
Light but heavy.
May 14, 2012 Lisa rated it really liked it
I think the book gods are smiling on me today. Small but perfectly formed, in this short story two Russian scientists come across some petrified ants that startingly point out the way mankind is headed, only to have history rewritten by someone more powerful.

Laurens Bosscher
Dec 25, 2013 Laurens Bosscher rated it really liked it
Short and classical Kurt Vonnegut! Every chapter is ended with suspense and you can't help but laugh at the terrible ending.
Beth Hartnett
Nov 01, 2010 Beth Hartnett rated it it was amazing
Having just watched the Station Agent, I was already in a Russian/Soviet Union mode when I picked up this short story...LOVED it! Perfect for a snowy afternoon...and we'll have those soon enough.
Jun 27, 2013 Eunice rated it it was amazing
Absolutely brilliant. A brief, very brief, but powerful story. No doubt Vonnegut is one of the greatest, he can deliver a very important message in a precise and concise but humorous way.
Ashok Gautham
Apr 06, 2013 Ashok Gautham rated it really liked it
A take on the Russian interpretation of socialism. However, I felt the underlying message was how people would always see evidence in a way that justifies what they have already taken to be true.
Yomna Zaki
An ant civilization! That was a very interesting analogy.

It's the first short story I read for Kurt, and I'm looking forward to read more of his books.
Aug 21, 2012 Josephine rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle, read-in-2012
This took 5 minutes to read; I don't think it can actually be called a book. It's good though, very clever.
Jeremy Smith
Dec 17, 2013 Jeremy Smith rated it really liked it
Shelves: card, calibre, short
Fascinating short story about communism and how man creates the history that power wins
Janet Jay
Dec 21, 2014 Janet Jay rated it really liked it
Quick, good. Oh KV, I miss you so.
Apr 09, 2013 Martin rated it it was ok
meh - too on the nose.
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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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