Erik Graff's Reviews > Timequake

Timequake by Kurt Vonnegut
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Oct 31, 09

bookshelves: sf
Recommended to Erik by: Thomas Miley
Recommended for: Vonnegut fans
Read in October, 2009, read count: 1

Having traveled to California for the marriage and moving of an old friend currently on a short honeymoon, I'm now with his brother and nephew at a communally owned summer house on the edge of the Stanislaus National Forest. They live by the San Francisco airport while the marrying sibling is out in Sonoma, so the usual practice is to stay with them in the city for a few days before heading north to the Napa Valley. On this occasion, given the exigencies of marriage, we had the time to squeeze in a quick trip to the Sierras before meeting up with his brother on Monday. For this trip I grabbed his copy of Vonnegut's Timequake because it's short enough to serve as a bedtime book for the couple of days we're here.

Well, I finished it, but it wasn't quite the pleasure previous extensive readings of Vonnegut would have led me to expect. According to the author, he'd gotten hung up writing a novel and finally decided to publish extracts of it along with other materials. The result is a mix of personal reminiscence, story ideas, disjointed elements presumably form the unfinished draft novel and political fulminations linked only by the personal styles of Vonnegut and his long-time alter ego Kilgore Trout. Some of it is as good as anything Vonnegut has ever done, but this is definitely a case of the whole being less than the sum of its parts. Don't bother with it unless you're a committed fan who cannot get enough of Vonnegut's writing.
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Mark Lutte Nobody cares about your summer house, your friend, his honeymoon, or his house by the airport. I promise.


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