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Showing 1-10 of 395 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 707 reviews
on July 24, 2017
The description for this book on Amazon and Goodreads is apt: It would be very hard to describe what this book is about.

Yes it is well written and the story is very imaginative and creative. But how do you describe what happened and why? Why is the big question. I'm not so sure there is an answer there, but I'll try.

Basically, this is the story of a man who is very lucky in life but loses that luck. And is sent on a journey to discover what is really important in life.

Malachi Constant is once the richest man in America of some future date. One day, he meets a space, or more truthfully, a traveler of the space-time continuum — One Winston Niles Rumfoord. Rumfoord, because of his own travels, tells Malachi his future. And soon enough, Malachi become Unk, a Martian in the Martian army. To tell too much would be to ruin the effect of the book, but enough to say, this is a story that once you are hooked, you will want to continue reading, if for nothing else to find out what is the point of the story. I think by the end, you will have your answer.
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on August 31, 2017
This was certainly a bizarre story, mind control by means of brain implants, trips to Mars and other planets. The protagonist of the work is put into difficult situations with the loss of free will and ends up doing things that having he been in control of his own faculties the outcome would be different. I thought it was well written, somewhat alarming and creative.
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on April 28, 2013
This book is great, but its not the kind of book that grabs you from the beginning and says "this is going to be a great novel". In fact, about halfway through, I wasn't even sure I was actually liking this novel, but I stuck it through and was very glad I did. Anyone that has read Vonnegut will recognize his snarky witty way of telling a story. As far as story goes, this is probably the "sci-fi-est" book I have read by him. The characters in this book travel around the solar system a lot, and they change quite a bit with each journey. In the end, this is a story about lives, they way they begin, they way that live, and they way they die, and all the silly, funny, sad, and horrible things that happen from birth to death that makes up a life. That is probably why it takes you getting to the end before you really fully appreciate the impact of this story. This book is probably not quite as cool as 'Cat's Cradle' and its doesn't have the sheer impact of 'Slaughterhouse 5', but this is easily his 3rd most memorable novel. If you like Vonnegut (and really, who doesn't?) then check this one out, and doubt you will be disappointed, unless you quit halfway through, because if so, you missed the best part.
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on July 1, 2016
It is a cliche, but there is always something notable just under the surface of cliches: I could not put this book down. This is true for me of most Vonnegut novels, though. If anything your vocabulary will certainly be tested by reading this novel, as Vonnegut uses wonderfully archaic and/or underused words. Eminently quotable...one of my favorite quotes below:

"Anybody who has traveled this far on a fools errand has no choice but to uphold the honor of fools by completing the errand."
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on August 30, 2017
Read it when I was younger and its irreverence and mocking of standard norms, together with the interesting teasing of values (what really is a good value) hold up well after all these decades. So amazing that Vonnegut came up with this stuff back in 1959. Surely he was a heavy influence on Douglas Adams?--similar playfulness with what to us humans are serious matters.
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on February 7, 2015
War doesn't unite people even if there is a common enemy. The message pushed in this book is strange, especially coming from Vonnegut who constantly blasts war. The Houthi rebellion who recently overthrew the Yemeni government is a prime example of that in recent history. The Houthis hate Al Qaeda, yet the USA and the Houthis would never be friends because the Houthis also hate America. Same went for WWII where the USA and Russia teamed up against the Nazis only to end up aiming nukes at each other.

Despite the heavily flawed ideas on human behavior that were portrayed in this story, I still enjoyed it for the other themes. The ending delivers and is quite brilliant.
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on May 22, 2013
I'll start by saying that I really enjoyed this book. This is the second book I've read by Vonnegut, the first being Slaughterhouse Five.

While I found both books enjoyable, I find them both very strange. I suppose good science fiction can be strange, particularly an older science fiction book written based on scientific thoughts and knowledge that is not current.

This story is one of fate - you are fated to live a destined life. Seen through the eyes of a series of unrelated characters, we observe the oncoming war between Mars and Earth. Hopelessly outnumbered, yet compelled to fight, the Martians attack Earth, unleashing a destined future.

Vonnegut does a good job of weaving the storylines and characters together until a climax where all appear together at the end.

I think I'm going to take a break from fiction for a while and go back to either History (I need to finish the Jefferson book I've been reading for months now), or some other kind of non-fiction. I'll decide in the next day or two.
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on January 2, 2012
Sirens of Titan was my second Vonnegut book and while I didn't think that it was quite on par with Slaughter House 5, I did think it was very good book that I enjoyed quite a bit. The book largely follows Malachi Constant as he's placed in various situations and examines the meaning of life utilizing a worldview that takes an existential slant that borders on nihilism in places. The difference between where Vonnegut concludes and where other's view the world through takes them, is that Vonnegut chooses to end up in a warmer, fuzzier, somewhat optimistic place rather than the cold, dark place that others often get to when beginning with the worldview Vonnegut espouses. While I won't spoil the end or the twists that happen along the way the message in the end is largely one of live in the moment you're in, love those around you and no matter who's pulling the strings, do the best to make the world a better place however you can. Sort of a 60's flower power anthem, which, isn't such a bad anthem to be singing.

In any case, philosophy aside, the story itself was a pretty fun, quick ride that made me think in a few places, had some good wisdom that most would agree with and even had a few twists along the way that kept the story interesting and moving along nicely. The pieces come together nicely towards the very end to shed light on the earlier events in a satisfying way and while I wouldn't consider this a "classic" or "must read", it is very good and definitely not Sci-Fi enough to turn off anyone who's not a fan of the genre. In fact, while the story happens to unfold on several planets (mostly in our solar system), it's really just a story about man's place in the universe and really can be enjoyed by just about anyone. So, all things considered, another great book by Vonnegut that has me looking forward to whatever next Vonnegut book I'll eventually read next.
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on September 6, 2017
Such a wit. Such a heart. There are simply people who leave the world who should have stayed around another century.
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on January 24, 2017
Vonnegut is by far my favorite author. A true American literary icon. After SL5 I wanted to read another of his works. The Sirens of Titan is a great follow up. A true word-smith making beautiful sentences with each line. A sci-fi adventure that takes the reader across our solar system as well as our psyche. I highly recommend this book. If you like Adams or Pratchett consider this book. A true modern classic.
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