Jailbird by Kurt Vonnegut"[Kurt Vonnegut] has never been more satirically on-target. . . . Nothing is spared."--People Jailbird takes us into a fractured and comic, pure Vonnegut world of high crimes and misdemeanors in government--and in the heart. This wry tale follows bumbling bureaucrat Walter F. Starbuck from Harvard to the Nixon White House to the penitentiary as Watergate's least known co-conspirator. But the humor turns dark when Vonnegut shines his spotlight on the cold hearts and calculated greed of the mighty, giving a razor-sharp edge to an unforgettable portrait of power and politics in our times. Praise for Jailbird "[Vonnegut] is our strongest writer . . . the most stubbornly imaginative."--John Irving "A gem . . . a mature, imaginative novel--possibly the best he has written . . . Jailbird is a guided tour de force of America. Take it!"--Playboy "A profoundly humane comedy . . . Jailbird definitely mounts up on angelic wings--in its speed, in its sparkle, and in its high-flying intent."--Chicago Tribune Book World "Joyously inventive . . . gleams with the loony magic Vonnegut alone can achieve."--Cosmopolitan "Vonnegut is our great apocalyptic writer, the closest thing we've had to a prophet since . . . Lenny Bruce."--Chicago Sun-Times "Vonnegut at his impressive best. . . . His imaginative leaps alone . . . are worth the price of admission. . . . His far-reaching metaphysical and cultural concerns . . . are ultimately serious and worth our contemplation."--The Washington Post
Mother Night by Kurt VonnegutMother Nightis a daring challenge to our moral sense. American Howard W. Campbell, Jr., a spy during World War II, is now on trial in Israel as a Nazi war criminal. But is he really guilty? In this brilliant book rife with true gallows humor, Vonnegut turns black and white into a chilling shade of gray with a verdict that will haunt us all.
Slaughterhouse-FiveSlaughterhouse-Five, an American classic, is one of the world's great antiwar books. Centering on the infamous World War II firebombing of Dresden, the novel is the result of what Vonnegut describes as a twenty-three-year struggle to write a book about what he himself witnessed as an American POW. It combines science fiction, autobiography, humor, historical fiction, and satire in an account of the life of Billy Pilgrim, a barber's son turned draftee turned optometrist turned alien abductee. Billy, like Vonnegut, experiences the destruction of Dresden as a POW, and, as with Vonnegut, it is the defining moment of his life. Unlike the author, he also experiences time travel, or coming "unstuck in time." Billy Pilgrim's odyssey reflects the mythic journey of our own fractured lives as we search for meaning in what we fear most.
Read The Short Stories
2BR02BRegarded by critics and fans alike as one of the most accomplished and witty social commentators of the twentieth century, all of Kurt Vonnegut's unique strengths as a writer shine in the short fiction piece 2BR02B. The title is a clever take on Hamlet's famous rhetorical question, "To be or not to be?" In this brave new world, it's the phone number one calls to schedule an assisted suicide or termination—both of which are commonplace occurrences in a time when the population is strictly controlled by government mandate.
Also available in print
Includes these short stories:
"Where I Live"
"Who Am I This Time?"
"Welcome to the Monkey House"
"Long Walk to Forever"
"The Foster Portfolio"
"All the King's Horses"
"Tom Edison's Shaggy Dog"
"More Stately Mansions"
"The Hyannis Port Story"
"Report on the Barnhouse Effect"
"The Euphio Question"
"Go Back to Your Precious Wife and Son"
"Deer in the Works"
"Unready to Wear"
"The Kid Nobody Could Handle"
"The Manned Missiles"
"Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow"
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Critical Insights: Kurt VonnegutCritical acclaim eluded Kurt Vonnegut until Slaughterhouse-Five was published in 1969. An immediate best seller, it earned for the author respect from critics who had previously dismissed him as a mediocre science-fiction writer. Over the course of his career, Vonnegut was honored as the Briggs-Copeland Lecturer at Harvard University, as a member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters, and as the Distinguished Professor of English Prose at the City University of New York. Through his insightful and sympathetic treatment of the psychologically and morally crippled victims of the modern world, Vonnegut earned a reputation as one of the greatest humanist writers of his time.
Critical Insights: Slaughterhouse-FivePublished at the height of the Vietnam War protests, Slaughterhouse-Five seized the imaginations of thousands of young people and made Vonnegut into an overnight sensation. Now, more than forty years after its publication, scholars are only beginning to assess Vonnegut's unique achievement with this stoic yet compassionate treatment of what remains one of the most deadly military strikes in European history.
The Critical Response to Kurt VonnegutFrom the time he left his job as a publicist for General Electric in 1950 to pursue a career as a writer, Kurt Vonnegut has made an indelible mark on American literature. During the first decade of his career, his work appeared chiefly in paperback. With the hardcover publication of Cat's Cradle in 1963, his writings received increasing attention, with criticism of Vonnegut's work flourishing during the decades that followed. This volume traces the critical response to his work. Included in this book are reviews and critical essays on Vonnegut's writings from the roots of his career to the present day. The critical pieces are arranged chronologically from a review of Player Piano to an article on Hocus Pocus. The book systematically covers the critical response to every one of Vonnegut's novels. The first part of the book covers Vonnegut's rise to critical success with the publication of Slaughterhouse-Five in 1969, while the second part focuses on his later work, from Breakfast of Champions (1970) through Hocus Pocus (1990). A selected bibliography concludes the work.
Kurt VonnegutA collection of eleven critical essays on the works of science fiction author Kurt Vonnegut.
Kurt Vonnegut : A Critical CompanionWith a career spanning 50 years, Kurt Vonnegut is one of the most prolific and popular American writers of the 20th century. Though his works have often met with mixed reviews, and have been difficult to categorize, his status of cultural icon and one of the most important contemporary novelists is well established. This critical companion, perfect for students, skillfully guides readers through seven of Vonnegut's most important novels including Player Piano (1952), Mother Night (1961), Cat's Cradle (1963), and Slaughterhouse Five (1969). A full chapter is devoted to each work, with clear analysis of plot, character development, thematic concerns, symbolism, and a close critical reading. A chapter on the life of Kurt Vonnegut gives an up-to-date biography, with interesting details relating the facts of his life to his writings. The Literary Contexts section, devoted to examining issues of genre, influences and themes in Vonnegut's writing, adds to a fuller understanding of the man and his literary works. This exceptionally well-written Critical Companion will help students and interested readers appreciate Vonnegut's most important and popular novels. Close critical readings offer feminist, Marxist, and new historicist perspectives on these works. A bibliography helps students undertaking research identify additional sources for biographical and critical information, and provides reviews and a comprehensive list of Vonnegut's publications to date.
Kurt Vonnegut : images and representationsSince the publication of his first short stories in the 1950s, Kurt Vonnegut has enjoyed much popular acclaim and has, since the 1970s, gained growing amounts of attention from the scholarly community. In the course of his career, he has become increasingly concerned with visual images. While such imagery occurs in his short fiction and novels, he has also written plays, in which ideas are visually represented on the stage. In recent years, he has devoted more and more of his time and energy to graphic art, producing paintings that are then silk screened. The contributors to this volume look at the visual images created by Vonnegut in his literary art, along with the images and representations of his thought that increasingly are being brought to life in other media. Much of Vonnegut's present significance, his talents as a mythmaker, and his impulse toward visual imagery were anticipated by Leslie Fiedler in The Divine Stupidity of Kurt Vonnegut, published in the September 1970 issue of Esquire. That essay is reprinted here as a prescient introduction to the volume. The essays that follow look at comic elements in Vonnegut's science fiction, the representation of authors in his works, and the translation of his writings into film. The book also examines Vonnegut's graphic art and includes photos of several of his works.
The Role of Science Fiction : Asimov & Vonnegut - A ComparisonThere are no copy, print, or download restrictions on this title.
In "The role of Science Fiction in selected works of Isaac Asimov and Kurt Vonnegut" the author elaborates upon important similarities and differences between the use of science fiction motives in selected works of Isaac Asimov and Kurt Vonnegut. The analysis includes Asimov's Foundation and Robots and Empire and Vonnegut's Sirens of Titan and Galapagos.
Sanity Plea : Schizophrenia In the Novels of Kurt VonnegutIn this revised edition of a volume originally published in 1989, Lawrence Broer extends his comprehensive critique of the body of writing by Kurt Vonnegut. Broer offers a broad psychoanalytic study of Vonnegut's works from Player Piano to Hocus Pocus, taking a decisively new approach to the work of one of America's most important, yet often misinterpreted writers. A compelling and original analysis, Sanity Plea, explores how Vonnegut incorporates his personal experiences into an art that is not defeatist, but rather creatively therapeutic and life-affirming.
Vonnegut and Hemingway : Writers at WarIn this original comparative study of Kurt Vonnegut and Ernest Hemingway, Lawrence R. Broer maps the striking intersections of biography and artistry in works by both writers, and he compares the ways in which they blend life and art. Broer views Hemingway as the "secret sharer" of Vonnegut's literary imagination and argues that the two writers--while traditionally considered as adversaries because of Vonnegut's rejection of Hemingway's emblematic hypermasculinism--inevitably address similar deterministic wounds in their fiction: childhood traumas, family insanity, deforming wartime experiences, and depression. Rooting his discussion in these psychological commonalities between Vonnegut and Hemingway, Broer traces their personal and artistic paths by pairing sets of works and protagonists in ways that show the two writers not only addressing similar concerns, but developing a response that in the end establishes an underlying kinship when it comes to the fate of the American hero of the twentieth century.Hemingway provided frequent fodder for Vonnegut, inspiring a cadre of characters who celebrate war and death. In his sardonic response to this vision of a Hemingwayesque world, Vonnegut espoused kindness and restraint as moral imperatives against the more violent yearnings of human nature, which Hemingway in turn embraced as stoic, virile, and heroic. Though their paths were radically different, Broer finds in both an overarching obsession with the scars of war as chief adversary in a personal quest for understanding and wholeness. He locates in each writer's canon moments of spiritual awaking leading to literary evolution--if not outright reinvention. In their later works Broer detects an increasing recognition of redemptive feminine aspects in themselves and their protagonists, pulling against the destructively tragic fatalism that otherwise dominates their worldviews.Broer sees Vonnegut and Hemingway as fundamentally at war--with themselves, with one another's artistic visions, and with the idea of war itself. Against this onslaught, he asserts, they wrote as a mode of therapy and achieved literary greatness through combative opposition to the shadows that loomed so large around them.
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