Another excellent read from Vonnegut. It involves plenty of characters from his other books, but it doesn't really tie anything together. Even the extAnother excellent read from Vonnegut. It involves plenty of characters from his other books, but it doesn't really tie anything together. Even the extraordinary people in this book exhibit remarkable mediocrity. He sorta levels the playing field more than normal in this one. The story isn't particularly great, but the whole book is riddled with priceless little Vonnegut nuggets of profoundly simple wisdom.
Most of the time while reading this book, I merely liked it because I love Vonnegut. Had it materialized from the brain of a man I did not idolize asMost of the time while reading this book, I merely liked it because I love Vonnegut. Had it materialized from the brain of a man I did not idolize as much as I do Vonnegut, I don't think I would have enjoyed it. Then it ended. Man oh man, what an ending it was! I don't mean the type of ending with some epic twist that made you go back and wonder what clues you missed. I mean the kind of ending that makes your soul feel good. Real good. I read the last part of the book several times. I have derived a great deal of happiness from other Vonnegut books but this was sheer, cheesy elation. Thanks, Vonnegut. As much as I'd like to elaborate as to WHY this tales conclusion made me so happy, I won't. I want this review to be for the people that picked up this book and didn't finish it. Go finish it, and if you're reading it and thinking about putting it down, don't leave it down for too long. Not my favorite Vonnegut and not one to start on the author with, but definitely a must read for anyone that calls themselves a Vonnegut fan; then again all his books are must reads for the likes of us Vonnegut fans....more
Reading this book gave me a similar feeling to reading Bukowski's short stories in The Most Beautiful Woman in Town. It's fictionally disgusting almosReading this book gave me a similar feeling to reading Bukowski's short stories in The Most Beautiful Woman in Town. It's fictionally disgusting almost for the sake of being disgusting. It's a book that begs to be banned from underage audiences. If you are able to position yourself in just the right way as to force the unnecessarily raunchy crap Palahniuk serves up to just roll off, you can find satirically delivered nuggets of existentialism and humanism. You can do that with pretty much anything if you are so inclined.
It sounds like I didn't like this book. I did. Call me sick, but the far out, disgusting, unrealistic stories where fun to read. Then amongst those he littered passages that made wheels turn. An example might be his bit on how women are superior to men. I enjoyed noodling on that for awhile and it even sparked some fun discourse w/ friends over wine. Thanks, P. There were more nuggets similar to that which, to me, bumped this book up a notch from just an entertaining story to read. It had some meat. It had some depth. It didn't blow my mind. I might recommend it to people, I might not....more
The first book from Asimov I read was The Gods Themselves. The more Asimov I read, the more I realize it was a mistake to read that one*Spoiler alert*
The first book from Asimov I read was The Gods Themselves. The more Asimov I read, the more I realize it was a mistake to read that one first. My expectations were too high for this book. It was a slightly above average science fiction novel. It told a decent story with some decent social commentary. I felt like Asimov took some pretty major shortcuts in plot development through Schwartz and ultimately ended the book most anticlimactically using the magic abilities he pulled out of his hat and gave to the hero. Oh no! We're all doomed! Nevermind. The End.
There are no likable characters in this book. The big, powerful, smart man that gets the pretty young girl is a violent asshole (O.o gross). The girl is a cry baby that occasionally says something wise in moments of turmoil. The hero has super powers but mopes around not caring about anything. The bad guy is respectable in his tactics, but he wants to destroy the galaxy because they hate his race. Everyone else is insignificant and meek.
The redeeming qualities of this book are its themes(but really only 1, and its only redeeming because of the fact that Asimov addressed it in 1950). Don't be prejudice. ALL the conflict in this book is caused by racial differences that don't even exist but have just been made up (sounds familiar). Ok, good, don't be a bigot because it gets you nowhere, isn't rational, and makes you a jerk. My problem with how Asimov addressed this theme is that everyone was racist anyway. People preached against racism but everyone practiced it. I know it was 1950 when Asimov wrote this and I can't expect him to have published a book about a world where people are blind to racial differences. But goshdarnit, he got SO close. The GALAXY was void of racial bigotry, except those one peoples. They are totally different. Complete trash. The one character that explicitly grew out of racism by the end of the book was a huge chauvinistic jerk that got off on punching people's faces in. I guess I wanted a respectable character and role model that isn't racist and isn't a chauvinist. I just keep reminding myself it was written in 1950. Good job for that, Asimov. This was the major theme of your first major novel. It is obviously something that was important to you. If only you could see how much progress we've made in defeating racism today, I think you'd be pleased. We're not there, but we've come a very, very long way since 1950. Better w/ each generation. We are all one race.
In conclusion. It's quite pleasing that this SciFi book addressed racism in 1950. However, the story is a little... meh. Also, the characters sucked....more