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Showing 11-20 of 20 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 32 reviews
on September 8, 2013
yet another very good story from the masterful Kurt Vonnegut. I do hope there are more of his unpublished stories to come
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on January 7, 2012
Purchased as Christmas gift for my son. He was thrilled with it. He's a big Vonnegut fan and had not seen this book before.
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on July 21, 2013
Not the best collection, but after all there are several strong stories (pure Vonnegut) Must have for Vonnegut lovers! 100% recommended.
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on November 26, 2013
I've been a Vonngeut fanatic for almost forty years, ever since reading Breakfast of Champions. But, I think the well is running dry.
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on March 29, 2013
I love Kurt Vonnegut, but there's a reason these were forgotten stories, never published. Capitalizing on the Vonnegut name, someone has been pushing these three posthumous volumes of previously published and unpublished short stories. While they still reflect the Vonnegut charm and characteristic, these early shorts are merely a glimpse of who Vonnegut became as a writer. They are immediately forgettable, even for the most ardent of fans.
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on March 4, 2011
It is inspiring that he illustrated this book himself -- other authors should be more willing to do this. The illustrations are very, very interesting -- and quite capable.
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on January 26, 2011
Kurt Vonnegut died in the early part of the twenty-first century, but he belonged to the twentieth century. He could have easily died in that conflict that split the century in two; he could have perished in the flames and rubble of Dresden. He didn't, and American culture is better for it. It is better in the same way that American culture of the nineteenth century is better because a young Confederate soldier lived through that conflict that split the country in two - young Samuel Clemens.

I have always maintained the parallel between the two men. They were writers, yes. But they were more than writers. They represented the slanted moral voice that could laugh at itself and the culture. These voices were in earnest though; they lacked the facile surface-grazing of the postmodern condition. They speak a truth where writers are afraid to talk about whether you can even capitalize that `t' now.

Kurt Vonnegut died, and his was the only celebrity death I have mourned in a long time. I had long been meaning to make a pilgrimage to his neighborhood. I wanted to intercept him on the street as he walked to the post office or the local bodega to buy his cigarettes. I wanted to stop him and just say "Thank you".

Vonnegut died and left a hole in the soul of America, but he lives on. Thankfully he was prolific and lived long. There have now been three books published since his death. These books are different, but they all show why I love Kurt Vonnegut.

First published was a book of the older stuff, work for websites and highlights of his art. We were able to see the full fruit and flower of a life that spanned an eventful century. Then they put out a collection of his earlier work, including the germ of the story that became _Slaughterhouse-V_.

Now we have this collection, _While Mortals Sleep_. Eggers, in the introduction, points out that these stories are somewhat formulaic and emblematic of the middle-brow conventions of a time where middle-brow magazines published fiction. This collection is not _Dubliners_, but it doesn't need to be. We see the human, antic voice develop in this somewhat uneven batch of stories. I am glad I read it, but I am biased. I would read this man's old grocery lists - and if we wait long enough, they just might be released in hardback.
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on February 22, 2011
It seems like that's what we've got going here. The stories lack definable direction & frequently leave me feeling like I just watched the series fanale of The Sopranos. They just sort of .... end.

Not that this is a bad thing necessarily, but it's not what we've come to expect from Vonnegut. And why should it be? He didn't write it for us, the pseudo intellectual, marginally counter-culturally, limp-wristed, literary anarchists of today. He's written these stories from magazine subscribers in a bygone era.

Bottom line, we're done discovering Vonnegut. We've read what he's written, & now we set to the task of hashing & rehashing his multiplicitous works through the lens of our advancing age, & watching our children discover it for the first time. This book is a gathering-together of work that I believe Vonnegut would be embarrassed to have become part of his post-mortem dynasty. Publishing every jot & tittle that ever escaped Vonnegut's mind or pen is reanimating the dead, we're breathing unholy life into his genus, & it's not right, & it's tainting his overall dynasty.
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on February 22, 2011
Finally... stories with surprise endings that have a moral.

Humans haven't changed much since the 1950's. Vonnegut is right on target.

Everyone of these would make a great TV drama/comedy.
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on April 20, 2015
Exactly as described
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