Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Welcome to the Monkey House” as Want to Read:
Welcome to the Monkey House
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Welcome to the Monkey House

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  48,213 ratings  ·  1,688 reviews
Welcome to the Monkey House is a collection of Kurt Vonnegut’s shorter works. Originally printed in publications as diverse as The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction and The Atlantic Monthly, these superb stories share Vonnegut’s audacious sense of humor and extraordinary range of creative vision.
Paperback, 331 pages
Published 2013 by Dial Press Trade Paperbacks (first published 1968)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Welcome to the Monkey House, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Joey Colombi I think so. A lot of his stories have similar themes to his novels. Also, I just think it's a great collection of stories. The ones I liked the most…moreI think so. A lot of his stories have similar themes to his novels. Also, I just think it's a great collection of stories. The ones I liked the most from it are Tom Edison's Shaggy Dog, EPICAC, and Who am I This Time.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.14  · 
Rating details
 ·  48,213 ratings  ·  1,688 reviews

Sort order
Jul 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Welcome to the Monkey House by Kurt Vonnegut is a collection of short stories from the 50s and 60s and demonstrates Vonnegut’s tremendous range as a writer.

I have read one critic who did not like Vonnegut, saying that all of his novels are essentially the same, with his voice and tone narrating each new set of facts. I agreed somewhat, but still liked the way he writes and have enjoyed every one of his works I have read.

The stories in this collection, however, written earlier than most of his
Apr 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: american
A Compendium of Curmudgeonly Humour

Kurt Vonnegut is a curmudgeon. Curmudgeons are often misunderstood and taken for irascible pedants. On the contrary, they are anything but pedantic. Curmudgeons are introverts who are simply tired of adapting themselves to the demands of an extrovert world. They want to be left alone. Which is why they occasionally write or say nasty things to annoy people. The hope is that other people will then have something to talk about with each other and give the curmudg
Dec 20, 2008 rated it really liked it
The world is overpopulated, and they have Ethical Suicide Parlors, where public minded citizens are encouraged to go in and get a lethal injection from the attractive hostesses. There's a big thermometer outside, showing how many people there currently are in the world.

So the guy comes in, and he's chatting with the hostess. He wants to know how much the mercury will go down if he decides to do it. A foot?

No, she says.

An inch?

Not quite, she says.

Suddenly, he changes his tone. Every inch, he says
Daniel Clausen
Mar 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-of-2018
This is a master class in the art of short story writing. Every short story is finely crafted. Many have humor, many have heartbreak, many have subtle romance.

Almost all have commentary on society, especially American society, that is as relevant today as it was in the 1950s.

What are these stories missing?

You reader. It's missing you to unlock their meaning and beauty.
Brian Yahn
Sep 18, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Welcome to the Monkey House is the best collection of stories I've read.

Rating it accurately is as difficult as ever. Should it be based off of the best stories? Or all of them? I don't know.

What I do know is: Harrison Bergeron, Welcome to the Monkey House, Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow, EPICAC, Where I Live, and The Euphio Question are some of the best shorts ever written.

Much like Vonnegut's other novels, they're strangely scientific with quirky characters, great dialogue, and plenty of c
Kaethe Douglas
Jun 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing
1982 January 6
2014 October 3

Where I Live - Keenly observed. I wonder what an update would be like 50 years on?

Harrison Bergeron - This one has aged a bit, but it's still good.

Who Am I This Time? - I vividly recall the American Playhouse production with Susan Sarandon and Christopher Walken. Magic.

Welcome to the Monkey House - Likewise aged, not that there aren't people who would be delighted to see the sex drive killed for everyone else, but those people tend not to be in favor of birth control
Feb 19, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011, audio
Vonnegut does a wonderful job with a short story and while most stories were "okay" to "yeah, I liked it I guess", it's definitely worth it for the few 4 to 5 star ratings.

"Where I Live" (Venture- Traveler’s World, October 1964) - 2/5 Kinda boring and no real plot. Just meandering
"Harrison Bergeron" (The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, October 1961) - 5/5 Loved this one - science fiction - Handicapping people so everything is fair and no one can take unfair advantage because of their lo
Sep 05, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Previously read June 2003 (among many other times)

Like many offbeat/outcast teens, I went through a Vonnegut phase - and am glad to say I never completely recovered. I would heartily recommend Welcome to the Monkey House for anyone new to Vonnegut's body of work, as it covers basically the first two decades of his career (and IMHO, the best years)

It contains an honest-to-goodness love story - "Long Walk to Forever" that always makes me sniffle a little. Then there's the familiarly sardonic "Rep
Elyse Walters
Apr 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This man was a genius!!!! And ---a loving Husband -father! One heck of a decent human being!!!

A few stories were soooooooooooooooooo good, that I was wishing I could 'go-back' and change a few things about my College days. I would have loved to be talking about this book in a College Class. I'm ready now!!!!!

I'm really happy I won this book. I could have missed it. THANK YOU --THANK YOU ---THANK YOU ---to whom ever 'picked' my name as a 'first read'.

I enjoyed reading other reviews --early this
Dec 26, 2016 added it
Shelves: reviewed
I spent over three months with this book, never reading more than one story per day. I have read selections of Vonnegut, including parts of Player Piano and "Harrison Bergeron," but this was my first cover-to-cover read. I love the guy. Something about his writing is so believable to me. I rarely have difficulty stepping into his POV.

Welcome to the Monkey House is a bit of a hodgepodge collection, jumping from sci-fi to articles suited for Ladies Home Journal. Some of the stories, naturally, are
Jan 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: öykü
Vonnegut her ne kadar seçkinin başında yer alan ön sözde, derlenen bu öyküleri "asıl" işi olarak gördüğü romanlarını kaleme almak için para kazanmak amacıyla yazdığını söylese de - ki özellikle Scott Fitzgerald'dan başlayarak, o dönemin prestijli dergileri Salinger, Capote, Cheever gibi bir çok yazara öyküleri için yüksek miktarlarda telifler ödüyorlardı - romanlarından aşina olduğumuz o muazzam zekasını, alaycılığını ve elbette ayrı düşünemediğimiz karamsarlığını pek çok öyküsünde bulmak mümkün ...more
Peter Tillman
The standout story here is "Harrison Bergeron" (1961), which is a classic, 5-star story. It's available online at:
If you've somehow missed reading it, or it's been awhile, youre in for a treat.

Otherwise, it's a mixed bag of (mostly) 1950s stories. Most of them haven't aged well. Here are the better ones:
"Miss Temptation" (1956): a soldier comes back from the Korean War, and insults a pretty girl in his hometown. 3 stars.
"Tom Edison's Shaggy Dog" (1953):
Dec 04, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Put it down for some time after the eponymous "Welcome to the Monkey House." I only speak for myself, but I'm tired of reading about rape, either as a plot device or metaphor. Especially since I read this just after "Sirens of Titan," in which Vonnegut also writes in a detached manner of a character's assault. The character Billy's explanation of his actions was condescending and objectifying, even saying his other victims were "grateful," and asserting Nancy's anger is not because of her violat ...more
Mar 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I could write a long review and talk about every short story in this collection, but I'm not going to do that. There are just too many good stories in this collection. My personal favorite was probably "Harrison Bergeron" but I would have to think about that. It's not necessary that I have a "favorite" per se, but my mind just works that way.

If you're a Vonnegut fan, you've probably read this. If you've never read Vonnegut, give it a shot. It's a great way to start your journey into his mind. He
Omar Alhashimi
Jan 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Vonnegut does it again.

This took me way longer than intended, probably due to the hectic nature of my first week back in uae. Nevertheless, I'm glad I read it.
I was never a big fan of a book of collection of short stories. Usually there would be a lot of hit and miss. With Welcome To The Monkey House however, literally every short story was memorable. Maybe one was mediocre, but all of the rest were so good. I can't stress enough how each individual short story was able to stand on its own, an
Sep 03, 2016 rated it liked it
This was a nice collection of short stories dwelling on a lot of different themes added with Vonnegut's personal view which is evident in them. Although most of the stories were quite good, I found myself enjoying those who were practically SF the most, which is were at least by my opinion Vonnegut is in his best.
This collection of early short stories, mostly from the 1950s, displays Vonnegut's versatility--of subject matter, theme, and style; and also his grasping for an identifiable, unique personal style. At this point, he already is a mature, assured writer. Except for possibly "The Manned Missiles" (which nonetheless has the same clever twist ending as many of the other stories in this collection) all of the stories in this compilation are great. Vonnegut's command of narrative and descriptive detai ...more
David (דוד)
25 Stories. Average rating: 3.32

Interesting stories. Mostly General fiction, while some are SF. Good language and writing style. Most of the stories were however either just good [3-stars (13 stories)] or okay [2-stars (4 stories)]. Seven stories though, very much stood out for me.

Who Am I This Time : When a characterless actor plays a character with extreme intensity in the theater, he finds a woman falling in love with these characters. Thinking what its advantages are, by the end of
Sep 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: american-lit
In the 70s I taught this at community colleges, and it was wildly popular--the three scifi pieces on future overpopulation, or taking the joy out of sex ("ethical birth control") astute. The Cape Cod autobiographical shorts are wonderful views of an enviable past--the Yacht Club on the Bay side that is barely a shed, etc. My students could talk about this book for days, and did--though I never came up with paper assignments that evoked their best writing. Not sure why. Maybe Vonnegut's own prose ...more
MJ Nicholls
Aug 15, 2011 rated it liked it
This collection, along with Bagombo Snuff Box, collects short stories from Vonnegut’s time writing for the glossies, dailies and slicks. The pieces range from speculative fiction to standard romance fare, each only hinting at the greatness he would achieve as a novelist. He wrote these for money, no doubt about it, and although several spar with some of his Big Stuff, they lack the scathing black humour, wild absurdity and heartbreaking pathos of . . . hmm, well, start at The Sirens of Titan and ...more
Sep 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories
I think Vonnegut's best talent as a writer is his knack for stripping away the gap between facade and reality. He loves to sketch out characters that are (or simply seem) amazingly rich or powerful or charismatic. Then he breaks their circumstances down such that they're stuck with only their base humanity, and they have to confront themselves as they really are. How degrading to find out how much you're just like everyone else!
Aug 19, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I heard once from an old English teacher that the hardest pieces to write are short stories and short films. To develop a plot and characters in a short and constricted time frame requires no small amount of skill. There's no room to waste words and phrases; to do so would turn your short story into a novella. Poe was great at it. And I feel Vonnegut was great at it too.

Welcome to the Monkey House has been a favorite book of mine for a long time. I may have inadvertently acquired this copy from
Romanlarıyla tanınan Vonnegut'un bütün öykülerini içeren bu kitap, son yıllarda okuduğum en iyi kitaplardan biri. Vonnegut külliyatında benim için Mezbaha No. 5 ve Şampiyonların Kahvaltısı'ndan sonra üçüncü sırada yer alacak.
Cathi Davis
Jul 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
I haven't read any Vonnegut for a long time. So when this was the kindle deal of the day, I thought, why not? Glad I reread it. I knew I liked his writing style, but this just refreshed the thought. He is good. This is a collection of short stories, from various publications. Some are dated and quaint. You can't help but giggle out loud at his sense of humor, perhaps even more appealing today in the face of so much "serious" fiction.
An example from "Where I live"--
"So he went down the narrow ya
I simply love, love, love, LOVE Kurt Vonnegut! He's hilarious, intelligent, and entertaining-and this collection of short stories is one of the finest ever written! While some of the stories aren't necessarily "classic Vonnegut" and a couple of them aren't particularly memorable, this collection is still worth reading in its entirety. It was a really fun read for me, especially because Vonnegut is so funny. Not all of the stories are extremely hilarious, a couple of them are actually really emot ...more
May 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing
PS: - povestirea cea mai impresionanta (greu cuvantul pentru niste povestiri prin excelenta impresionante si surprinzatoare) e pentru mine, de departe, Toti caii regelui, despre cum e sa ai in maini viata celorlalti si sentimentul de-a fi la moftul cuiva, gandire limpede in tensiune, thriller in toata puterea cuvantului, ca la PROTV.

- mi-a placut in mod deosebit Colectia de primavara-iarna, despre o lume utopica(?) in care oamenii pot invata sa-si paraseasca corpurile, pricina tuturor nazurilor
Jim Fonseca
Oct 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
A varied and uneven collection of Vonnegut's short stories. Some read like Yankee Magazine or Saturday Even Post stories: boy home from WW II gets girl stories, or "hometown" stories of Barnstable, Massachusetts. Others, the better ones, play to Vonnegut's strengths, like the title work. These are science fiction with Big Themes like thought control, enforced birth control, a cemented-over world, weapons of mass destruction, and variations on Big Brother.
Nikki "The Crazie Betty" V.
Some stories are better than others but overall a good solid 5 star read. Review to come.
Elizabeth Wallace
Jul 26, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, sci-fi
You'd THINK that, what with Vonnegut having written one of my all-time favorite classic sci-fi novels "Sirens of Titan", not to mention "Slaughterhouse Five", you'd think I'd have remembered that he wrote "Harrison Bergeron," one of the great classic sci-fi short stories (it was even in a school textbook of mine) and the second story in this collection. Somehow I never put that together in my head, that it was a Vonnegut story, though I should've; a dystopian more-than-a-little-tongue-in-cheek s ...more
Saif Saeed
Dec 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
There's 25 stories in this book, all very short. When an American writer says short stories he means it, none of that novella crap here. I'll try to keep this review short too.

I wanted to give this three stars but I really couldn't bring myself to do that with stories like Harrison Bergeron, Report on the Barnhouse Effect and The Euphio Question collected here. Vonnegut builds worlds and encapsulates the essence of an idea in 7-15 pages, and there's quite a few stories in here that are philosoph
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Vonnegut short story 2 35 Sep 23, 2013 11:00PM  
What's Your Favorite Short Story/The Best Short Story You've Ever Read 24 381 Jun 02, 2013 11:09PM  
  • Lord of the Flies
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7)
  • Conversations with Kurt Vonnegut
  • Venus on the Half-Shell
  • The Handmaid's Tale
  • The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick, Volume 5: We Can Remember It For You Wholesale
  • The Best Short Stories
  • The Eden Express: A Memoir of Insanity
  • Nightmares And Geezenstacks
  • The Basic Kafka
  • City of Glass: The Graphic Novel
  • The Wine of Youth
  • The Stories of Vladimir Nabokov
  • Septuagenarian Stew
  • The Vintage Bradbury: The Greatest Stories by America's Most Distinguished Practioner of Speculative Fiction
  • The Woman Who Married a Cloud
  • Flash Fiction: 72 Very Short Stories
  • Blind Date
Kurt Vonnegut, Junior was an American novelist, satirist, and most recently, graphic artist. He was recognized as New York State Author for 2001-2003.

He was born in Indianapolis, later the setting for many of his novels. He attended Cornell University from 1941 to 1943, where he wrote a column for the student newspaper, the Cornell Daily Sun. Vonnegut trained as a chemist and worked as a journali
“A sane person to an insane society must appear insane.” 802 likes
“I wish you'd help me look into a more interesting problem - namely, my sanity.” 69 likes
More quotes…