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Vonnegut

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message 1: by Elizabeth (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:59AM) (new)

Elizabeth So what does everyone think about Vonnegut's body of work? Which books were his best?


message 2: by Kecia (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:59AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kecia Slaughterhouse Five is certainly at the top of the list. I think it's a toss up between Cats Cradle and Mother Night for the number two spot. As for his body of work, IMHO, I think he was genius...he certainly influenced my way of thinking when I was very young person.


message 3: by Kate (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:59AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kate I agree with Ivy. Slaughterhouse Five is his best and most personal work. You have to put it at the top. I would put Cat's Cradle second, but I am not sure if it is because I think it is the best or that it is ingrained in me to think it is second best because I had to read it so often in school.


message 4: by Gaurav (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:59AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Gaurav Singh #1 Cat's Cradle
Though I haven't read many of his books, but Cat's cradle goes right on the top for me. Slaughter House 5 id great too.


message 5: by justin (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:00AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

justin van matre yeah, slaughterhouse 5 is the best. no argument. but what about hocus pocus or deadeye dick? they're both excellent (although i guess i feel like all of his books are) and i rarely hear anyone mention them. and don't forget breakfast of champions.


message 6: by Tommy (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:00AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tommy #1 Slaughter House 5
#2 Cat's Cradle
#3 Mother Night

But I still have a few to read...


message 7: by NumberLord (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:01AM) (new)

NumberLord Cat's Cradle was the first Vonnegut book I ever read. I thought it was such a strange book. That was before I figured out Kurt's sense of humor. One of these days I'll go back and re-read it.

Vonnegut's collection of short stories, "Welcome to the Monkey House" is remarkably good. With a collection like this, you usually end up with such a wide range of stories, some good, some bad. These are all quite decent.


message 8: by Jack (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:14AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jack Mark another vote down for "Sirens of Titan." I too have read them all, and they're all worth the time. I'm kind of hoping for a broken leg or a semi-severe back injury so I can lay around and start them all over again. Anyway, "Sirens" stands out for me.

Jack


message 9: by Jack (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:14AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jack Mark another vote down for "Sirens of Titan." I too have read them all, and they're all worth the time. I'm kind of hoping for a broken leg or a semi-severe back injury so I can lay around and start them all over again. Anyway, "Sirens" stands out for me.

Jack


message 10: by Cuprum (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:39AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Cuprum I'm another one for "Sirens of Titan."


message 11: by Montgomery (last edited Aug 20, 2008 06:35PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Montgomery I apologize in advance for the nerd-out happening in 3, 2, 1...

Slaughterhouse-Five was the first Vonnegut novel I read. I was 17 and impressionable and it got me hooked. Now, eight years later and a third reading behind me, I still feel this novel is his masterpiece in terms of literary craft and exploration of a handful of his stock themes (including an early advocacy of humanism).

For similar reasons, I would put Cat's Cradle in the number two mark, though this novel probably means a great deal more to my parents' generation than mine (I was 6 when the Soviet Union fell- I never had to come to love the bomb).

Were I recommending to someone going through Vonnegut's works, I'd say go with Breakfast of Champions next because it's in the style of SH5 and CC and explores similar themes. But, along with the critics of the day, I think this novel is weak, especially when held next to CC and SH5. With the Kilgore Trout -driven plot and all the drawings, I think Vonnegut was cashing in a bit. Still, a novel worth reading.

I really think Vonnegut's third best novel is Mother Night. I like to think of this as Vonnegut's first "Vonnegut novel" as I feel like Player Piano and Sirens of Titan are not much more than well-written pulp sci-fi novels with a message. Vonnegut's metaphor is kind of transparent, but I think he perfectly nails the mood of a novel whose protagonist is alone, graciously serving an oblivious world that is only hostile in return. Solid.

The last novel I can really get behind is Timequake, which is Vonnegut's curtain call, reading much like Shakespeare's Tempest. Vonnegut's honesty and directness in this novel is probably unmatched among his other works where he's sometimes willfully obscure.

The rest kind of blur together in my mind. The protagonists in Deadeye Dick, God Bless You Mr. Rosewater, and Jailbird are fairly interchangeable. Slapstick's oddity takes away its attempts at gravitas. Galapagos, I remember the fishboy repopulating the planet but not much beyond that- maybe I'll reread that for some profundity I missed. Ooh, I haven't read Hocus Pocus. Sorry if I've bored you to death (so it goes), but you asked.


message 12: by Mary (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mary Monkey House was my first Vonnegut, back in junior high, and I was hooked! I've read nearly all his work--I think I stopped at Galapagos for some reason--and my all-time favorite is definitely Cat's Cradle. Did not care for Sirens or Piano.


Logophile I'd put Cat's Cradle at #1, but that's just my personal bias (it was my first Vonnegut, and it was love at first read). In terms of literary merit, Slaughterhouse-Five probably deserves #1, though it's only #2 on my list. I should qualify my vote with the caveat that I haven't read his entire oeuvre, and Mother Night is clearly one I should read before you can put too much credence in my vote.


christokristo 1# Cat's Cradle
To me, the verses in bokonoism are so beautiful, poignant, and has a very deep meaning.

2# Slaughterhouse 5
Although there's al lot of intriguing themes, wise and very enjoyable to read,I think Vonnegut is overusing the "so it goes" catchphrase. Many time he use that repetitive catchphrase in eloquent way, but maybe this novel can be better if he can reduce its usage.


message 15: by John (last edited Aug 13, 2011 06:00PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

John Cat's Cradle, Slaughterhouse Five, God Bless You Mr. Rosewater are ranked 1, 1, and 1. The order might change for me depending on the day, but for no reason I know. I love them all.

Bluebeard might be up there too, even though it's separated by so many years. The ending blew me away.

The only books by V I didn't like were Gallapagos and Dead Eye Dick... but maybe I was just burned out on Vonnegut by then.


Karen I have two favorites. Cat's Cradle and Welcome to the Monkey House. I also liked Palm Sunday. Least favorite was Dead Eye Dick.


Jennifer-Crystal Johnson My favorite so far is The Sirens of Titan - that one was absolutely awesome to read! I haven't read them all, so I've yet to find my least favorite.


message 18: by Jack (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jack John, above said "The only books by V I didn't like were Gallapagos and Dead Eye Dick... but maybe I was just burned out on Vonnegut by then." There is something to be said about not overloading oneself on Vonnegut, or perhaps any author. I did so on W.P. Kinsella and on Jodi Picoult and to a lesser degree Vonnegut.

I think Vonnegut is so unique that one should sprinkle him about on one's reading list and not do a Vonnegut marathon. That way even the lesser novels will be appreciated for their style and Vonnegut's amazing use of simple language, if not for the novel's story as a whole.


Kressel Housman Have any of you ever read his son's memoir?


Felonious I've only read 10 of his books (so I have a few more to go). So Far, my favorites have been Breakfast of Champions, Mother night, Slaughter House 5, and Bluebeard.


Sarah I've never read a book of his that I didn't like, but I have to say I absolutely love the short story collection Welcome to the Monkey House. After that probably Slaughterhouse-Five and Cat's Cradle.


Michaela I really liked Slaughterhouse 5- big impact on me. Written in the best Kurt Vonnegut way :) Want to read Bluebeard and Cat's Cradle!


Daniel A Cat's Cradle is great but in my opinion SH5 is his best work


message 24: by Ryan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ryan Bennett FYI: Today's Amazon Kindle deal of the day is Breakfast of Champions of Vonnnegut. I picked it up. I hope it is as good as Slaughterhouse-Five.


Ismail N. Slaughter house 5 was his worst in my opinion(God Bless You Mr. Rosewater was pretty bad too). The reason i feel this way is because it had no order, and no clear point. What really hooked me was Cats Cradle.


Micah Ismail wrote: "Slaughter house 5 was his worst in my opinion(God Bless You Mr. Rosewater was pretty bad too). The reason i feel this way is because it had no order, and no clear point. What really hooked me was C..."

Erm, the point is that there's no point. When you look at the absurdity of a POW being executed for stealing a teapot in the middle of a recently incinerated city, there can't be a point. All you can really say is, "And so it goes."


Phillip Casteel Gaurav wrote: "#1 Cat's Cradle
Though I haven't read many of his books, but Cat's cradle goes right on the top for me. Slaughter House 5 id great too.
"


agreed


TheDenizen Wow, 30 posts and not a single mention of my favorite Vonnegut book (I've read 13) Galapagos.

It needs more love. Maybe I just love it so much because I read it as an anthropology student and the book's take on the future of human evolution is so delightfully insane.

But yeah, Deadeye Dick, Breakfast of Champions, Jailbird, Hocus Pocus, Bluebeard; all amazing novels.

I've read more books by other authors, but if I had to pick one favorite, it would easily be Vonnegut.


Kirby I also loved welcome to the monkeyhouse. I never liked short stories before reading vonnegut's...well, and still don't really like any aside from his. I love slaughter, sirens, cat's cradle, god bless you mr rosewater. I think I understand what a couple people were saying about some of the protagonists blurring together- even some of the books I have trouble keeping straight. I still loved 'em, haven't thought any to be a waste of time, but there are quite a few that sorta blur together on me.


Sirloin Furr certainly Sirens of Titan is perched at top. Cat's Cradle and Slaughter House 5 are close behind. I wouldn't recommend Slapstick if you're just trying to get a taste of Vonnegut.


message 31: by christokristo (last edited Oct 17, 2011 01:22AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

christokristo Ismail wrote: "Slaughter house 5 was his worst in my opinion(God Bless You Mr. Rosewater was pretty bad too). The reason i feel this way is because it had no order, and no clear point. What really hooked me was C..."

I believe there is a clear point in slaughterhouse 5. It is an anti war novel obviously, and the arguments (which was shown in the anecdotes in this novel) are very strong in opposing the war, unlike Cat's Cradle. And of course this kinds of books are important during the cold war era


Jason Lilly I love them all. Slaughterhouse-Five is really good, but I also think it is his safest. I usually tell people if they are reading Vonnegut for the first time, they should start there. If they dislike Slaughterhouse-Five, then they will certainly dislike his other works. Breakfast of Champions was by far the funniest of his books, but not my favorite. I would say Cat's Cradle tops my list.


message 33: by Zach (new) - rated it 5 stars

Zach Irvin Breakfast of champions is definitely in my top 3 Vonnegut books, along with slaughterhouse-five and the sirens of Titan. Then again I haven't really read one of his I just didn't like. Galapagos I wasn't too impressed with until the very end, but the end was good enough to redeem the other parts of the book.


message 34: by BillyPilgrim (last edited Oct 18, 2011 12:32PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

BillyPilgrim Although Cat's Cradle and Slaughterhouse 5 are probably his two best, I agree with TheDenizen's comment that Galapagos doesn't get nearly enough love. Great book!

/Haven't read The Sirens of Titan, but will do so after reading these comments


Alexander Kate wrote: "I agree with Ivy. Slaughterhouse Five is his best and most personal work. You have to put it at the top. I would put Cat's Cradle second, but I am not sure if it is because I think it is the best o..."

You got to read that in school?!
Lucky.


message 36: by John (new) - rated it 4 stars

John Willey Sirens of Titan is my favorite of his, and is actually one of my favorite books period. Cat's Cradle is a close second though, and the one I recommend to anyone who has yet to read Vonnegut. Slaughterhouse 5 is definitely third, but every book I have read by him was well worth the time. His novels I have yet to read are Mother Night, Slapstick, Deadeye Dick, and Bluebeard.


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