Michael's Reviews > Galápagos

Galápagos by Kurt Vonnegut
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Jul 08, 09

Read in March, 2009

This is the first Vonnegut I've read since college, when I read nothing but KV until someone gave me a copy of "Crime and Punishment" launching my interest in True Literature.

My friend Danny recommended it based on the premise: a world-wide financial collapse (described as if could have been 2008) that leads to global disorder, compounded by a strange virus that renders women infertile.

People would become extinct if not for the chance that a small colony survives on the uninhabited islands of Galapagos, of all places. They wind up there when "the nature cruise of the century" goes badly awry and quickly devolve into semi-aquatic creatures who leave most of civilized thinking, mores, customs, tools and technologies behind.

Vonnegut's premise is that civilizations and people have over-evolved in ways that negate Darwin's laws of natural selection: hence as we get more advanced and sophisticated we actually become weaker. The story is pretty good, although told in an arch, intentionally and irritatingly repetitive shaggy-dog style. The thinking is both profound and bumper-sticker simplistic ("war is bad," "greed is bad"). All told KV's world-weary tone holds up well.
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message 1: by Bap (new)

Bap I don't think I have read any Vonnegut except for slughterhouse, which I read in college and was not as taken with it as others. Maybe I need to take another look.


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