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Jailbird: A Novel Kindle Edition
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“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
“Is it entertaining? Every page of it. . . . Easily his best work of fictions since Slaughterhouse-Five.”—New York Daily News
“Life, in Vonnegut’s eyes, is as chaotic as ever . . . but Jailbird emanates serene control.”—The Atlantic Monthly
“At his best . . . Vonnegut in very good form, tart, wry, often very funny.”—New York Post
From the Inside Flap
- ASIN : B003VS0NDM
- Publisher : The Dial Press (July 15, 2010)
- Publication date : July 15, 2010
- Language : English
- File size : 2764 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 322 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #147,340 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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The book is told by and about a man named Walter Starbuck, who has just been released from prison for his involvements in the Watergate scandal. The book also tells of the American Labor movement, politics and the red scare of the fifties known as the Capitalist/Communist theory.
Walter Starbuck spent his youth under the custody of Alexander McCone, one of three sons by Daniel McCone, founder and owner of the Cuyahoga Bridge and Iron Company. We also read here of the Cuyahoga Massacre between strikers and police in Cleveland.
And it was Alexander McCone who promised young Starbuck a promising future and a education at Harvard. Thus the story of Walters life continues as we also learn of his past through flashbacks of previous times relevent to the tale.
As with other books, Vonnegut is always funny and sometimes lovably emotional with his stories and his characters, and that is what is so great about this book. The ups and downs of living in a society, and such is the essence of life. As in his older works 'God Bless You Mr.Rosewater' and 'Player Piano' among others.
And for those who love him. Kilgore Trout is indeed a part of this story. Not vital, but mentioned.
Funny, tragic and insightful as usual. I laughed myself through the entire humorous fiasco. I wonder what KV would think about politics now, in 2020.
Top reviews from other countries
This is the least inventive and the most polemic of his novels that I have read, in fact it reminded me of George Orwell at times. There are some flashes of his electric prose and coruscating wit but this is pretty much a traditional story in a modish format. I felt there were some faults in the structure; the prologue is laboured and overlong and a lot of the body of the book felt like a series of staged set-pieces interconnected. Still, worth the read as it's still a Vonnegut, even though he's not wearing his Sunday best
We follow Walter F. Starbuck on his first 24 hours after being released from prison as he becomes subjected to a series of comical coincidences and often farcical events, interspersed with flashbacks to his past. The tale unravels into several threads and Vonnegut skillfully weaves them together to form a satisfying whole. It is Vonnegut's genius that he can create a novel of complexity, and full of ideas, yet make it read so easily and entertainingly.
For those unfamiliar with Kurt Vonnegut, I would say his style is such that his books have a certain _personality_ to them, and once you become aquainted with this personality you can sit back and enjoy them like you were listening to the conversation of an old friend. But first you must be introduced, and in my opinion Jailbird is a great introduction.