Dystopian Society discussion

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Player Piano by Kurt Vonnegut > Player Piano by Kurt Vonnegut - our May Classic book

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message 1: by Jane (new)

Jane (janeinri) | 420 comments Mod
We had a tie! So...I flipped a coin and this month's book is Player Piano by Kurt Vonnegut.

I'll put We on next month's poll as it was in the tie.

Hope you enjoy reading this classic Vonnegut book.


message 2: by Jane (new)

Jane (janeinri) | 420 comments Mod
I just finished re-reading this (after MANY years) and looked at the publication date - 1952. This was Vonnegut's first novel - a fact I wasn't aware of when reading it. When I first started reading, it seemed very dated (everything runs on vacuum tubes!) but once I got into it, I saw the big picture - his vision of the future where machines did all the work and people were no longer needed.

There was flashes of his famous wit, and I loved the character's names. I have to say I prefer some of his later works, but this is a chilling, but funny, look at a dystopian future, and commentary on how people must have a purpose in life.


message 3: by Papaphilly (new)

Papaphilly | 34 comments I loved this book. A tale of two societies and of winners and losers. The hard part is once again, everything seems so normal, until you realize that it is anything but...


message 4: by Nathan (new)

Nathan | 19 comments I believe Player Piano is one of Vonnegut's better books. Imagine the Player Piano Universe in one hundred years and you have Ira Levin's This Perfect Day, the best dystopian book ever written. A big call, I know, but a definite must read for dystopian aficionados.
Happy reading


message 5: by Charles (new)

Charles Vella | 17 comments Surprisingly I've never read anything by Vonnegut before so I am very much looking forward to it. Just got a copy today.


message 6: by Nathan (new)

Nathan | 19 comments Hi Charles,

I think you'll like the book. I've found with Vonnegut he's either fantastic or horrible, but Player Piano is a good one. If you like Player Piano may I recommend Cat's Cradle and The Sirens of Titan (his best book).


message 7: by Papaphilly (new)

Papaphilly | 34 comments Charles wrote: "Surprisingly I've never read anything by Vonnegut before so I am very much looking forward to it. Just got a copy today."

It is a great book, but not one I recommend if you want the introduction to Vonnegut. I suggest starting with Welcome to the Monkey House, his short story collection.


message 8: by Jane (new)

Jane (janeinri) | 420 comments Mod
Oh, Welcome to the Monkey House!! My favorite. I have read that so many times...I gave a copy to my (future) foster daughter when she had to take a long train ride. My daughter read it many times, also...she told her new head doctor that the meds "make me pee blue", and he reached behind to his bookcase and pulled out a copy LOL! I think that book is a must read. I do like Kurt Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle and The Sirens of Titan, and also God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater. Of course in school a lot of us read Slaughterhouse-Five when studying the First World War.

Hope to hear how you liked the book soon, Charles.


message 9: by Charles (new)

Charles Vella | 17 comments I'm about halfway through. It's been a busy month. Kind of a similar dystopian premise as Margaret Atwood's MaddAdam trilogy, society divided up by the educated and uneducated. I understand it gets very funny at the end, so I'm looking forward to finding out. I'll look for Welcome to the Monkey House too. Always happy to find an author I haven't read.


message 10: by Jane (new)

Jane (janeinri) | 420 comments Mod
Welcome to the Monkey House is, IMO, very funny. And the title story seems to just stay with most people. I think short story collections are great when you are busy - not a huge commitment of time! Hope you get to read it.

Hmm, I hadn't thought about the similarities of our two books this month - the division between educated and uneducated. And the third book, The Giver is almost the opposite - a society of sameness.


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