The Vonnegut Reading Group discussion

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Sirens of Titan

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message 1: by Arctic (new)

Arctic Almost finished with this one and thought I'd post about it here as I too am working my way through his books, though not in any particular order.

Have to say, I was fairly unimpressed with the first 2/3rds of the book. Once the religion part kicks in though, things start getting interesting.

In some ways it reminds me of a less funny Hitchhiker's Guide.


message 2: by Jon-michael (new)

Jon-michael (The_Disciple) well what book are you reading?


message 3: by Christian (new)

Christian | 5 comments I read Sirens last week and loved it. I like Vonnegut's soft scifi style. This one is more scifi than any other but still retains the driving storylines and characters that he is known for. I have read the majority of his novels, for the most part they are awsome, check my reviews if interested. In addition to Arctic's comment, Douglas Adams was heavily influenced by this novel and reading it definately shows the links between Vonnegut and The Hitchhikers Series. If you are a fan of this book you will enjoy Adams as well.

"I was a victim of a series of accidents, as are we all."


message 4: by David (new)

David | 4 comments It's interesting to compare Vonnegut's idea of human activity being manipulated on a massive scale in order to send a (seemingly) trivial series of messages to Salo with Douglas Adams' mice-propelled version. Vonnegut's description of time running backwards in Slaughterhouse 5 also prefigures Martin Amis' use of the same idea in Time's Arrow.

I was profoundly moved by Vonnegut's death and continue to be equally inspired by his work. My favourite of his novels is Jailbird.


message 5: by Curtis (new)

Curtis (CurtisBlankstein) Sirens of Titan was the first Vonnegut book I had ever read, those many years ago, and its impression is still felt in me today. Had it not been for this novel, I'd probably had delayed getting into his work until much later in life. I'd never have had those interesting conversations with my high school history teachers, and I'd be forced to come up with an ORIGINAL name for my dog, instead of resolving to name him Kazak (pending of course my decision to befriend a dog fitting my standards for co-habitation). In short, this book changed my life.


message 6: by Atlas (new)

Atlas | 4 comments sirens of titan was brilliant there are so many different concepts in it that are fascinating.


message 7: by TK421 (new)

TK421 It amazes me when people say "they don't like science fiction, but they love Vonnegut". Cats Cradle and Sirens of Titan may be two of the best science fiction books ever written, but they are also pure literature. I wish more people would expand their minds, just a bit...


message 8: by Atlas (new)

Atlas | 4 comments well i disagree with those people but i can understand where they r coming from, i mean all of vonneguts sci fi are metaphors so if u dislike sci fi vonnegut can still b appreciated


message 9: by Tim (new)

Tim | 1 comments I don't really think of Vonnegut as a science fiction writer. It's a little like calling the Matrix a kung-fu movie. I consider Vonnegut to be the Mark Twain of the 20th century; he more satirizes the writing style of his day rather than echoes it. The Sirens of Titan may take place on Mars, Mercury, and Titan, but he treats these settings the same as he does for Indianpolis, Schenectady, or Cornell University, all of which are far more common settings in his stories.
Mother Night is by far my favorite of his novels, it has the most soul-wrenching material, as well as some of the most downright absurd and hilarious. Sirens is somewhere in the top ten though. Constant's experience on Mars is some of the most engaging story-telling of Vonnegut I've read. But the ending is half-baked: exiled from Earth because everyone needs to be equal, the great message is greetings, I thought it ended weakly.


message 10: by Marc (new)

Marc | 9 comments Tim -- instead of thinking the ending to Sirens is half-baked ("exiled from Earth because everyone needs to be equal" as you say), shift your thinking to the true denouement: Malachi's return to Earth, in particular to Indianapolis (Vonnegut's home), where a sense of justice and equality is part of the fabric of its history. It really was the first place where a white man was convicted of killing an Indian and for which he paid with his own life.


message 11: by Matt (new)

Matt Linder (mwlinder99) | 2 comments Just finished it. Read it in 3 sittings. I absolutely loved this book. I still prefer Slaughterhouse 5 and (my all time fav) Mother Night.


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