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Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
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message 1: by MJ (last edited Sep 18, 2012 09:53AM) (new)

MJ Nicholls (mjnicholls) | 211 comments I have read more by Vonnegut than any other author, but I still have little dregs left to complete, especially as all the unpublished stuff gets foisted on the fans. The worst of these is a collection of columns written for his Cornell newspaper, and a long novella from the 40s, Basic Training. I have yet to read: Look at the Birdie, Sun Moor Star, Wanda June and the Conversations/Interview books.

Full list of articles/stories:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurt_Von...

Novels:

Player Piano (1952)
The Sirens of Titan (1959)
Mother Night (1961)
Cat's Cradle (1963)
God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, or Pearls Before Swine (1965)
Slaughterhouse-Five, or The Children's Crusade: A Duty-Dance with Death (1969)
Breakfast of Champions, or Goodbye Blue Monday (1973)
Slapstick, or Lonesome No More! (1976)
Jailbird (1979)
Deadeye Dick (1982)
Galápagos (1985)
Bluebeard (1987)
Hocus Pocus (1990)
Timequake (1997)

Collections:

Canary in a Cathouse (1961)
Welcome to the Monkey House (1968)
Wampeters, Foma and Granfalloons (Opinions) (1974)
Palm Sunday: An Autobiographical Collage (1981)
Fates Worse Than Death: An Autobiographical Collage (1991)
Bagombo Snuff Box: Uncollected Short Fiction (1999)
God Bless You, Dr. Kevorkian (1999)
A Man Without a Country (2005) Essays
Armageddon in Retrospect (2008)
Look at the Birdie: Unpublished Fiction (2009)
While Mortals Sleep: Unpublished Fiction (2011)
Kurt Vonnegut: The Cornell Sun Years 1941–1943 (2012)

Plays:

Penelope (1960)
The Very First Christmas Morning (1962)
Fortitude (1968)
Happy Birthday, Wanda June (1970)
Requiem (1987)
Make Up Your Mind (1993)
Miss Temptation (1993)
L'Histoire du Soldat (1993)

Miscellany:

Between Time and Timbuktu or, Prometheus-5: A Space Fantasy (1972)
Sun Moon Star (1980)


message 2: by Brian (new)

Brian | 8 comments MJ - are you interested in his recently published biography? I enjoyed The Vonnegut Statement - if for nothing else it introduced the early '20s version of me to Richard Yates (referred to several times in his interviews).

I purchased "Sun Moon Star" in the mid-90s (right when Amazon was first getting going) for something like $85. I thought it was going to be something more than what it was.

Other than that, I also have read everything by KVJ, some things a few times. What is your favorite novel? Least favorite?


message 3: by MJ (last edited Sep 17, 2012 01:55PM) (new)

MJ Nicholls (mjnicholls) | 211 comments Ali: Indeed. These individual threads might help give the group some longevity after, say, a week. Plus it'll help us direct our specialist knowledge to people who genuinely care.

Brian: I read the recent bio, not bad. You are a true Vonnegut completist, to fork out $85 for a kids' book! The scholarship definitely doesn't count in my opinion, unless Vonnegut contributed in some major way (i.e. like the interview/conversation books).

My favourite Vonneguts are definitely Mother Night, Breakfast of Champions and Deadeye Dick. Yours?


message 4: by Brian (new)

Brian | 8 comments Mother Night and Sirens of Titan are my two favorites - have read them each a few times. Galapagos was my least favorite (was funny to read in Palm Sunday that when he graded his novels he gave it the worst grade).

Yes - I had no idea that Sun Moon Star was an art/children book. This is back in the day of no pictures nor descriptions of the book. I admit to feeling let down when I opened the box and saw what I got. It's also too large for my bookshelf and so it lays on top of its Vonnegut brethren.


message 5: by Nathan "N.R." (new)

Nathan "N.R." Gaddis (nathannrgaddis) | 258 comments Chiming in. I believe I accomplished all Vonnegut up to and including Timequake. I know that includes Wanda June and probably Timbuktu, the autobiographical stuff probably; his thing with Mark maybe. I don't recall with precision. I've not felt the compulsion to read the post-Quake stuff, which is, what? a dozen plus volumes of mostly barrel scraping and a few diamonds perhaps? But I was quite happy to spend half each of the '80's and '90's vonnegutting the snot out of my brain.


message 6: by Traveller (new)

Traveller (moontravlr) | 81 comments Tell us first exactly what Vonnegut whould involve, please? How many novels and what else? I'd like to know before i think of committing myself, since i'm pretty thin on him, but might want to give him a go if it's not too arduous a prospect.

I'd like to propose a vote that all who start a new thread, must list all the author's works by post 3 or 4. That would add immense value to such a thread.


message 7: by Nathan "N.R." (new)

Nathan "N.R." Gaddis (nathannrgaddis) | 258 comments Traveller wrote: "I'd like to propose a vote that all who start a new thread, must list all the author's works by post 3 or 4. That would add immense value to such a thread. "

Hear! Hear!

I apologize for wiki-ing you, but Kurt's got quite a pile of stuff. Completionism of his novels, short stories, and essays is reasonable. Beyond that? But here's the biblio:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurt_Von...


message 8: by MJ (new)

MJ Nicholls (mjnicholls) | 211 comments Traveller wrote: " That would add immense value to such a thread."

Great idea. I'll certainly do that to the threads I started.


message 9: by Traveller (new)

Traveller (moontravlr) | 81 comments I love wikipedia. You're right, wiki's will tend have their full works, or mostly almost all of it,. but if the completists are really such completists, that implies a bit of OCD, and people with this kind of OCD, tend to love making lists, and of course, if it's posted in this group, implies that it has to be a full list...

*evil maniacal laughter*


message 10: by Brian (new)

Brian | 8 comments Have any of you read Venus on the Half-Shell? I remember reading it in my '20s (not knowing that it wasn't written by Vonnegut) and loving it - especially reading the part that is referenced in God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater: A Novel.


message 11: by Traveller (last edited Sep 19, 2012 09:04AM) (new)

Traveller (moontravlr) | 81 comments Phew, he wrote a lot of short stories and articles.
Anyway, as i said, i don't have time for this completist notion... too many authors out there and too little time... :P


message 12: by Nathanimal (new)

Nathanimal | 11 comments For novels I've read all but Player Piano, Jailbird, Deadeye Dick, and Bluebeard. For collections . . . crap. I didn't know he had so many.

Vonnegut was an early love but I'm not sure how much I want to complete. Mostly I should revisit Mother Night, since you guys love it so much and since I don't remember it.

Cat's Cradle was my favorite book for a long time and I re-read it every few years. After that: Sirens of Titan, Slaughterhouse 5, and Rosewater are faves.


message 13: by MJ (new)

MJ Nicholls (mjnicholls) | 211 comments The collections are quite consistent, esp. the autobiographical collage books. The unpublished work should have remain unpublished, they're dreadfully dull, even moreso than his published short stories. Meow.


message 14: by Nathanimal (new)

Nathanimal | 11 comments Do you like his short fiction? I remember being turned off by the stories in Monkeyhouse, but maybe the later stories were better?

I liked a lot of the Palm Sunday material, and Kevorkian was somewhat entertaining, but these weren't stories, per say.


message 15: by MJ (new)

MJ Nicholls (mjnicholls) | 211 comments Nate wrote: "Do you like his short fiction?"

No. It's not universally bad, only he wrote for $$$ for mass-market magazines, so doesn't have the same craziness and range as the novels.


message 16: by MJ (new)

MJ Nicholls (mjnicholls) | 211 comments I'm (trying) to write a piece for this KV-themed anthology at the moment. Might be of interest to the writers among you. http://perpetualpublishing.com/2012/0...


message 17: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl | 123 comments Finished Hocus Pocus, which makes four, and I don't see any reason to continue on. Seems like an author more for younger readers? I know that comes off as an insult, but I don't actually mean it to. And by younger I mean <30.


message 18: by MJ (new)

MJ Nicholls (mjnicholls) | 211 comments ^ HP is one of his worst books. Anything from the '60s/'70s better.


message 19: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl | 123 comments Well that's good to hear at least. HP did have a few good sentences.


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