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Welcome to the Monkey House Library Binding – June 26, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“Vonnegut is George Orwell, Dr. Caligari and Flash Gordon compounded into one writer . . . a zany but moral mad scientist.”—Time
“A great artist.”—Cincinnati Enquirer
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
On the one hand, the short stories are wonderful and showcase some of Vonnegut's earlier writing. On the other hand, the Kindle edition would likely embarrass any author, and particularly one whose precision of language was equal to Kurt Vonnegut's. Specifically, the book appears to have been created by scanning a hard copy and then using optical character recognition (OCR) software to convert the images to letters, without making an effort to even so much as electronically verify that the OCR got it right (e.g. even a Word grammar checker would have turned up most of the obvious mistakes). This results in an almost verbatim rendering of the original, but not quite. In the Kindle version it is quite jarring to find, for example, the word "mat" appearing nonsensically in the middle of some sentences where the word "that" was plainly intended. Two examples: "It was in this news mat Nancy perceived a glint of hope" or "Why, honey bunch, they call mat truth serum." Mostly, "that" shows up correctly, but not always. Perhaps the most obnoxious example is in the short story "Deer in the Works" where a character's name is first given as "Lou Flammer" then inexplicably switches for a few pages to "Lou Hammer" and then switches back to last name "Flammer" again. Vonnegut doesn't make those sorts of mistakes. Kindle does, and it is a shame to do it to a writer of such ability. Nevertheless, what Vonnegut writes in these short stories are entertaining, thought provoking, disturbing, and somewhat of a time capsule for the mindset of America in the 1950s and early 60s. My only suggestion is to buy a hard copy version and read what Vonnegut actually wrote, instead.
And if you already know Vonnegut but don't know this book, then think of this as the author in delicious bit-sized chunks.
But read the book!
I would not say that Welcome to the Monkey House is Vonnegut's best book -- in fact, it may not even be in the top five by my calculations -- but it is the one book of his I would keep if I had to give all the other away, simply because of the diversity of the stories he tells and the simple writing skill they illustrate.
And I might argue that the best single STORY Vonnegut ever wrote is "Harrison Bergeron" the riveting and still-relevant tale about human nature that effects me as much today as it did when I first read it 20 years ago. Vonnegut without a doubt proves with this story that all writers are not created equal.
On the other hand, we find more simplistic stories in which Vonnegut conveys individuals in a deep, touching light, striking great chords of sympathy in this reader's mind.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A great introduction to Vonnegut. Many varied stories. I come from a time when Vonnegut was what
many of the young read. This is for my nephew. Read more
Monkey House supremely represents the best early works of any other author read. Each story held my attention, wanting more.Published 1 month ago by Michael Seyller
Not some of Vonnegut's best and most imaginative work, but this collection of short stories is worth a look and easy to read. Read morePublished 1 month ago by saxpistols
Tough to review this book because of the limited parameters set by Amazon. This is a superb collection of early Kurt Vonnegut short stories. a must have for KV collectors.Published 1 month ago by Gil Miller
Just let me write this to start, I am a Kurt Vonnegut fan through and through. So, now that I've got that out of the way, let me tell you a little about the book. What can I say? Read morePublished 2 months ago by Justin R. Miller