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Slapstick or Lonesome No More!

3.87  ·  Rating Details ·  29,155 Ratings  ·  1,024 Reviews
Slapstick presents an apocalyptic vision as seen through the eyes of the current King of Manhattan (and last President of the United States), a wickedly irreverent look at the all-too-possible results of today’s follies. But even the end of life-as-we-know-it is transformed by Kurt Vonnegut’s pen into hilarious farce—a final slapstick that may be the Almighty’s joke on us ...more
ebook, 140 pages
Published April 13th 2010 by The Dial Press (first published 1976)
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Jul 20, 2011 Lyn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Vonnegut's most farcical, most absurd, but also one of the more scathing satires.

Here Vonnegut takes on universalism, and totalitarianism, but on a grander scale than he allowed in Harrison Bergeron; but also this is more surreal. His genius, though, as seen in other novels, is to creatively intersperse pockets of stark realism to accentuate and to highlight the circus like theme.

Vonnegut also uses elements of grotesque to further illustrate his none too subtle rebuke of egalitarianism. This i
Mar 07, 2011 Darwin8u rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
“And how did we
then face the odds,
of man's rude slapstick,
yes, and God's?
Quite at home and unafraid,
in a game
our dreams remade.”

― Kurt Vonnegut, Slapstick, or Lonesome No More!


My 15-ear-old son broke the screen on his iPhone 6s. I'm letting him buy down the debt (to me) by reading 6 Vonnegut novels before the end of the year. Every book he reads, drops his big OWE down by $10, upto $60. He is still on the hook for the other $80. This is what happens when daddy is an absurdist, bu
Aug 24, 2007 Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: vonnegut
At this point I've gotten fairly familiar with Kurt Vonnegut's tone and flavor. The sense of universalism and equality consistently sound as often as his humor and irony rings.

This books reads as a perversion of all four themes.

To me.

Usually Vonnegut's works seem to read with some underlying sense that no matter how bizarre everything seems, no matter how depressing or how inspiring a situation seems, there's always a punchline, and that punchline brings you back to reality, forcing the reader
May 11, 2008 Imogen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
And with that, I learned once again that I was an asshole. I read 'Cat's Cradle' when I was in high school and taking a lot of ecstasy, so I hated everything except the Chemical Brothers. Since I hated Cat's Cradle then, I've assumed that I didn't like Mr Vonnegut for the last, what, dozen years? I only picked this one up 'cause I never see old editions of it and Josh said it's his favorite.

That all sucks. I mean, I don't think he's perfect- I'd remembered his kind of smug, eccentric uncle pers
May 14, 2007 Dan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Note that I am giving this book a low rating as compared to Vonnegut's other books, and is not necessarily reflective of my opinion of it as a fine work of fiction.

Really, when compared to the similarly-themed Cat's Cradle and The Sirens of Titan , this one just doesn't hold up as well. It boasts a classic Vonnegatian comedic end-of-the-world scenario, but Slapstick just doesn't quite live up to the standard set by his previous novels, and achieved again by later ones. I guess I can't really
Chris Dietzel
Jan 19, 2017 Chris Dietzel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another example of what makes Vonnegut so great. "Slapstick" combines sarcasm, humor, an absurd plot, and a critique of society and every part of it works. This is no where near his best book and yet it's still leaps and bounds over most other books.
Barry Pierce
Hmmm deformed, incestuous fraternal twins become geniuses when they touch their heads together. One is the last President of the United States of America. Ridiculous, yes? No. This is Vonnegut! I liked this one. I like all Vonnegut actually. I'm very biased, don't listen to me. Hi ho.
Susan Budd
Any other Sunflower-13's out there?
Katya Bogdanov
Dec 27, 2013 Katya Bogdanov rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was the very first Vonnegut book I’ve read, and while Slaughterhouse 5 is probably the most popular starter (as far as I’ve heard) I picked this volume at complete random because Barnes & Noble didn’t have Sirens of Titan which is what I originally wanted.

In any event, I think this was quite a stroke of luck: Slapstick, or Lonesome No More! is a semi-autobiographical work, and for someone like me, who prefers to begin everything with first principles, I think this makes for an especial
Mar 30, 2017 Νατάσσα rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: b-r-a-ce-2017, 2017
Αστείο, σαρκαστικό, γλυκόπικρο, φανταστικό. Αυτά :-)
Joel Lacivita
May 15, 2016 Joel Lacivita rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is definitely a farcical style Vonnegut novel that takes the reader into a satirical and dark world that Vonnegut fans love. The time is far into the future when the government of the United States barely exists and the protagonist of the novel, the president of the United States, explains how things got this way.

The book was written 40 years ago, and its is amazing how Kurt made predictions that have come into being. There are also many comical observations about politics that still hold
Jun 25, 2009 Ethan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The problem I have with most Vonnegut books is that they feel like they've been churned out of a random plot generator machine. I imagine Vonnegut throwing a bunch of scraps in a hat and then challenging himself to string the items together into some sort of book which will then fly off the shelves because he's VONNEGUT, for chrissakes. Sometimes the ideas hang together in interesting and fun ways. Other times they just flop around uselessly, sort of cute but really kind of gross, like a beagle ...more
Jan 01, 2017 Steven rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"I wish that people who are conventionally supposed to love each other would say to each other, when they fight, “Please—a little less love, and a little more common decency." (3)
Vonnegut famously, while self-assessing his work, gave Slapstick a D. Writers are notoriously poor at evaluating their own work, however, and Vonnegut's assessment of Slapstick is no exception. The Prologue is one of his most personal pieces of writing, as is the work itself – revolving, as it does, around the death of
I was prompted to re-read this Vonnegut novel by a non-fiction work that I read recently. The Juggler’s Children was about the use of genetic research in relation to genealogical research and about the search of the modern North American to make some connections with people around them. People are lonely and looking for distant relatives assuages the loneliness somewhat.

I was put in mind of this novel and its alternate title, Lonesome No More! I’m not sure why that slogan and the new middle-name
Apr 23, 2011 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourite-books
Slapstick, or Lonesome No More, is a self indulgent book by Kurt Vonnegut in his later years. He writes the book as if he's speaking to you, as a friend, in conversation. This style is great for the many Vonnegut fans, it conveys immediacy, friendliness and humour. For people who aren't fans of Vonneguts I wonder what they would make of his addressing his readers so intimately. He drops many of the contraints and conventions in story telling, but picks up other ways to carry the story. If aspiri ...more
Oct 24, 2007 J.P. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: literary/speculative fiction fans
This one was one of Vonnegut's best. He was creating worlds here, folks. Most specifically, a world---ours.

The narrator happens to be the President of the United States---the LAST one, as a matter of fact.

Wilbur Daffodil-11 Swain and his sister, Eliza, have got to be two of the most sympathetic characters KV ever created. Their voices just envelope you and draw you in.

Some of Vonnegut's most ingenious devices & characters are in here---Green Death, the Hooligan (a thingie to communicate wit
Vonnegut is always a bit strange, isn't he? I picked this book up at a hostel swap library and I read it in an afternoon. It has a bit of the sci-fi quality that he apparently says he doesn't write anymore, but nevertheless, it's there. The book was written in the late 70s, but some of the cultural predictions are, if not accurate, hilarious to read today.

For example, the Chinese genetically develop themselves to be even tinier so that they consume less food. They get down to 6cm in size! Also,
Feb 04, 2009 R. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009
I was amazed with Vonnegut's tour through an apocalyptic world; his mixture of Gothic, science-fiction and comedy.

That said, I stepped toward this reading tentatively, with visions of the horrible Jerry Lewis movie from the 1980s in my head. It was a rental: "Hey! This movie's got Jerry Lewis!" - a man whose cinematic ouevre is unparalleled if you give it a chance, you're 10 and the videocassette market is pretty slim pickings (it was, in the 80s).

So I feared this:
Nov 25, 2016 britt_brooke rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: vonnegut
"Why don't you take a flying fuck at a rolling doughnut? Why don't you take a flying fuck at the mooooooooooooon?"

I don't really know what to say about this book. It's totally absurd. Also smart, witty, and completely entertaining. Not my favorite KV, but a worthy read.
May 29, 2017 Ariya rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-reads
A comical absurdism. This is the story of the President of the United States in not-so-far away future with a dumb wit and incestuous love with his abdominal sister and the cure for loneliness, on the other hand, it allegories American people and their "abdominal"land trying to bond with the primitive and ruthless origins whereas sometimes their ideology is justified to be perished and the U.S. after all can't be reconciled with his sister again (for the moment I write this on-- it reminds me of ...more
Sep 09, 2011 Alex rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the things that I've always loved about Vonnegut is how simply he expresses complex ideas. Slapstick is no different. Here, he expands on the ideas of artificial families first imagined in his concepts of karass and duprass... the Swain children may be duprass personified, with their collective brilliance and their intimacy far beyond what is appropriate for siblings. Their isolation, however, is what leads Wilbur to create what could be the anti-karass... families built at random, not br ...more
Jun 17, 2010 Kate rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
My first Vonnegut book. For many years I felt like I should read something by KV as I have always heard great things about him and his writing. Ben suggested I start with this book, so I did. Slapstick was pitched as "hilarious", but I found it to be profoundly sad.

It took me back to Christmas morning in Singapore when I had a conversation with an aunt of two of our friends. She was Singaporean of Chinese ancestry but lived in San Diego, and was back visiting for the holidays. She said that she
May 10, 2016 Helene rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

This is the first book by Vonnegut that I have read . And honestly it was odd. (But in a good way). One can be odd ,different even eccentric without stereotyping them as weird

Back to the book . I felt his book was both happy even humorous at times . As I read more I felt sadness , deep sorrow . Vonnegut highly imaginative and intelligent book. And I found it written in the most uncomplicated , simple manner . It read much like having a conversation with a very creative
Jul 09, 2011 Elizabeth rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club-books
If I could give no stars, I would. I hated every sentence of this book.
Sahel Ebrahimi
Mar 04, 2017 Sahel Ebrahimi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beside the official critiques of this book being hilarious & witty, I believe it is a very accurate criticism of wgphat human beings are doing to the planet with all the pollution,water contamination, disrespecting gender equality and also humanity per se.

Joshum Harpy
Nov 13, 2010 Joshum Harpy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Vonnegut at his best. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this one. At once apocalyptic and whimsical, this book juxtaposed the complete collapse of civilization and a decimated human population with a lovable and lighthearted hideous neanderthal of a main character whose demeanor is endearingly naive and accepting of the extreme circumstances by which he is surrounded. This character, which the prologue clearly establishes as Vonnegut's own image of himself, truly embodies the essence of why I love Ku ...more
Sarthak Pranit
Aug 15, 2016 Sarthak Pranit rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, re-readers
Clearly my favourite of all of Vonnegut's books until now. I actually wondered why this book isn't as famous as Slaughterhouse Five or Breakfast of Champions. But then, not everyone thinks similarly.

This book is an 'imaginative fictional autobiography', possibly the only one in the world because writing one of these requires hazardous levels of daydreaming coupled with an unbreakable commitment to write. But then it's His Holi-Moliness Vonnegut we are talking about.

The book begins with an fair
No es el mejor Vonnegut pero es Vonnegut.

Ya que todas las reviews dicen esto mismo, agrego dos citas.

La definición de fascismo de Vonnegut, muy buena:
"-Lo dijeron otros y tú les creíste -dijo ella-. Eso es peor. Eres un fascista, Wilbur. Eso es lo que eres.
-Eso es absurdo.
-Los fascistas son gente inferior que se lo creen cuando alguien les dice que son superiores.
-Bueno, bueno...
-Y luego quieren que todos los demás se mueran".

Y esta discusión sobre historia:
"-Lo único que leo es historia -dijo
Oct 16, 2014 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Here's a very personal example of how the "grotesque situational poetry" of Vonnegut's life spun off a weird, post-apocalyptic, loosely structured novel. He begins the book with a 21-page factual Prologue containing a wistful accounting of his sister's tragedy which sets up the novel itself. For me, this 21-page Prologue was the best and most moving part of the book—by far. The novel itself uses the frequent Vonnegut technique of snippets of text, presenting and associating events with each othe ...more
Jul 15, 2015 FeReSHte rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: america

یه کتاب دیگه از ونه گات و من متاسفانه هنووووز "سلاخ خانه شماره پنج" رو نخوندم
جالبیش به این بود که این کتاب انگار ترکیبی بود از داستان "گهواره ی گربه" و غرغرهای پیرمرد تو کتاب " مرد بی وطن" ، دو کتابی که قبل تر از ونه گات خوندم. یه داستان ونه گاتی تیپیکال

ویلبر شخصیت اصلی و راوی که حالا رییس جمهور امریکاییه که نابود شده در ملاقاتش با پادشاه میشیگان که در حال مطالعه ی تاریخ بوده این طور میگه
بله اگر اعقاب ما زمانه ی ما را به دقت مطالعه نکنند یکباره خواهند دید که دوباره سوخت های سنگواره ای کره زمین ر
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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 Jr....

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“If you can do no good, at least do no harm.” 703 likes
“Love is where you find it. I think it is foolish to go around looking for it, and I think it can be poisonous. I wish that people who are conventionally supposed to love each other would say to each other, when they fight, 'Please — a little less love, and a little more common decency'.” 594 likes
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