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Galápagos

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  54,854 Ratings  ·  2,196 Reviews
Galápagos takes the reader back one million years, to A.D. 1986. A simple vacation cruise suddenly becomes an evolutionary journey. Thanks to an apocalypse, a small group of survivors stranded on the Galápagos Islands are about to become the progenitors of a brave, new, and totally different human race. In this inimitable novel, America’s master satirist looks at our world ...more
Paperback, 324 pages
Published January 12th 1999 by Dial Press Trade Paperback (first published 1985)
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Henry Avila
Dec 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
The serene Galapagos Islands, named after the famous giant turtles, discovered there, almost 600 miles west of impoverished Ecuador, ( in a remote part of the vast Pacific) the small nation, that owns them, was made famous by scientist Charles Darwin, when the " HMS Beagle," a British Royal Navy, surveying ship, visited these bleak, isles, encompassing 21, in number, not counting more than 100, minuscule peaks, breaking the surface, of the sometimes cold, deep blue waters, in 1835, strange anima ...more
Lyn
Jul 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kurt Vonnegut, Isaac Asimov, Theodore Sturgeon and St. Peter sit in a bar in the Great Hereafter discussing, among other things, Vonnegut’s 1985 novel Galapagos.

Isaac: [Looking at Peter] What are you laughing about?

Peter: You know. [laughing]

Isaac: It’s still funny, after all these centuries, that me, a self described atheist and humanist, finds himself here in the Great Hereafter?

Peter: Yep, still funny.

Theodore: Well, it’s like Kurt’s book Galapagos, where Kilgore Trout’s son Leon is a ghost a
...more
Cecily

Rewritten after rereading in July 2012.

This darkly humorous satire starts with a world financial crisis in 1986 (hopefully that’s where the similarity with current times ends), leading to WW3 – though it’s not really about either: it’s fundamentally about adaptation.

A million years in the future, the only “humans” left on Earth are the descendants of a small but diverse group of survivors of a Galapagos islands cruise, and they are more like seals than 20th century humans. Most of the story is
...more
Darwin8u
Mar 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
"In this era of big brains, anything which can be done will be done -- so hunker down."
-- Kurt Vonnegut, Galápagos

description

Trying to stay a couple books ahead of my son as I re-read Vonnegut. I haven't read much since those years between 13 and 18 when I seemed to burn through Vonnegut books again and again. He was one of those few writers I ever read twice (Dickens, Shakespeare, and Hugo are a few others). So, now as an adult I am approaching these books again.

God I love this man. I love his hopeful, r
...more
Kevin Ansbro
"When all was said and done, the creatures of the Galápagos Islands were a pretty listless bunch compared with rhinos and hippos and lions and elephants and so on."

Leon Trotsky Trout is as dead as a dodo, but is nevertheless the incorporeal narrator of a story that is told almost a million years into our future.
Trout recounts a sequence of evolutionary events that begin in 1986, as a bunch of bipedal misfits gather in Ecuador for 'The Nature Cruise of the Century.'
Looking back at humankind, f
...more
Dan Schwent
Apr 25, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016, 2016-books
One million years in the future, a man recounts humanity's origins in the Galapagos islands.

This was the third Kurt Vonnegut book I've read and my third favorite. Actually, it reminds me of one of Grandpa Simpson's rambling stories that circles back on itself, only with novel-y bits like themes and messages and such.

Galapagos is part satire, part cautionary tale. There's a shipwreck on Galapagos and it turns out those people are the only ones who can reproduces. I'm pretty sure this is mentioned
...more
Apatt
Dec 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: undefined
“Just about every adult human being back then had a brain weighing about three kilograms! There was no end to the evil schemes that a thought machine that oversized couldn’t imagine and execute.”

No “so it goes”, but “and so on” does make the occasional appearances. This quote represents what appears to be the basic theme of Galápagos. The “big brain” is humanity’s downfall. Though I believe Vonnegut means something more subtle than that.

Galápagos is about a group of survivors of an apocalypse af
...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
Galápagos, Kurt Vonnegut
عنوان: گالاپاگوس؛ نویسنده: کرت ونه گات؛ مترجم: علی اصغر بهرامی؛ تهران، مروارید، 1382؛ در 341 ص؛ شابک: 9645881412؛ عنوان دیگر: مجمع الجزایر گالاپاگوس؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان امریکایی قرن 20 م
طنز تلخ روایت نابودی نسل انسان امروزی؛ عنوان کتاب از نام مجمع الجزایر گالاپاگوس، که بخشی از داستان در آنجا میگذرد، برگرفته شده؛ داستان گروه کوچکی از افرادی ست، که پس از یک بحران بزرگ اقتصادی، به سفری دریایی رفته، و کشتیشان در جزیره ی خیالی سانتا روزالیا در مجمع الجزایر گالاپاگوس،
...more
Amanda
Jan 02, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: blog
As a fan of sarcasm, cynicism, pessimism, and nihilism (yup, I'm fun at parties), as well as an absurdist plot, I'm a smitten-kitten when it comes to Vonnegut. However, I'm not in love with Galapagos. In deep like? Yes, but, for me, the gold standard when it comes to Vonnegut is Cat's Cradle, followed by Mother Night. I did, however, like Galapagos better than Slaughterhouse-Five.

Galapagos is set one million years after 1986, when the world as we know it ended and, through a series of fluke even
...more
Jason
Jul 07, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: for-kindle, reviewed, 2014
FINALLY. A Vonnegut book I didn’t like. I didn’t think it were possible!

Narrated by the million-year-old ghost of Kilgore Trout’s son (Trout being the obscure science fiction writer whom Vonnegut fans will undoubtedly recall from such books as Breakfast of Champions and Slaughterhouse-Five), Galápagos tells the story of the end of human civilization as we currently know it. Which is, incidentally, a million years before Trout’s telling of it. And by this description one might expect to be highly
...more
Anthony Vacca
May 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely adored the central conceit of this novel: In the midst of the death of the human species, a pocket of "humanity" manages to trundle on for at least another million years into the future, but the caveat being that these far-flung descendants are forever marooned on an ashy isle of the Galapagos where they have devolved into furry small-brained creatures with flippers--and the species and the planet couldn't be better off for it! The conceptual remove from its characters will probably t ...more
Caro M.
Mar 02, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: s-f, 2017-reads
It was a complicated relationship, with this book. I love Vonnegut, so I was more than enthusiastic to start yet another book by him. And as I started reading it, I got stuck right away... It took me a MONTH and a couple of days to finish it. Which is unusual for me, with Vonnegut.
My main problem with it - knowing from the start that all the characters were doomed and what sort of fate awaited them (and the whole humanity too, btw) wasn't good. There were no surprises, no "aha!" moments, no twis
...more
Stuart
Apr 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Galapagos: Our biggest problem is our oversized brains
Originally posted at Fantasy Literature
This year I read or reread my favorite Kurt Vonnegut books after a two-decade gap: The Sirens of Titan (1959), Mother Night (1961), Cat’s Cradle (1963), and Slaughterhouse-Five (1969). In these works, his trademark cynicism and resignation towards humanity’s recurrent vanity and folly was mitigated by his gallows humor and simple, unadorned prose. It’s a formula that really transcends any period and keep
...more
Ryan
Sep 06, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kurt Vonnegut explains that the greatest achievement of The Origin of Species is that it has done "more to stabilize people’s volatile opinions of how to identify success or failure than any other tome." The thinking is that so long as we continue to survive challenges, we will have improved over those that came before.

We often associate survival with success, merit and quality, and Vonnegut goes out of his way to undermine this notion in one of his less appreciated novels, Galapagos.

Leon Trotsk
...more
PirateSteve
Aug 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mr. Vonnegut puts to use a hyper imagination with Galapagos. This book is about big brains. Big brains, like big boobies, regularly get in peoples way. Fortunately, I have neither. They are in peoples way when riding a crowded bus, or crowded elevators or when actively engaged in a sport. And evolution. This book is about big brains, boobies and evolution. That's about all a person needs to know before reading Galapagos... after all, it's not likely you were going to write Beethoven's Ninth Symp ...more
Andreas
Aug 13, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
It will be interesting to see what becomes of the legacy of Kurt Vonnegut now that he is dead. Many great authors don't receive the recognition they deserve until after they have taken the giant step to the other side, but Vonnegut's Slaughter House Five was being taught in high schools across
America while the author was still alive so I guess it can be said that he was a legend in his own time. Maybe his appeal will diminish with age, but I kind of doubt it. I consider him one of the most bril
...more
Kim
Aug 06, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've read a few of Vonnegut's novels now, and I can't get enough. I love his writing style, his dark humor, and his incredible imagination. He has this way of making his bizarre visions of the future seem perfectly plausible, and makes me worry for our future and laugh at the same time.

Galapagos is told from the point of view of a person a million years after 1986. He relates the story of events in 1986 that led to the remnants of all of humanity being situated on one tiny island a million years
...more
Melki
I hadn't read anything by Vonnegut since 1990. No real reason for the lapse, just life, I guess. But boy, am I glad he's back in my life again.

Like most of THE MAN'S books, this one is about everything and nothing.

The ghost of Leon Trotsky Trout (sprung from the loins of Kilgore Trout) spins a salty yarn from one million years in the future, telling us all about the mating rituals of humans and blue footed boobies in the year 1986. Seems that once upon a time, mankind had bigger brains and oppos
...more
Liz Janet
Jan 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
"In the era of big brains, life stories could end up any which way. Look at mine.”

This is my favourite of Kurt Vonnegut’s books. It is a story told through the eyes of Leon Trotsky Trout, son of one of Vonnegut’s recurring characters, Kilgore Trout. Leon has been watching over humanity for around a million years as a ghost, and by watching over I mean he just sits there and watches them, not in any divine form.

Galapagos takes quite a big chunk being about Ecuador in 1986 during the Latin Ameri
...more
MJ Nicholls
Jan 29, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels, merkins
I have been told to spread my legs a little, open up my work to the desperate reading masses. So let me interrupt this blank space to bring you the latest M.J. Nicholls book experience, The Casserole Dishes of Letitia Elizabeth Landon. Here’s the synopsis:

“In my first non-fiction book, I explore the hidden culinary talents of the 19thC poet and writer, known largely for her simple and sentimental verse.

In 1821, at the age of nineteen, Landon published her first book of poems, The Fate of Adelaid
...more
Daniel Clausen
Jun 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is either the best or the worst travel book ever written. I was traveling through central Europe while I read this book. And as I read, I kept thinking that perhaps I was on my own "Nature Cruise of the Century." I thought that perhaps my own version of James Wait was around every corner. Now, let my oversized brain ruin a simple book review, let me finish by saying that there were no currency crises, wars, drunken captains, or con artists (at least that I knew of) on my trip. I wasn't stra ...more
Algernon
Apr 05, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
[7/10]

The ship, a fragment detached from the earth,
went on lonely and swift like a small planet.


I love to come across Joseph Conrad quotes, and the one above is eminently appropriate as a one line review of Galapagos . The whole Earth is reduced in this novel to a single vessel, a modern Noah's Ark carrying the last survivors of the human race to the haven of the Galapagos Islands. By placing the action of the novel in 1986, only one year into the future considering the date of publication, Vo
...more
Люда Дмитрук
А можна поставити десять зірочок? Це мій другий роман Воннеґута і це любов! Його філософський сарказм вводив мене в захоплений транс. Ідеальна книга!
Chris "Stu"
May 15, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2007
"Galapagos" is, as far as I can tell, when Kurt Vonnegut decided to become "Kurt Vonnegut." This book feels like an imperfect parody of Vonnegut's style. It's not _bad_, per se, it's just not very good. Narrated from 1 million years in the future, by Kilgore Trout's son, this book has flashes of real resonance, like when Leon Trout speaks of his time in Vietnam. All in all, however, the entire thing feels misanthropic in a way that definitely would have appealed to me back in junior high, but fe ...more
Mike Calabrese
Feb 14, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Mike by: Josh Avin
I've read a whole lot of Vonnegut. I can summate my general feeling toward his works as follows: it's an incredibly engaging and interesting read that you simply fly through, but over the course of a few days after finishing it the plot is all but totally forgotten, and the protagonist appears increasingly underdeveloped the more you think about it. So not expecting a Raskolnikov or Mersault from Vonnegut leads me to take his books at face value.

Galapogos, however, was different. The characters
...more
Joshua Nomen-Mutatio
Sep 17, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Joshua Nomen-Mutatio by: Jimmy
Shelves: fiction
I just really, really regret not ever reading Vonnegut as a teenager. Would've been the perfect time. It's still good now, but I feel a bit like I have to time-travel while reading it in order to appreciate it more. I've also been told that this is not exactly the best Vonnegut to start with, especially as a full-grown adult with pretentious literary sensibility and high intellectual expectations. Still, I enjoyed it quite a bit. I like the wildly speculative and I'm a fetishist of sorts for evo ...more
Tiffany
Jul 01, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Now, really... am I the only person who doesn't love Vonnegut?
Cat
For a first time reading Vonnegut, I can't say it was all that bad. Especially since the book was borrowed.

The core of the story is how a group of people colonise an island of the Galápagos Archipelago, and the evolution that ensues from that. The action takes time in 1986, the actual time is a million years after that, and the narrator is a ghost that refuses to enter the Blue Tunnel of the Afterlife.

Sounds crazy? It is crazy.

Especially because humanity's big problems are derived from our big b
...more
Danger
Mar 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is the second time I’ve read this book (the first being half-my-lifetime ago, at the very tail end of my teenage years) and I have to say, this is Vonnegut at his best. Written in the latter part of his career, this unsung novel should be held in the same esteem as Cat’s Cradle or Slaughterhouse Five. Caustically empathetic, weird, deep, and playful - this book exemplifies everything that is good about Vonnegut’s writing, and reading now for the second time, it has once again reminded me wh ...more
Neil
Jun 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
The three-pound human brain is the most destructive force on this planet. Unless you distract it, our brains will go on a rampage seeking importance, alcohol and self-esteem. There are some things that work well, like mindfulness, but the best distraction people have found is to make babies.

It was humanity’s ability to heal so quickly, by means of babies

Then that lead to the problem of more brains and now there are a lot of brains and we probably don’t need them all, but since we are all here Vo
...more
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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
...more
More about Kurt Vonnegut Jr....
“Some automatic device clicked in her big brain, and her knees felt weak, and there was a chilly feeling in her stomach. She was in love with this man.

They don't make memories like that anymore”
38 likes
“For some people, getting pregnant is as easy as catching cold." And there certainly was an analogy there: Colds and babies were both caused by germs which loved nothing so much as a mucous membrane.” 25 likes
More quotes…