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Zeitbeben

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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 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 to mention the torture of reliving every nanosecond of one of the tawdiest and most hollow decades. With his trademark wicked wit, Vonnegut addresses memory, suicide, the Great Depression, the loss of American eloquence, and the obsolescent thrill of reading books.


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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 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 to mention the torture of reliving every nanosecond of one of the tawdiest and most hollow decades. With his trademark wicked wit, Vonnegut addresses memory, suicide, the Great Depression, the loss of American eloquence, and the obsolescent thrill of reading books.

30 review for Zeitbeben

  1. 5 out of 5

    Lyn

    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 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 make a change. Imagine! All that and Kilgore Trout. Loved it!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Darwin8u

    “In real life, as in Grand Opera, arias only make hopeless situations worse.” - Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., Timequake 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 “In real life, as in Grand Opera, arias only make hopeless situations worse.” - Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., Timequake 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 things he published, and I think it was his last novel (I might check this and find out I was wrong, it happens). Anyway, I think all three of us were right. My wife was beautifully right in buying me Kurt Vonnegut. Kurt Vonnegut was right in writing it. I was right in waiting. I wasn't ready for this book. I'm now 20 years closer to death. I am now a father to two pimply teenagers who are sleeping tonight waiting for their parents to pretend still they are Santa and bring them goodies on Christmas morning. We are all pretending the best we can. We are all making the best of this short spin on Earth. I am now in a place where I can functionally GET the older Vonnegut better. I can get better his take on free will, money, morality, and art. Timequake isn't a great novel, but it has absolutely brilliant parts. I love its lines and sentences better than I liked the book. It has a fantastic message about extended family and friends and community that I absolutely adored. It has so many good lines (yes, I said that before, but now I'm going to pull back the curtain): "Only when free will kicked in again could they stop running obstacle courses of their own construction." "Let us be perfectly frank for a change. For practically everybody, the end of the world can’t come soon enough." "I define a saint as a person who behaves decently in an indecent society." "...when things were really going well we should be sure to notice it." “Pictures are famous for their humanness, and not for their pictureness.”

  3. 4 out of 5

    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 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 version of Timequake he wrote. Taking parts of Timequake One and combining it with personal thoughts and anecdotes produced the finished product, so-called Timequake Two. Many of the anecdotes deal with Vonnegut's family, the death of loved ones, and people's last words. ... تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز دهم ماه آگوست سال 2004 میلادی عنوان: زمان لرزه ؛ نویسنده: کورت ونه‌گات؛ مترجم: مهدی صداقت پیام، تهران، انتشارات مروارید؛ 1382؛ در 282 ص؛ شابک: 9649937011؛چاپ دوم 1385، در 281 ص؛ چاپ سوم 1388؛ چاپ پنجم 1395؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان امریکایی - سده 20 م عنوان: زمان لرزه ؛ نویسنده: کورت ونه‌گات جونیور؛ مترجم: حسین شهرابی، کاروان؛ 1384؛ در 312 ص؛ شابک: 9648497389؛ عنوان: زمان لرزه ؛ نویسنده: کورت ونه‌گات؛ مترجم: نصیبه حسین پور؛ تهران، نشر جمهوری؛ 1393؛ در 250 ص؛ شابک: 9786005687347؛ چاپ دوم 1395؛ چاپ سوم 1398؛ عنوان: زمان لرزه ؛ نویسنده: کورت ونه‌گات؛ مترجم: معصومه فخار؛ قم، کتابستان معرفت؛ 1397؛ در 320 ص؛ شابک: 9786008460558؛ در اثر لرزشی که در زمان رخ میدهد، همه کس و همه چیز از روز سیزدهم ماه فوریه سال 2001 میلادی، به روز هفدهم ماه فوریه سال 1991 میلادی باز میگردند. همه ی افراد گذشته ی خود که اینک تبدیل به آینده ی ایشان شده را به یاد دارند، اما توان دیگر کردن آن ندارند. در این دهسال مجبور هستند همچنان همان کارهای تکراری را انجام دهند، تا دوباره به سال 2001 میلادی بازگشته و دارای اختیار شوند. «ونه گات» در این رمان کوشش میکند با زبان طنز، تصاویری بدیع و زیبا از خانواده اش، مردم آمریکا، سیاستمداران، دانشمندان و .... ارائه نماید . بیانی بسیار روان، زیبا و دلپذیر که به صورت ناگهانی از موضوعی به موضوع دیگر میرود و با موشکافی و ریزبینی مسائل را مورد انتقاد قرار میدهد. «کورت ونه گوت جونیور» از معدود نویسندگان معاصر بودند، که رمان‌های ایشان، نه تنها در آمریکا، بلکه در سراسر جهان، با پیشواز گسترده‌ ای روبرو میشد و خواهد شد. این نویسنده‌ ی آمریکایی آلمانی‌ تبار، علاوه بر نقد جامعه‌ ی خویش، تلاش می‌کنند، تا غیرانسانی بودن فجایعی، همچون: جنگ، بمب اتم، و فروپاشی نهاد خانواده را، در دنیای کنونی، با زبان طنز بیان کنند. از این‌روی، طنز «ونه گوت»، هیچ مرزی نمی‌شناسد، و پیشواز از آثار ایشان، در ایران نیز، موید همین نکته است. در رمان‌های «ونه گوت»، زبان و تأثیر آن، برای فهم واقعیت، اهمیتی بیش از شخصیت‌ پردازی، و پیرنگ، پیدا می‌کند، که همین امر باعث می‌شود، خوانش آثار «ونه گوت»، تجربه‌ ای تکرار ناپذیر باشد. «زمان لرزه»، که برای نخستین بار، در سال 1997 میلادی، در آمریکا به چاپ رسید، آخرین اثر این نویسنده‌ ی بزرگوار، دوران ما بوده است. «ونه گوت» پس از این رمان، رسماً اعلام کردند، که دیگر رمانی نخواهند نوشت، و این رمان، نقطه‌ ی پایان فعالیت‌های داستان‌ نویسی‌ ایشان خواهد بود. نقل از آغاز متن: «جونیور خطابم کنید. شش بچه ی بزرگسالم با همین اسم صدایم میکنند. سه تای آنها خواهرزاده ها، و در عین حال فرزند خوانده های من هستند، و سه تای دیگر هم بچه های خودم. آنها پشت سرم به من میگویند جونیور و فکر میکنند که من این را نمیدانم. من در سخنرانیهایم میگویم: یکی از وظایف مهم هنرمندان این است، که دست کم به اندازه ی سر سوزنی مردم را به ادامه ی زندگی تشویق کنند. آن وقت حضار میپرسند آیا هنرمندانی را میشناسم که موفق به انجام این کار شده باشند، من هم جواب میدهم: «بیتلز.» به نظرم تکامل یافته ترین مخلوقات زمینی، زنده بودن را شرم آور، و حتی چیزی بدتر از آن میدانند. دیگر چه برسد به موارد بحرانیتر، مثل وقتیکه آرمانگرایان به صلیب کشیده میشوند. دو نفر از زنان مهم زندگیم، یکی مادرم، و دیگری تنها خواهرم «آلیس» یا «اَلی»، که هم اینک آن بالا در بهشت اند، از زندگی متنفر بودند و آن را با صراحت بیان میکردند. «اَلی» فریاد میزد، «تسلیم!، تسلیم!»؛ مارک تواین، بامزه ترین آمریکایی دوران خودش، در هفتاد سالگی مثل من به این نتیجه رسید، که زندگی برای خودش و دیگران، آکنده از فشارهای روحی است، و این چنین نوشت: «از زمانی که به بلوغ رسیده ام، هرگز دلم نخواسته است کسی از دوستانم که به دیار باقی شتافته، دوباره زنده شود.» او این جملات را در مقاله ای آورده که پس از مرگ ناگهانی دخترش «ژان» نوشته است. «ژان» و یکی دیگر از دخترهایش «سوزی»، و همسر محبوبش و بهترین دوستش، «هنری راجرز»، از جمله کسانی بودند که او هرگز مایل نبود به زندگی برگردند. گرچه عمرِ تواین به جنگ جهانی اول نرسید، ولی چنین دیدگاهی داشت. مسیح در موعظه اش بر بالای کوه گفت، که زندگی چقدر مزخرف است: «آنان که سوگواری میکنند، آمرزیده خواهند شد.» و «بردباران آمرزیده خواهند شد.» و «آنانکه برای کار خیر تشنه و گرسنه میگردند، آمرزیده خواهند شد.»؛ این جمله ی «هنری دیوید تورو» هم شهرت زیادی دارد: «زندگانی توده ی مردم درماندگی ای خاموش است.»؛ پس به اندازه ی سرسوزنی هم عجیب نیست، که ما آب و هوا و خاک را آلوده کنیم، و دستگاههای فریبنده و نابودگر نظامی و صنعتی بسازیم. بیایید برای یکبار هم که شده، رک و راست باشیم. زیرا عملاً برای همه ی ما دنیا در آینده ای نزدیک به پایان نخواهد رسید. پدرم، «کورت سینیور»، که در «ایندیاناپلیس» معمار بود، سرطان داشت. پانزده سال پس از خودکشی همسرش، پلیس اتومبیل او را به جرم رد کردن چراغ قرمز متوقف کرد، و تازه معلوم شد که او بیست سال بدون داشتن گواهینامه رانندگی میکرده است. میدانید پدرم به افسری که جلویش را گرفت چه گفت؟ «خب شلیک کن.»؛ «فتس والر»، پیانیست آفریقایی آمریکایی سبک جاز، همیشه وقتی خیلی خوب پیانو میزد، و اجرای درخشانی داشت، یک جمله را با صدای بلند فریاد میزد: «لطفاً حالا که سرخوشم یک نفر مرا با تیر بزند.»؛ امروزه استفاده از اسلحه ی گرم، به راحتی استفاده از فندک است. قیمتش هم مثل قیمت توسترها، خیلی ارزان است، و هر کسی که هوس کشتن پدرش، یا «فتس» یا «آبراهام لینکلن» یا «جان لنون» یا «مارتین لوترکینگ جونیور» یا زنی را داشته باشد، که کالسکه بچه اش را هل میدهد، میتواند از اسلحه استفاده کند، و این امر گفته ی «کیلگور تراوت»، نویسنده ی مسن داستانهای علمی تخیلی را به همگان اثبات میکند که، «زنده بودن یعنی یک ظرف پر از کثافت.»؛ تصور کنید: یکی از دانشگاههای بزرگ آمریکا، به منظور حفظ سلامت دانشجویان، «راگبی» را از برنامه ی ورزشی اش حذف، و استادیوم خالی «راگبی» را به کارخانه ی تولید بمب تبدیل میکند. و البته که باز هم به خاطر حفظ سلامت دانشجویان. به یاد «کیلگور تراوت» افتادم. منظور من دانشگاهی است که خودم در آن درس خواندم، «دانشگاه شیکاگو». در دسامبر سال 1942 میلادی، چندین سال پیش از رفتن من به آنجا، دانشمندان نخستین واکنش زنجیره ای اورانیوم، روی کره ی زمین را، در زیر تیرکهای دروازه های «استگ فیلد» انجام دادند. هدف آنها این بود که نشان دهند آیا امکان ساختِ بمب اتم وجود دارد یا نه. آن سال ما با آلمان و ژاپن میجنگیدیم. پنجاه و سه سال بعد، در روز ششم آگوست 1995 میلادی در سالن اجتماعات همین دانشگاه، همایشی به منظور بزرگداشت پنجاهمین سالگرد انفجار بمب اتم در «هیروشیما» برگزار شد. من هم آنجا بودم. یکی از سخنرانها فیزیکدانی به نام «لئو سِرِن» بود. او در آزمایش موفقیت آمیزی که مدتها پیش در زیرِ زمین بلا استفاده ی «راگبی» انجام شده بود، شرکت داشت. به این توجه کنید: او به خاطر آن کارش معذرت خواست. کسی باید به او میگفت روی سیاره ای که باهوشترین حیواناتش، این همه از زنده بودن متنفرند، فیزیکدان بودن یعنی اینکه هیچوقت لازم نیست معذرت خواهی کنی. حالا این یکی را تصور کنید: مردی برای اتحاد جماهیر شوروی که همه ی کشورها را دشمن خودش میپنداشت، بمب هیدروژنی درست میکند و پس از اینکه مطمئن میشود بمب بدون هیچ ایرادی منفجر خواهد شد، برنده ی جایزه ی صلح نوبل میشود. این شخصیت واقعی که لیاقت آن را داشت که «کیلگور تراوت»، داستانی درباره اش بنویسد، فیزیکدان فقید «آندری ساخاروف» است. او در سال 1975 میلادی به خاطر درخواستِ توقف آزمایش سلاحهای هسته ای، برنده ی جایزه ی نوبل شد. البته «ساخاروف» قبلاً بمب خودش را آزمایش کرده بود. همسرش پزشک اطفال بود! کدام انسانی که همسرش پزشک اطفال است، میتواند بمب هیدروژنی بسازد؟ کدام پزشکی حاضر میشود با همسری تا این حد ابله زندگی کند؟ «عزیزم امروز در محلِ کارَت اتفاق جالبی نیفتاد؟»؛ «بمب من بدون هیچ ایرادی منفجر خواهد شد. آن بچه ای که آبله مرغان گرفته بود چی شد؟»؛ آندری ساخاروف در سال 1975 میلادی به یک قدیس تبدیل شد، البته از آن نوع قدیسهایی که امروزه دیگر کسی آنها را تحویل نمیگیرد، چون جنگ سرد تمام شده است. او در اتحاد جماهیر شوروی فردی دگراندیش بود. او خواستار پایان دادن به توسعه و آزمایش سلاحهای هسته ای و همچنین اعطای آزادی بیشتر به هموطنانش بود. او را از موسسه ی علوم اتحاد جماهیر شوروی بیرون، و از مسکو به شهر کوچکی در سرزمینهای سردسیر تبعید کردند. اتحاد جماهیر شوروی به «ساخاروف» اجازه نداد، برای دریافت جایزه ی صلحش به «اسلو» برود و «النا بانر»، همسرش که پزشک اطفال بود، آن را به جایش دریافت کرد. آیا وقتِ آن نیست که بپرسیم «النا بانر» یا هر پزشک اطفال و شفا دهنده ی دیگری، از کسی که در ساختن بمب هیدروژنی، دست داشته است استحقاق بیشتری برای دریافت جایزه ی نوبل ندارد؟ حقوق بشر؟ چه چیزی میتواند به اندازه ی بمب هیدروژنی، نسبت به حق حیات جانداران بی اعتنا باشد؟ در ژوئن 1987 میلادی کالج «استیتن آیلن» در نیویورک دکترای افتخاری به «ساخاروف» داد. دولت اتحاد جماهیر شوروی باز هم به «ساخاروف» اجازه نداد، که خودش جایزه را دریافت کند، بنابراین از من خواستند که این کار را برایش بکنم. وظیفه ی من خواندن پیام «ساخاروف» بود، پیامی به این مضمون: «استفاده از انرژی هسته ای را متوقف نکنید.» من هم آن را مثل یک روبات خواندم. من خیلی مودب بودم! یک سال قبل از آن در «چرنوبیل اُکراین» کشنده ترین فاجعه ی هسته ای ای، که تاکنون در این سیاره ی دیوانه رخ داده، به وقوع پیوسته بود. به دلیل تشعشعات هسته ای در این نیروگاه، بچه های تمام کشورهای شمال اروپا، تا سالیان سال بیمار خواهند بود، و حتی ممکن است وضعیت بدتری پیدا کنند. پزشکان اطفال هم بیماران زیادی خواهند داشت! رفتار آتش نشانهای «شنکتادی» نیویورک، پس از فاجعه ی «چرنوبیل» از اندرز مضحک «ساخاروف» هم، برای من دلگرم کننده تر بود. قبلاً در «شنکتادی» کار میکردم. آتش نشانهای «شنکتادی» نامه ای به همکارانشان در «چرنوبیل» فرستادند، و از آنها به خاطر شهامت و فداکاریشان در راه نجات جان و مال مردم قدردانی کردند. آفرین به آتش نشانها! شاید بعضیها در زندگی روزمره شان آدمهای پستی باشند، اما در وضعیتهای بحرانی همه میتوانند به قدیس تبدیل شوند. زنده باد آتش نشانها! «کیلگور تراوت» نویسنده ی داستانهای علمی تخیلی نایاب، در سال 1975 میلادی در «کوهوز نیویورک» بعد از فهمیدن مرگ پسرش «لئون»، سرباز فراری، در یک کارخانه ی کشتی سازی در «سوئد»، طوطی کوچک دم درازش را آزاد کرده، اکنون در آستانه ی آوارگی است.»؛ پایان نقل. ا. شربیانی

  4. 4 out of 5

    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 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 funny. Well, Timquake meanders from topic to topic, and isn’t really a novel, it’s a series of reflections and one-liners, but I still was mildly entertained, maybe 2.5, and here’s some stuff I liked: On play and invention: “Listen: We are here on Earth to fart around. Don't let anybody tell you any different!” On books: “I am eternally grateful for my knack of finding in great books, some of them very funny books, reason enough to feel honored to be alive, no matter what else might be going on.” “But by accident, not by cunning calculation, books, because of their weight and texture, and because of their sweetly token resistance to manipulation, involve our hands and eyes, and then our minds and souls, in a spiritual adventure I would be very sorry for my grandchildren not to know about.” On bombs: “[Andrei Sakharov] won his Nobel in 1975 for demanding a halt to the testing of nuclear weapons. He, of course, had already tested his. His wife was a pediatrician! What sort of person could perfect a hydrogen bomb while married to a child-care specialist? What sort of physician would stay married to a mate that cracked? "Anything interesting happen at work today, honeybunch?" "Yes. My bomb is going to work just great. And how are you doing with that kid with chicken pox?” On the human race’s apparent desire to commit collective suicide: “So it is not one whit mysterious that we poison the water and air and topsoil, and construct ever more cunning doomsday devices, both industrial and military. Let us be perfectly frank for a change. For practically everybody, the end of the world can't come soon enough.” On equality and democracy and Eugene Debs: “I still quote Eugene Debs (1855–1926), late of Terre Haute, Indiana, five times the Socialist Party’s candidate for President, in every speech: “While there is a lower class I am in it, while there is a criminal element I am of it; while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.” In recent years, I’ve found it prudent to say before quoting Debs that he is to be taken seriously. Otherwise many in the audience will start to laugh. They are being nice, not mean, knowing I like to be funny. But it is also a sign of these times that such a moving echo of the Sermon on the Mount can be perceived as outdated, wholly discredited horsecrap. Which it is not.”

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kirstine

    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 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 for no particular reason and out of nowhere: What the hell am I supposed to do with myself? Do I continue expanding or do I quit and start over? In its understandable confusion and crisis it shrinks a bit and sends everyone back 10 years, forcing everyone to relive every moment, fully aware of having done it all before, but incapable of changing anything. A nightmare really (“and they have to relive the 90s” I say, not knowing if the 90s really were awful, because I was a baby and then a child for all of it, Ting-a-ling! I once asked someone, though, what it was like being young in the 90s and he said "it was certainly ugly" referring to the fashion, so it probably wasn't all that great), but it makes for good storytelling. Of course, a timequake is entirely unfeasible and would never occur, except it does every day of our lives. Humans are all too good at living in the past, reliving painful or humiliating memories, or being nostalgic for beautiful moments that are no more. That’s our timequake, and we are completely incapable of changing a thing that has happened. Reliving it too much, however, will freeze you in your present moment, because you forget that right now, you have the absolute power, you have your free will, to make every moment something you might not hate reliving. I read this book and suddenly realized that if I had to relive the past 10 years of my life, it'd probably suck 80 percent of the time and I’d come out of it traumatized. But I can’t change a single second, so it’s best to just move on, and try to be the best I can be for the rest of my life. Casting the ridiculous and brilliant Kilgore Trout as the hero of the story, the ideal of who we should try to be should this particular event ever occur, is a little bit genius. No one can be Trout, obviously, as he’s entirely fictional, and frankly I don’t think anyone wants to be him, but I do want to be like him. “’The main thing about van Gogh and me,’ said Trout, ‘is that he painted pictures that astonished him with their importance, even though nobody else thought they were worth a damn and I write stories that astonish me, even though nobody else thinks they’re worth a damn. How lucky can you get?’”The Timequake, however, plays a small role in the book. It is the frame, yes, the story we return to, but mostly this is a collection of stories from Vonnegut’s life and Kilgore Trout’s arsenal of oddball short stories. With his usual wit and round-a-bout way of saying anything, Vonnegut dishes up some striking social commentary. I’m continuously surprised by how achingly humane he is, making his observations all the more salient, because they come from a place of compassion and honesty. I kept coming back to this one quote from a song by Say Anything, it goes: “I guess that everyone includes me and that’s why I’m a humanist”If anyone, Vonnegut embodies that saying, at least in this particular book. The song is called Hate Everyone. In a way, that is also very fitting. Sure, “being alive is a crock of shit”, but also “I am eternally grateful for my knack of finding in great books, some of them very funny books, reason enough to feel honored to be alive, no matter what else might be going on.” Thank you for such a book.

  6. 4 out of 5

    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 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 butts and boobs. Dicks are nothing in comparison, believe me. That's enough about me. Let's talk about my parents. Both my father and my mother were criminals, though only my father went to prison. My mother's only crime was to let my father ejaculate in her birth canal. I don't know how many times this happened, but I assume that I am the product of one occasion. Likewise, my father only committed one crime, though, unlike my mother, he didn't repeat it. My father shot my mother when I was only twelve years old. I don't know why or whether it had anything to do with my age at the time. My grandparents, bless them, thought of me as a precocious and slightly annoying child. But that's no reason for your father to kill your mother. Procreation isn't meant to be a crime between husband and wife. They can't send you to jail, just because you're infected with progeny. My father was the famous ornithologist, Professor Raymond Trout, of Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. My mother was a housewife and therefore less famous than my father (until her death, and perhaps even then). However, I only discovered when I turned eighteen that she was also a poet. I didn't learn this from my father. I learned it from my mother's sister, my aunt, to whom my mother had entrusted all her verse. She used to send each poem off to my aunt whenever she wrote a letter to her. Why she sent them to my aunt, I don't know, because she never finished school and absolutely hated poetry, like most normal people. So she never kept the poems my mother sent her. She did remember one of her poems, though, when I asked her: Woman or not, You'll notice it, Being alive is A crock of shit. It mightn't amount to a hill of beans as far as poetry goes, but you have to agree with the sentiment, especially having regard to the cause of her demise. Oh, I almost forgot to tell you, my mother was beautiful as well. Before he shot her, my father was always trying to kiss her and take her off to their bedroom. Most often, she would put me in my bed and kiss me on the forehead, so that I'd go to sleep first. Sometimes, she'd giggle like one of the girls at school and go in with my father straight away. Sometimes, she turned away and ignored him, which made him angry, though I didn't realise he'd get so angry he'd want to shoot her. What is it about women that makes men want to kill them? Men are jerks. Women are psychotic. I suppose. When I asked my aunt why she thought my father had killed my mother, she replied: "There is no way a beautiful woman can live up to what she looks like for any appreciable length of time." She might have been right. Anyway, it still makes me sad that my mother will never kiss me again. Kurt Vonnegut on Kilgore Trout "That is what [Kilgore] Trout was, too, in all he wrote: gaily mournful." SOUNDTRACK: (view spoiler)[ David Kilgour - "You Forget" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HC49c... The Clean - "Anything Could Happen" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_niU... (hide spoiler)]

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kemper

    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.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Danger

    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 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, in turn. Just spectacular!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Art

    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 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 Vonnegut's short stories (much as I wanted to) and I had to give up on Timequake. That's right. Put it to rest before completing it. At some point in his life, Vonnegut appears to have stumbled upon a formula; a superbly quirky and poignent style and a set of peculiar characters to go along. Miserably pathetic, gloriously mournful, wonderous people, dredging through the absurdities of life. But it is still sorely disappointing when you see the same themes and characters repeated in his other books. Thinly veiled, these books are suspiciously like rejected drafts of his more successful novels or tired attempts to re-create magic. Something interesting I noticed in Timequake was Vonnegut's very 1950s view of women and his hand-waving simplification of their personalities and desires. This was only alluded to in his other books but starkly stated in Timequake. I don't think he intended to be chauvinistic or mean as he appears to have been a nice and sweet man in real life. But it was too late. Already jaded at this pivotal juncture in Timequake, I could now put it down with good reason. And shake my head. Oh, Kurt. Tsk tsk. Rest in peace, and thanks for the cat.

  10. 4 out of 5

    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 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 write, since obviously they can. But it is worth reading for the insights into life. They say the first thing to go when you’re old is your legs or your eyesight. It isn’t true. The first thing to go is parallel parking. It is worth reading for his regret, rest here: https://alittleteaalittlechat.wordpre...

  11. 5 out of 5

    JSou

    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.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Girish

    "..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 "..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 timequake which happened in 2001 along with his usual set of quirky caricature characters, Trouts short stories and inserts of the Vonnegut family. One of the parallel tracks is appreciation of life, art and the value. The book actually became a lot more sober towards the end when the author ends up reminiscing and the fact and fiction sort of overlap. It was a lot more personal to the author and hence by extension a bit lost. However, the writing style for around 60% is the usual pseudo arbitrary intellectualism laced with wit and humor. "I say in speeches that a plausible mission of artists is to make people appreciate being alive at least a little bit. Based on my readings of Vonnegut books, I wondered if he was a cynic and pessimist. I have concluded he is a closet optimist, who wanted to open up the readers to see the point of being pessimistic is often comical. "In real life, as during a rerun following a timequake, people don't change, don't learn anything from their mistakes, and don't apologise. In a short story they have to do at least two out of three of those things" The books is partly stories of the people in his life. No life is perfect. But then every life is beautiful. And this book is just perfect the way it is without regrets. "You were sick, but now you're well again, and there's work to do" "Ïf this isn't nice, what is?" "Ting-a-ling!"

  13. 5 out of 5

    Liz

    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 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 refreshing, lighthearted way. I was waiting throughout the book for something to "happen" - I guess I was confusing it with another Vonnegut book I had started and then gave up on. But by the end of this book, I really didn't care that very little "happened". I enjoyed learning about Vonnegut's life, his family, the little anecdotes that only he could put such a witty, quirky twist on. It saddens me that this was his last book, but it makes sense. It seems that by the end he has come to terms with, well, being old, and one might even say being ready for death; because he has enojoyed life so much, and found humor and "soul" out of the happy and even the sad parts of life.

  14. 5 out of 5

    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 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 touching, beautiful, meaningful, sad, and funny pieces of literature ever. Read it! Now I expect 4-7 pages on one of the following topics: 1) How does this novel develop/answer/culminate a theme or style from his other book(s) we've read? 2) What does this book have to say about Art, Freewill, and The Purpose of Life?

  15. 5 out of 5

    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 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 2001; the universe did not randomly begin shrinking, launching us ten years into the past, ten years into our past, which we were then forced to relive in precisely the same way we lived it before. And Obviously anything Kilgore Trout says and does is fiction--or is it? Anyways, through this clever metafictional stew Vonnegut is able to wax philosophical on a number of issues, ranging from free will to marriage. Though much of the novelistic rant is characterized by lengthy non-sequiturs, plenty of delightful nuggets of Vonnegut wisdom surface throughout the text. He talks about his marriages, explaining his belief that many marriages fail today because we are no longer connected to our extended families. He talks about growing old, about his craft, about art generally, about the government, dead authors, science, and he posits his cantankerous opinions all along the way. This is the kind of book that would be really horrible to read if it were written by most people's grandpas, even though the content would be virtually the same. At it's core, Timequake is an old fart asserting his opinion on a number of topics. What makes this book fun, is the fact that the old fart is Kurt Vonnegut. Each page is imbued with wit, humor, irony, insight, and truth. Vonnegut was one of the few who got it, whatever it is.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Justin Brendel

    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.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    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 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 thought I had checked out the wrong book. Anyway, there was still plenty of quotable material here to make this worth my while, even though I was pretty confused by the mix of fiction and autiobiographical work. “Listen: We are here on Earth to fart around. Don't let anybody tell you any different!”

  18. 5 out of 5

    J. Kevin

    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 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 have no control over our lives), but Vonnegut couldn't work out the manuscript to his satisfaction. So instead, he pulled out the bits that he liked and interspersed them with observations about the process of writing the story, and the people and events in his own life that influenced it. It's like a director's commentary for a movie that never got made. At first, the mix of story and meta-story seems random, but as Vonnegut (and his in-story alter ego, Kilgore Trout) dips into and out of the narrative, recurring patterns and themes start to emerge. Admittedly, it's familiar territory to Vonnegut readers: the paradoxical mix of optimism and despair, raging against the injustices of the world while trying to live in the moment ("If this isn't nice, what is?"). And of course there's plenty of his trademark sardonic wit, and a couple of dirty jokes. I wouldn't recommend it to readers who like their narratives straight up without a lot of author intrusion (in this case, it's more like the narrative only occasionally intrudes on the author). But if you're in the mood to watch a master wordsmith and raconteur at work (while looking over his own shoulder and providing a running commentary), then step right up.

  19. 5 out of 5

    britt_brooke

    "Ting-a-ling, motherfucker.” - Kilgore Trout This semi-autobiographical “stew” is kind of bonkers, but I liked it. A must read for established fans.

  20. 4 out of 5

    MJ Nicholls

    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 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 displays when talking about his own family, a matter of contention among the Vonnegut clan. But his personal life was always entwined with his writing: from way back to his early 70s novels, when he began to write personally detailed prefaces. This book’s catchword: Ting-a-Ling!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jon(athan) Nakapalau

    A lot like Groundhog Day...interesting questions raised about the nature of time and space.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Marts (Thinker)

    Some entertaining and some thought provoking ramblings of Vonnegut....

  23. 4 out of 5

    Goldberg

    “You are not enough people!” Worth reading just for this quote. A lot of fun...

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    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 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 didn't dislike it, but I wasn't expecting it. Vonnegut's ramble touches on everything: life, death, marriage, art, writing, education, anything and everything. And it's fascinating, and funny, and crass at times. I wouldn't recommend it as "gateway Vonnegut," but I would recommend it if you loved Slaughterhouse-Five and want to try something else.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Marie

    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 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. The main premise (that of a 'hiccup' in space-time, in which the universe slid back a decade and reran the events of that time in the exact sequence they first occured) is a neat idea. It's an interesting little take on determinism and causality, in this particular context the absence of free will. All beings and objects, human and otherwise, during the timequake must act in the exact manner they did during the first 'pass' through this particular decade. Every step, breath, blink is completed in the same sequence, with the same results. There is a single history, a single path through time, in which events are pre-determined. It highlights the question as to whether the initial 'run' was itself pre-determined, implying that free will does not exist. The personal anecdotes in the book, referencing Vonneguts parents, wives and children, are interspersed amongst the main 'Timequake' story. Vonnegut referred to this book as a 'stew' of ideas - and it seems an apt description - with real people and events melding together with fictional ones. It serves well as a peek into the mind of the ageing Vonnegut - although it is a particularly confusing approach - with the pace of the book varying in a maddening and increasingly haphazard fashion, and with rather brutal changes in topic. This book, a story out of step with itself, is (in a way) a timequake - with events from Vonneguts youth and old age, scattered amongst events that never happened. In summary, whilst this is not a book for those unfamiliar with Vonnegut - I appreciated the personal nature of it, reading this after he had passed away. The concept of the timequake is a neat one, although I'm not convinced it was fully realised here, with the structure feeling quite jarring in some places. It is deservedly marked 4 stars here though, in my opinion, as an exciting little detour in science fiction.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn

    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 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 outlook and creative opinions, thoughts, and ideas, but I kept wanting him to focus on the fictional part of the book, which dissipated among his ruminations on his life. I'm unsure of whether or not he was aware of his own impending death, but he was definitely doing a lot of reflecting/reminiscing. Timequake's premise is that a gliche in time results in everything that has happened in the past ten years to happen all over again, exactly as it did the first time around (with no ability to change anything, like living on "automatic"). Point being that this could really cause a person, or people in general, to regret certain choices they've made, and the all-around turn of events in the world. When the Timequake finally ends ten years later, there are some calamitous results when people don't realize that they are back in control and must once again exert free-will (cars start crashing, planes collide, people tumble down stairwells). So used to living on repeat, broadcasts and word-of-mouth are needed to alert everyone that free-will is back... I had to read this in a series of small spurts because I didn't want to totally abandon it, but a real Vonnegut fan who wants some insight into the author might have a higher appreciation for it.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Malkan

    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 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 English language to describe things is peculiar (in a good way). For example, he describes the World Wars as “the world’s first and second attempt to commit suicide”. The climax of the book brings about a very interesting concept which shouldn’t be spoiled. I would recommend this book to everyone who is mature enough to laugh at the jokes and not too picky about language. This book has very funny lines and paragraphs, and some have inappropriate language which might turn off some readers and parents of readers, but I see it as all in good fun. I still think that people should look past the language because Kurt Vonnegut is a very unique writer. It’s not something I’ve ever read or seen before. This book does ask for some foreknowledge on topics, but this isn’t required and although the reader may not get the most out of the book, they will get a very large portion of what makes this book great. Overall, this book deserves a place in history as unique, thoughtful, and one of the funniest books out there.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Fredstrong

    Unfortunately, it's been a while since I read Timequake, so I can only talk about the general trends I remember, rather than the specifics of plot, and character. This is Vonnegut's last Novel, and he certainly goes out with a bang. The literary devices that Vonnegut uses throughout his catalogue are all utilized in Timequake with new force and life. Vonnegut regularly steps outside of the fiction to analyze the novel he is writing, and clue the reader into what he is thinking, who he is basing Unfortunately, it's been a while since I read Timequake, so I can only talk about the general trends I remember, rather than the specifics of plot, and character. This is Vonnegut's last Novel, and he certainly goes out with a bang. The literary devices that Vonnegut uses throughout his catalogue are all utilized in Timequake with new force and life. Vonnegut regularly steps outside of the fiction to analyze the novel he is writing, and clue the reader into what he is thinking, who he is basing his characters on, memories of his life, and so on. The novel centers on Kilgore Trout, and the main plot revolves around a timequake which has thrust people back in time from 2001 to 1991. The trick is that people are aware of the fact they are repeating these years, and are still powerless to alter their course. Freewill, or rather lack of freewill, is a major focus of Timequake. Vonnegut injects himself into the fiction of the book as well, which culminates at a clam bake for Kilgore Trout, attended by various authors, and Vonnegut. Kurt Vonnegut pulls out all the stops in Timequake; it is as unabashedly Vonnegut, as it is a worthy note to end his career as a novelist on. Vonnegut was one of the most important writers of the 20th century, and if any one had any doubts, timequake lays them to rest.

  29. 4 out of 5

    A.J.

    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 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 from topic to topic, ranting, bitterly cynical with one or two lumps of sweetener just to keep it interesting. It doesn't really help. The book does not take long to read and so in that regard is painless. Yet I can't help but wonder why, if the original Timequake he keeps referring to as a story that "didn't want to be written," did he then, for whatever reason, decide to write a novel called Timequake? The story--if you want to call it that--works primarily as a distraction from the autobiographical segments that were smeared over the original idea. Why he couldn't publish a memoir, especially so late in his career, is the most mysterious aspect of the work. It certainly looks as if that's what he really wanted to do. If Timequake is the only thing between you and completing the Vonnegut canon, all right. If not, do not proceed.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Erin Cataldi

    “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..” This book is about a disruption in the time continuum, but at it's heart, it's soo soo much more. It meanders it's way through reminisces of war, a childhood spent in Indianapolis, ex-wives, family members, science fiction, dark jokes, and so much more. Vonnegut is the master at spinning a tale whi “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..” This book is about a disruption in the time continuum, but at it's heart, it's soo soo much more. It meanders it's way through reminisces of war, a childhood spent in Indianapolis, ex-wives, family members, science fiction, dark jokes, and so much more. Vonnegut is the master at spinning a tale which seemingly takes the reader through a wandering labyrinth, only to discover at the end that it weaved a beautiful web in the process ("some pig" indeed). Describing this book is a fool's errand. Just read it because it's Vonnegut and it's quotable and funny and dark and wonderful. So it goes.

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