No catches, no fine print just unadulterated book loving, with your favourite books saved to your own digital bookshelf.
New members get entered into our monthly draw to win £100 to spend in your local bookshop Plus lots lots more…Find out more
Kurt Vonnegut was born in 1922 in Indianapolis. He studied biochemistry and anthropology at Cornell University, but his education was interrupted by the Second World War. He was a PoW in Dresden during the infamous firebombing of the city. Upon return to the US, he started writing, publishing his first SF story in 1950. Player Piano was his first SF novel, published in 1952. He gained popularity during the 1960s with novels such as God Bless You, Mr Rosewater (1965). After publishing his novel Hocus Pocus in 1990, he retired as a writer, declaring that he had nothing more to say â€“ that is until 1997 when he wrote Timequake.
This is the second volume of Vonnegut's autobiographical writings - a collage of his own life story, snipped up and stuck down alongside his views on everything from suicidal depression to the future of the planet and Andrew Lloyd Webber. Honest, dark, rambling, funny; this rare glimpse of Vonnegut's soul is a dagger to the heart of Western complacency.
Called our finest black-humourist by The Atlantic Monthly , Kurt Vonnegut was one of the most influential writers of the 20th century. Now his first and last works come together for the first time in print, in a collection aptly titled after his famous phrase, We Are What We Pretend To Be . Written to be sold under the pseudonym of Mark Harvey, Basic Training was never published in Vonnegut's lifetime. It appears to have been written in the late 1940s and is therefore Vonnegut's first ever novella. It is a bitter, profoundly disenchanted story that satirizes the military, authoritarianism, gender relationships, parenthood and most of the assumed mid-century myths of the family. Haley Brandon, the adolescent protagonist, comes to the farm of his relative, the old crazy who insists upon being called The General, to learn to be a straight-shooting American. Haley's only means of survival will lead him to unflagging defiance of the General's deranged (but oh so American, oh so military) values. This story and its thirtyish author were no friends of the milieu to which the slick magazines' advertisers were pitching their products. When Vonnegut passed away in 2007, he left his last novel unfinished. Entitled If God Were Alive Today , this last work is a brutal satire on societal ignorance and carefree denial of the world's major problems. Protagonist Gil Berman is a middle-aged college lecturer and self-declared stand-up comedian who enjoys cracking jokes in front of a college audience while societal dependence on fossil fuels has led to the apocalypse. Described by Vonnegut as, the stand-up comedian on Doomsday, Gil is a character formed from Vonnegut's own rich experiences living in a reality Vonnegut himself considered inevitable. p class= MsoNormal Along with the two works of fiction, Vonnegut's daughter, Nanette shares reminiscences about her father and commentary on these two works- both exclusive to this edition. In this fiction collection, published in print for the first time, exist Vonnegut's grand themes: trust no one, trust nothing and the only constants are absurdity and resignation, which themselves cannot protect us from the void but might divert.
Disponible para los lectores por primera vez, "e;La cartera del cretino"e; es una coleccion de siete piezas nunca antes publicadas de Kurt Vonnegut, uno de los mas grandes escritores del siglo XX. Sardonicos e inquietantes, estos seis relatos de ficcion, y un pequeno ensayo, son la esencia de Vonnegut, con una satira penetrante y un ojo infalible para la intrascendencia obscena de la vida. Estas historias trazan las vidas humanas y los deseos mundanos, que es precisamente donde la perspectiva inimitable de Vonnegut brilla con fuerza, iluminando su actitud esperanzada y, al mismo tiempo, enormemente triste. Aqui, como en sus mejores novelas, la escritura de Vonnegut nos lleva a los rincones mas oscuros del alma humana y, con ingenio y humor, se las arregla para recordarnos nuestro potencial para ser algo mas grande. El mejor y el ultimo Vonnegut.
For eight years, big game hunter and war hero Harold Ryan has been presumed dead, lost in the Amazon rainforest while hunting for diamonds. Now he's back, only to find his wife engaged to a hippy doctor and his son transformed into a pampered sissy. Though his hunting trophies remain, an inexplicable birthday cake sits in the living room bearing a strange icing inscription: Happy Birthday Wanda June. Can the household bear the returning force of Harold's machismo? And who on earth is Wanda June?
While Mortals Sleep is a smart, clear-eyed collection of stories from one of the most original writers in American fiction. Set in trailers, bars and factories, Vonnegut conjures up a world where men and machines, art and artifice, fame and fortune become curiously twisted and characters pit their dreams and fears against a cruel and comically indifferent world. Written early in his career, and never published before, these tightly plotted stories are infused with Vonnegut's distinctive blend of observation, imagination and scabrous humour. This collection features an introduction by Dave Eggers.
Regarded 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, "e;To be or not to be?"e; 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.
Kurt Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle is an irreverent and highly entertaining fantasy about the playful irresponsibility of nuclear scientists, beautifully repackaged as part of the Penguin Essentials range. 'All of the true things I am about to tell you are shameless lies.' Dr Felix Hoenikker, one of the founding fathers of the atomic bomb, has left a deadly legacy to the world. For he is the inventor of Ice-nine, a lethal chemical capable of freezing the entire planet. The search for its whereabouts leads to Hoenikker's three eccentric children, to a crazed dictator in the Caribbean, to madness. Will Felix Hoenikker's death wish come true? Will his last, fatal gift to humankind bring about the end that, for all of us, is nigh? Told with deadpan humour and bitter irony, Kurt Vonnegut's cult tale of global apocalypse preys on our deepest fears of witnessing the end and, worse still, surviving it . . . 'The time to read Vonnegut is just when you begin to suspect that the world is not what it appears to be. He is not only entertaining, he is electrocuting. You read him with enormous pleasure because he makes your hair stand on end' New York Times 'One of the warmest, wisest, funniest voices to be found anywhere in fiction' Daily Telegraph 'Vonnegut has looked the world straight in the eye and never flinched' J. G. Ballard Kurt Vonnegut was born in Indianapolis in 1922. He studied at the universities of Chicago and Tennessee and later began to write short stories for magazines. His first novel, Player Piano, was published in 1951 and was followed by The Sirens of Titan (1959), Mother Night (1961), Cat's Cradle (1963), God Bless You Mr Rosewater (1964), Welcome to the Monkey House (1968); a collection of short stories, Slaughterhouse Five (1969), Breakfast of Champions (1973), Slapstick, or Lonesome No More (1976), Jailbird (1979), Deadeye Dick (1982), Galapagos (1985), Bluebeard (1988), Hocus Pocus (1990) and Timequake (1997). He is also the author of a number of collections of short stories and essays. Kurt Vonnegut died in 2007.
Look at the Birdie evokes a world in which squabbling couples, high school geniuses, misfit office workers, and small-town Lotharios struggle to adapt to changing technology, moral ambiguity, and unprecedented affluence. In Confido, a family learns the downside of confiding their deepest secrets into a magical invention. In Ed Luby's Key Club, a man finds himself in a Kafkaesque world of trouble after he runs afoul of the shady underworld boss who calls the shots in an upstate New York town. In Look at the Birdie, a quack psychiatrist turned murder counsellor concocts a novel new outlet for his paranoid patients. The stories are cautionary they also brim with his trademark humour. Wry, ironic, satirical and poignant Look at the Birdie reflects the anxieties of the postwar era in which they were written and provides an insight into the development of Vonnegut's early style
Look at the Birdie is a collection of fourteen previously unpublished short stories from one of the most original writers in all of American fiction. In this series of perfectly rendered vignettes, written just as he was starting to find his comic voice, Kurt Vonnegut paints a warm, wise, and often funny portrait of life in postWorld War II Americaa world where squabbling couples, high school geniuses, misfit office workers, and small-town lotharios struggle to adapt to changing technology, moral ambiguity, and unprecedented affluence. In Confido, a laboratory assistants magical invention promises to put his family on easy street at last. But is a machine that gives voice to our innermost thoughts and unspoken grievances really the key to happinessor a direct line to despair?Confido and the thirteen other never-before-published pieces that comprise Look at the Birdie serve as an unexpected gift for devoted readers who thought that Kurt Vonneguts unique voice had been stilled foreverand provide a terrific introduction to his short fiction for anyone who has yet to experience his genius.
The waters of renewal sometimes course through the unlikeliest of settings. In the short story, ';FUBAR,' we're taken to a desolate building in a drab industrial complex, where a lonely office worker gains a fresh perspective on life thanks to the intervention of his free-spirited new female assistant. ';FUBAR' and the thirteen other never-before-published pieces that comprise Look at the Birdie serve as an unexpected gift for devoted readers who thought that Kurt Vonnegut's unique voice had been stilled foreverand provide a terrific introduction to his short fiction for anyone who has yet to experience his genius.