Tabitha's Reviews > Timequake

Timequake by Kurt Vonnegut
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Jan 17, 12

Read from January 11 to 14, 2012

I am fascinated by the division between Vonnegut's earlier work and the books produced towards the end of his life. Timequake falls into this latter category; the book marries seemingly random thoughts and stories with a typical Vonnegut story arc. The jacket flap of my book describes Timequake as being about the sudden contraction of the universe 10 years, before it decides to return to expanding again. This sudden contraction makes the universe travel back 10 years, and everyone on earth must relive those 10 year exactly as they did the first time around, essentially suspending their free will. After 10 years, described by Kilgore Trout as years on autopilot, the world suddenly regains its will. While this plot is laced through Timequake's pages, it is not the book's entirety.

It is the past 15 years or so, however, as I entered adulthood (or some semblence of it) that I had a greater awareness of the world around me, and a stake in the political, social and economic realms of life. Though Vonnegut wrote this book in the 90's, this book makes so much sense to me in light of the past 12 years--from Bush the Second's reign onward. If ever there was a time that the appeared to have a loss of free will, of reigns of apathy and seemingly powerlessness, it would be the past 12 years.

Throughout this book, I had to pause and think about the relation between the plot of the book, and the asides of Vonnegut (though it could just as aptly be that the plot itself is the aside, and the major motion of the book are the interjections of Vonnegut). Perhaps it is the lack of coffee this morning, or perhaps it is just the overwhelming amount of items to ponder from the book, but Timequake seems to be beyond my abilities to adequately review or summarize. It is a wonderful book, one which I am still thinking about and grappling with, days later. I guess the only appropriate sentiment I can express in the wake of Timequake is this: God bless you, Mr. Vonnegut.
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