MJ Nicholls's Reviews > Between Time and Timbuktu or Prometheus-5

Between Time and Timbuktu or Prometheus-5 by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
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's review
Jul 22, 2012

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bookshelves: merkins, dramarama, art-or-illustrated
Read on July 22, 2012

For those who’ve worked their way through Kurt’s fourteen novels, five short story collections, four non-fiction collections and assorted insubstantial curios, your last act of barrel-scraping lies with his short-lived career as a playwright. Happy Birthday, Wanda June is your other option (or perhaps you’ve done that already? top of the class!) and sadly, in addition to an old novella from the 40s Basic Training, someone has released his COLLEGE NEWSPAPER work as an e-book in an act of madness (although no trace of this exists on the Devil’s Marketplace in the UK, sigh of relief). This teleplay was released in hardcover at the height of Kurt’s popularity, so is clearly a bibliography bolsterer, but not without its merits. The teleplay appears to be an imaginative reprise of some of the best SF concepts and messages from his short stories and novels, notably Cat’s Cradle and ‘Harrison Bergeron,’ interrupted by stills from the show (and photos by Jill Krementz) to create a not entirely unsuccessful textual-TV hybrid. Given the book takes less than an hour to complete, it’s an inoffensive experiment, and at least the designers attempted something original rather than simply reproducing the play. Beats reading another volume of unpublished bottom-drawer fiction, says this shameless completist.
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message 1: by Nathan "N.R." (new)

Nathan "N.R." Gaddis "says this shameless completist. "

Which Vonnegut then have you not read? I believe I had read everything published up through and including Timequake. I left the train in the station at that point due to my own proclivities, haunted by the thought that mayhaps I oughta return for the Completist's Award. But I'll wait for those latterly published works to show up as $1.99 used products.

message 2: by Ali (new)

Ali I have never heard of this book in my life. And I thought I had collected all of Vonnegut's work until now. Such was the case with Dostoevsky when I found Netochka Nezvanova a week ago (I thought I had managed to scrape together all of his fiction when I got The Village of Stepanchikovo, which no one except you ever reads or talks about, but that was not so). Now my sense of completeness for authors I like is starting to feel less certain. I think I've got most of Vonnegut's or Gaddis' work, but maybe I need to look around and see if there's something I don't have...

message 3: by MJ (new) - rated it 3 stars

MJ Nicholls As far as my completist charter goes, there are six left for me:

Look at the Birdie
Conversations with Kurt Vonnegut
Like Shaking Hands With God
Sun, Moon, Star
Happy Birthday, Wanda June
The Last Conversation

Three of those are interview transcripts so probably don't "count". Plus there are those two Kindle barrel-scraping things mentioned in my review which I refuse to pay to read.

message 4: by Nathan "N.R." (new)

Nathan "N.R." Gaddis MJ wrote: "As far as my completist charter goes, there are six left for me:

Yep. Barrel scraping. Of your six, I did read Wanda once upon a time. I don't recall if I'd read Timbuktu. Must have. But for the insane completist, you'll have to read Son Mark's books as well.

message 5: by MJ (new) - rated it 3 stars

MJ Nicholls Ali: Yes, there are always books popping up to make the completist's life a misery. As far as Dostoevsky goes I still have to read The Humiliated & Insulted, after that there are things like his Diary of a Writer or Letters, it never ends.

Nathan: Fortunately my completism only covers titles by Kurt, it isn't handed down the generations.

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