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Timequake

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  32,966 ratings  ·  1,591 reviews
According to science-fiction writer Kilgore Trout, a global timequake will occur in New York City on 13th February 2001. It is the moment when the universe suffers a crisis of conscience. Should it expand or make a great big bang? It decides to wind the clock back a decade to 1991, making everyone in the world endure ten years of deja-vu and a total loss of free will - not ...more
Paperback, 219 pages
Published August 6th 1998 by Vintage Classics (first published September 22nd 1997)
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Average rating 3.72  · 
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 ·  32,966 ratings  ·  1,591 reviews


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Lyn
Oct 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
Another fun, rambling visit with cantankerous old Uncle Kurt.

As with most of his works, it is not so much what he writes, as how he writes it. He is funny. He is amusing and entertaining.

Here's the thing: It's about a timequake, where the world goes back 10 years and everyone and everything re-lives the past ten years all over again.

Listen: Kurt is too slick, this is an allegory about how our society will re-live our past, history will repeat itself because we are too stupid and apathetic to
...more
J.L.   Sutton
Feb 19, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Many people need desperately to receive this message: 'I feel and think much as you do, care about many of the things you care about, although most people do not care about them. You are not alone..”

Image result for kilgore trout

I was intrigued by the concept of Kurt Vonnegut's last novel: a 'timequake' beginning on February 13, 2001 rewinds the clock back to 1991. It's maddening, of course. Everyone must live those years again, exactly as they'd done before, all the while knowing what will happen, but unable to change any
...more
Darwin8u
“In real life, as in Grand Opera, arias only make hopeless situations worse.”
- Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., Timequake

description

Timequake was one of the first books my wife ever gave me. I don't know why it took me so long to read. I WAS a huge fan of Vonnegut 20 years ago when we first got married and I loved my wife. Clearly, I at age 23 I wasn't a fan of Vonnegut enough or trusted my wife's taste in books enough. I think I was just fearful Vonnegut was just mailing a final novel in. This was one of the last thin
...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
Timequake. Kurt Vonnegut
Timequake is a semi-autobiographical work by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. published in 1997. Marketed as a novel, the book was described as a "stew" by Vonnegut, in which he summarizes a novel he had been struggling with for a number of years. Kilgore Trout serves again as the main character, who the author declares as having died in 2001, at the fictitious Xanadu retreat in Rhode Island. Vonnegut explains in the beginning of the book that he was not satisfied with the original ve
...more
David Schaafsma
Well, I just read Galapagos, one of Vonnegut’s finest novels, and Timequake is not in that club. I, as with most Vonnegut fans, am perfectly content reading Vonnegut write about the phone book or fleas or jazz. His rambling is like music to our ears. But this book is not one of the best of his books. Not the best or most original rambling from him. Though one occasion for the book becomes the death of Kurt’s dear brother Bernard. One attraction here is that both guys are science guys who are fun ...more
Kirstine
Apr 23, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an odd mix of fiction and autobiography. Narrated by the author himself (who is not fictional), while relying on stories and quotations from the old science fiction author Kilgore Trout (who is). There are fake stories, true stories, and all of them will tell you something about being human, in all its terrible glory.
Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgment Day: We never asked to be born in the first place.
The universe happened upon the same question that hits us all, often
...more
Ian "Marvin" Graye
Timeless Impression

If this isn't nice, what is?

Kiss Me Again
By Kilgore Trout


Some people think that science fiction doesn't give an author much opportunity to write about herself.

Whether or not this is true, I thought I might tell you a little about my family, if not much about me and my role in it.

Before I start, I should warn you that I do not propose to discuss my love life. Not that there's much to tell you about anyway.

That said, I still can't get over how women are shaped, especially their
...more
Kemper
Nov 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: humor
I'm suprised that I found some of Vonnegut's later, less talked about books as enjoyable as some of the classic ones. But I enjoyed Bluebeard, Hocus Pocus and Timequake just as much as Slaughterhouse 5, Cat's Cradle, Mother Night or Breakfast of Champions.

Even though this technically isn't the last Vonnegut work, it's obvious that he was thinking of it as his swan song in fiction, and it's a near-perfect farewell.
Moonkiszt
I've not read a lot of Mr. Vonnegut's works. . .just those assigned in class, and I will have to read those again to remind myself of their points and purposes.

Meanwhile this one, Timequake, seems like a big wrap-up to all the things he might have wanted to say in a book but hadn't yet. I had a difficult time holding on to the thread of this tale, but every once in awhile a phrase or sentence stands alone in the body of the text and feels very amusing and out of place. Like the time you were at
...more
Art
Oct 08, 2007 rated it it was ok
I hate to say this because I love Vonnegut. Cat's Crade and Slaughterhouse were pure genuis - satire at it's best. I also liked Sirens and Breakfast of Champions even though they were not of the calibre of his best works.

However, I am starting to fear that most of his other books are a waste of time. I think people read them only because they love Vonnegut and they desperately want to experience again the simple delight of discovering books that can shake you and engulf you.

I did not enjoy Von
...more
notgettingenough
Come the half way point or so in this book I was rather indignantly thinking how wrong all the harsh criticism of it is. As usual Vonnegut was making me liberally annotate as I wrote. Here: Yes! There: Haha! Somewhere else: Ting-a-ling!!! By the end, however, it was a chore. Those explanation points! Those ting-a-lings!!! I wanted to get right into the very paper of the book and kill them!!!!

Maybe it’s worth reading as a piece on how writers suffer when they can’t write – or think they can’t wri
...more
Danger
May 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
2ND READ-THROUGH: There’s a lot going on here. Ruminations on life and regret, but strangely enough, Vonnegut’s trademark “cynicism” doesn’t quite sound so cynical to me. Dare I say, there’s a lot of hope and gratitude contained in this - a book that functions like an autobiography moreso than the novel within the novel it’s (marginally) attempting to tell. Suffice it to say, NO ONE writes like this, or this well, or this deeply, in the way Vonnegut does. This book had me laughing and tearing up ...more
JSou
Nov 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All Vonnegut fans
Perfect last novel from one of my very favorite authors. This is the first time I've re-read this since Vonnegut passed, which made this book even more amazing. I've been yelling, "I FRY MINE IN BUTTER!" all week now, making many people think I'm even more "special" than they had originally assumed.
Girish
Aug 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"..that all that could be learned from history was that history itself was absolutely nonsensical, so study something else, like music"

Kurt Vonnegut's one of the last books (i think), is a semi autobiographical caricature painting based on the human condition. If through a timequake, people are made to relive the last 10 years, without free will, essentially do the exact same thing again and again, will be appreciate life any better? We have Kilgore Trout and Kurt Vonnegut walk out of such a ti
...more
Liz
Apr 11, 2008 rated it really liked it
At first I didn't get into this book, and I had put it down and forgotten about it. Recently I spotted it on my bookshelf and, needing something new to read when I finished my last book, I grabbed Timequake. I read it mostly on the train thinking that would force me to get over the hump I couldn't overtake a couple years ago when I first tried to read it. I was surprised this time around that I had ever put it down. It's extremely witty; full of humor and beauty and saddness, but told in a refre ...more
Adam Floridia
This has the distinct honor of being my favorite KV book!

On re-reading 8/18/15 in preparation for English 298: The Novels of Kurt Vonnegut (which will probably be canceled due to low enrollment):

After a decade, re-reading this same novel, as if in a timequake, I can only repeat what my thoughts were the first time I read it: Wow, this is one of the best book's I've ever read. It's one of the best examples of postmodernism. It's one of the best examples of the value of art. It's one of the most
...more
Justin Brendel
May 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A little bit memoir, a little sci-fi, a little bit country and a little bit rock and roll. Kurt references his many works, such as Bluebeard, Slaughterhouse 5, Cat's Cradle. Kilgore Trout has many adventures in this deja vu of a life in which a timequake occured, causing everyone to relive the last ten years. A lot of talk of war, specifically atomic, and various characters from our history books. An interesting read from gold old Kurt.
Rob
I suppose it would be fair to call this a rant. Essentially, this is a summary of a novel Vonnegut struggles to write mixed with reflections from his life. The two main characters in this semi-auto-biographical novel are Kilgore Trout, Vonnegut's alter-ego, and the author himself. The fact that much of the narrative consists of tangential reflections on actual events in the author's life make it difficult to distinguish between fact and fiction in this book.

Obviously, there was no "timequake" in
...more
J. Kevin
Apr 10, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Is Timequake a novel? A memoir? A philosophical essay? A stand-up routine? A little of each, as it turns out. Vonnegut set out to write a science fiction novel about the eponymous "Timequake": a phenomenon that causes everyone on Earth to re-live the past ten years of their lives, aware that they're caught in a re-run, but unable to do or say anything differently than they did the first time around. Which is a terrific sci-fi premise (and a great metaphor for those times when we feel like we hav ...more
Linda
Nov 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: audio, 2018
I think this was the wrong choice to make for my first Kurt Vonnegut book. Reading the synopsis, I was excited about the story that waited for me. But I was thoroughly confused for the first hour of the audiobook with the inclusion of the author's autobiographical bits and talking about Timequake 1 (the story I thought I was going to be reading) and Timequake 2 (which I'm still not quite sure of). It was such an odd mix of the author talking about scenes from Timequake 1 and his real life that I ...more
britt_brooke
Nov 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Ting-a-ling, motherfucker.” - Kilgore Trout

This semi-autobiographical “stew” is kind of bonkers, but I liked it. A must read for established fans.
Carolyn
Feb 29, 2008 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Serious Vonnegut fans
I've read a few Kurt Vonnegut books that I remember being fun reads, but I wouldn't say this was one of them. I'm aware that he's since passed and this was his last novel published. He mentioned that it was a story he had been working on for a decade, "piecemeal", eventually compressing bits of fiction together with autobiographical accounts interspersed (I felt like they outweighed the actual story). I think I needed to be more interested in the author to have appreciated this. He has a unique ...more
A.J.
Feb 02, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
When an author goes out of his way to explain that the novel you are holding in your hands is the result of a failed attempt to write a novel and is obviously cobbled together with no apparent structural or narrative concern in mind, do not proceed.

Vonnegut is an uneven writer. That's not a sin. If you've ever tried to read the worst of King or Poe or even Hemingway you'll discover that for yourself. Nevertheless, there's no use downplaying it. This novel was a bloody mess. Vonnegut stumbles fr
...more
MJ Nicholls
May 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
Timequake is billed as Vonnegut’s last “novel” but it’s neither his last, nor a novel. Hocus Pocus was the final novel from the Master, and A Man Without a Country his last book. This is almost entirely autobiographical, with a few digressions on the career of Kilgore Trout to keep the fictional proceedings going.

No complaints from me. Kurt is on fine form, wisecracking and wise, settling into his batty old grandfather role with ease. What is surprising about this volume is the candour he displa
...more
Marts  (Thinker)
Mar 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Some entertaining and some thought provoking ramblings of Vonnegut....
Jon Nakapalau
Sep 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
A lot like Groundhog Day...interesting questions raised about the nature of time and space.
Goldberg
Feb 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“You are not enough people!”

Worth reading just for this quote.
A lot of fun...
Jessica
Aug 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, science-fiction
So . . . huh.

I didn't know what this was, just that it was on sale for Kindle a couple of months ago and the only Vonnegut I've ever read is Slaughterhouse-Five (a favorite). So I got this, and I read it and it . . . is unusual. It's not so much a novel as a description of a story about a writer, Kilgore Trout, who is Vonnegut's alter ego and imaginary friend, along with descriptions of the stories Trout wrote and then threw away during the Timequake. It's . . . yeah, it's hard to describe. I d
...more
Marie
Mar 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
Timequake is an odd one. It's a mix of the typical sci-fi genre, with short anecdotes from his life, along with a couple of tangential rants on the perils of modern society. Reading this was certainly an experience - although I still haven't entirely decided (having finished the book and mulled it over) whether this book was any good as a novel! If the quality of the book is defined by how much I enjoyed it (which seems a reasonable approach) - it certainly would deserve the 4 out of 5 stars.

Th
...more
Malkan
Oct 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Going into this book, I expected science fiction and some crazy story about warped time or time travel. Some character might go to a different world or maybe time would stop and someone needs to put it back together. Boy, was I wrong. This book was very different indeed.
This book is loaded with stories which I had to put together to understand it all, but they are fairly well organized based on how he wants to build on the climax. The idea of a Timequake is very interesting and his use of the
...more
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28,705 followers
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

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