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on October 3, 2012
Please note that my rating is about the quality of the Kindle edition, not the quality of Vonnegut's writing.

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.
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This book is a collection of 25 short stories. They are simple but you can if you want read great depth in them. These stories would make good starters for a reading group or circle. They are professional but not extraordinary or unique.

"The year was 2081, and everyone was finally equal. They weren't only equal before God and the law. They were equal in every way."

I bought this book for one story in particular "Harrison Bergeron"; I bought the movie with Sean Astin and thought even if the story was fleshed out to be more like "This Perfect Day". So I thought it would be time to read the story. Unfortunately the short story can not hold a candle to the movie. It never really gets off the ground and comes to a curt conclusion never resolving the conflict.

Harrison Bergeron ~ Sean Astin
also
Who Am I This Time? ~ Susan Sarandon
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on September 12, 2017
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. never fails to satisfy in my opinion. His writing makes me think at different angles (if that makes sense). Different ways of looking at things maybe is better. "Welcome to the Monkey House" is a good way to get introduced to Kurt's writing because it's a collection of short stories. All different story lines you can finish quick rather than get into a novel or something long that you'll go back to.
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on November 19, 2011
Another review describes this collection of short stories as "a good introduction to Kurt Vonnegut" so I thought I'd give it a shot, especially since being a collection of short stories, if I didn't like something, I could move on to the next. As it turned out, I liked all of the stories and finished the entire collection quite quickly. I found it interesting that I had read one of the stories, Harrison Bergeron, back in high school. As I reread it, the scenes I imaged all of those years ago came back to me. I have thought about the story from time to time over the decade and a half since I read it, so I think that speaks for the quality of content. I also found Welcome to the Monkey House highly amusing. The entire collection is science fiction, a genre I typically don't like, but the stories are not so far "out there" that you cannot imagine them being true. Vonnegut has a dark sense of humor throughout which I thoroughly enjoyed. I recommend this one.
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on September 3, 2017
I have always enjoyed Kurt Vonnegut's writings. This is no different. In fact, it might be better as it is a collection of short stories.
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on October 1, 2017
Typical Vonnegut..😊.

25 stories full of the Vonnegut satire, and scattered with the unusual characters. It's not a Slaughterhouse 5, or Cat's Cradle but still a class act.
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on January 7, 2013
I read this book back in high school, and it was my first introduction to Kurt Vonnegut. My friends were all literary nerds and always sang the praises of the man, so one day, they let me borrow this book. I was hooked after that. Vonnegut had such a brillant mind, and could think of the most intriguing stories. From any other author, they may have been said to be too "out there," but with Vonnegut, it fits perfectly.

One story that is placed near the beginning was my absolute favorite, and definitely the shining star in the book. "Harrison Bergeron" was a completely unexpected story for me, and I remember finishing it and feeling as if somebody had hit me with a frying pan. I immediately read the entire story over again, and yet again, there was the frying pan again. I was shocked, amazed, bewildered, lost, and deeply saddened at what one story could do.

That being said, it's not Vonnegut's best work. It may be a great introduction to him that will let you ease into his unique books, but there will be stories that are just simply boring and hard to read through. There are forgettable ones, but like I discussed earlier, there will be stories that will always stay with you. That's the important thing to take back from this book.
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on July 14, 2012
Sometimes the most competent tool for an existence you want to escape for the moment is to whisk yourself back to another time, preferably one that is mostly imaginary, since it is filtered through the lens of literary genius Kurt Vonnegut. "Welcome to the Monkey House" serves that purpose for those of a certain age with flashes of bliss from the momentary displacement to a land of voluptuous memories.

We identify with the madness; we identify with the sanity. It is all real, or at least vividly imagined. These are the short stories Vonnegut sold while he worked on his memorable novels, which are all readily available here at Amazon. They are all worthy of our attention as historic narratives of a cultural epoch of our lives from one of the 20th century's most vigorous and lasting literary voices. He continues to speak to our dreams and fears and leaves it to us to decide which is which.

These snippets offer insight into a culture little known elsewhere. It is, at turns, insightful into human nature or irreverent, even simultaneously when it suited the author's perception of his world, focused mainly on the middle of the last century. An exhilarating thing about this collection of short stories is you get servings of farce ricocheting through decades of life on parallel paths with tidbits of poignant ordinary existence and the occasional stark truth of the ignoble mindlessness of such things as how war is often conducted.

Savor these emotional sojourns one at a time or in a sitting or two: enjoy as snacks or feasts. Browse until you're satisfied. If you love language, read them aloud -- to someone you care about or just yourself -- for the pure joy of the sounds. This is a delicious read.
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on June 19, 2013
A must read for Vonnegut fans. Although the bulk of the stories remain true to his unique satirical and witty style, some of them ventures outside of his genre. There is a little bit romance in some stories, others deal with more serious matter like the war and the atomic bomb. I was especially engrossed with the story “All The King’s Horse” which was very poignant and distressing, unusual to Vonnegut’s humorous style. Some other stories had characters who played parts in other novels, as well as concepts and locations.

As usual, the character are wonderfully developed with depth and aliveness, the description are rich and vivid. I never once got bored or found myself skimming through tiresome bouts. It succeeded in keeping me interested and I relentlessly got through all the stories.

Another story that I liked a lot is “Harrison Bergeron”, appalling yet funny with a surprising twists. But each story is unique and have something of its own to give off.
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on March 7, 2017
my favorite Vonnegut.
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