We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
 >   > 
The Sirens of Titan | [Kurt Vonnegut]

The Sirens of Titan

The richest, most depraved man on Earth, Malachi Constant, is offered a chance to take a space journey to distant worlds with a beautiful woman at his side. Of course, there's a catch to the invitation....
Regular Price:$24.95
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Publisher's Summary

The richest, most depraved man on Earth, Malachi Constant, is offered a chance to take a space journey to distant worlds with a beautiful woman at his side. Of course, there's a catch to the invitation....

The Sirens of Titan is an outrageous romp through space, time, and morality, and a prophetic vision about the purpose of human life that only Kurt Vonnegut had the courage to tell.

Listen to more Audible Modern Vanguard titles.

©1959 Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.; (P)2008 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (442 )
5 star
 (161)
4 star
 (155)
3 star
 (91)
2 star
 (19)
1 star
 (16)
Overall
4.1 (249 )
5 star
 (110)
4 star
 (76)
3 star
 (45)
2 star
 (11)
1 star
 (7)
Story
4.2 (239 )
5 star
 (105)
4 star
 (97)
3 star
 (28)
2 star
 (5)
1 star
 (4)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Darwin8u Mesa, AZ, United States 04-18-14
    Darwin8u Mesa, AZ, United States 04-18-14

    "... there are times when silence is a poem." - John Fowles, the Magus ^(;,;)^

    HELPFUL VOTES
    8707
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    431
    426
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1674
    16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I was a victim of a series of accidents..."

    "I was a victim of a series of accidents, as are we all... "

    One of my favorite Vonnegut. Top-shelf. Snug and warm next to Cat's Cradle, Slaughterhouse-Five, Breakfast of Champions, & Mother Night. The magic of Vonnegut is he develops an idea to the point where -- just as you start believing it::just as you are comfortable in his absuridty -- he kicks you down another Martian rabbit hole.

    He doesn't want you sitting and enjoying yourself. He wants you constantly bubbling with that 'da Fu?' look on your face. He wants you to think -- goddammit. He wants you to understand and that means he has to first confuse the hell out of you. But that doesn't mean his rollercoaster ride has to be boring. No no. He is going to zip you forward and sideways so fast you are going think you are close to sickness, except his funky humor and biting satire seems to balm all nausea ad absurdum. Incredible. Genius.

    There are points in this book where if Vonnegut had said he was forming a church, I'd join. If he said he was God the lawgiver, I'd reverently lower my eyes. If he said he expected a tithe, I'd buy Vonnegut book. Yessir, I'd go door-to-door seeking converts to his form of absurd and giddy Humanism. Amen, pass the snuff-box.

    17 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Yamhill, OR, United States 01-07-12
    Robert Yamhill, OR, United States 01-07-12 Member Since 2015

    Hey Audible, don't raise prices and I promise to buy lots more books.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3973
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    366
    214
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2254
    12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Absolutely Outstanding"

    For me, Sirens of Titan was about as good as it gets. Okay, so it's only been out there what, 50 years? How'd I miss this thing. I thought I read it as a kid and kept blowing past it on lists to read. Did I say it's as good as it gets? Who cares if a few things here and there didn't make any sense. It was funnier'n shit. What praise could I possibly add that hasn't already been heaped on and said in the last half century. How 'bout a few memorable quotes:

    Let's get the Fundamentalists out of the way:

    ‘The flag of that church will be blue and gold,’ said Rumfoord. ‘These words will be written on that flag in gold letters on a blue field: Take Care of the People, and God Almighty Will Take Care of Himself.”

    “To us of the Church of God the Utterly Indifferent, there is nothing more cruel, more dangerous, more blasphemous that a man can do than to believe that - that luck, good or bad, is the hand of God!”

    or

    "There is no reason why good cannot triumph as often as evil. The triumph of anything is a matter of organization. If there are such things as angels, I hope that they are organized along the lines of the Mafia."

    How 'bout one for the minimalists:
    "Every passing hour brings the Solar System forty-three thousand miles closer to Globular Cluster M13 in Hercules— and still there are some misfits who insist that there is no such thing as progress."

    A couple of classic Kurt that I hope will live forever:
    "I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can't see from the center."

    "Say what you will about the sweet miracle of unquestioning faith, I consider a capacity for it terrifying and absolutely vile!"

    I thoroughly enjoy Kurt Vonnegut's humor but I love him for his humanism; humanism that comes through on almost every page.

    The narration by Dennis Boutsikaris did justice to the book and given what I just said about the book, that kind of says it all. Did I say this book is as good as it gets?

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    thomas charlotte, NC, United States 08-20-13
    thomas charlotte, NC, United States 08-20-13 Member Since 2012

    I work full time in Financial Services, teach part time, listen to music (a lot) and love Science Fiction and Speculative Fiction.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    94
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    87
    87
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    13
    19
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Somebody Up There Likes Me ..."
    Where does The Sirens of Titan rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I think the quality for most of the Audible Books I listened to are very high. I would rate this behind Cat's Cradle and Slaughterhouse 5 in the Vonnegut series. Those 2 were spectacular (Tony Roberts and Ethan Hawke). This was great, but the competition is pretty tough. Vonnegut himself rated this an A while the other two were an A+, I tend to agree.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The Harmoniums. Not only were they intriguing in the plot line but served as Vonnegut's touchstone for how societies can work together, while at the same time are used like the rest of us. Brillant.


    Have you listened to any of Dennis Boutsikaris’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No but he was great. Terrific job, and he did several voices from time to time that added to the overall production value. No complaints and I would gladly listen to him again.


    If you could take any character from The Sirens of Titan out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Rumsford...I mean his character is a classic in the Vonnegut cannon. A bon vivant with style who changes the course of the universe. Not only is he memorable but he delivered the overall philosophy in in the book in a way that is clever and subtle.


    Any additional comments?

    The Vonnegut series is fantastic. I would put this at the top but not the very top. But a must read for any Vonnegut fan, classic stuff from a writer who has yet to be replaced in literature. Fantastic stuff and well done by Audible.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Erica United States 06-18-12
    Erica United States 06-18-12 Member Since 2012

    If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar, A hoper, a pray-er, a magic-bean buyer. If you're a pretender come sit by my fire

    HELPFUL VOTES
    69
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    146
    30
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    26
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The Best of Vonnegut"

    This is my favourite Vonnegut novel -- very classic Sci-Fi, though that's not what Vonnegut always did. The story is compelling and wacky and thought-provoking and uniquely unexpected. The narration isn't phenomenal, but it doesn't detract from the story. I would totally recommend this book for any Vonnegut fans, any Sci-Fi fans, or any mid 20th century lit fans.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julius Butcher 06-04-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    56
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    127
    46
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3
    9
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Classic one"

    Being a sci-fi fan, I don't really know why I haven't read this book earlier. It's a classic one.

    The Sirens of Titan is very well written, I enjoyed the unmistakable style of Vonnegut. His satiric voice is famous, and is a trade mark of his stories. His choice of words is very good.

    Using important subjects, for example religion, the book mocks at the human nature, which sometimes can take strange curves.

    The story is funny, and often surprising. Vonnegut don't spare the characters, he gives them hard time.

    I suspect that there were more hidden messages behind the front story, which I couldn't really grab. By one hand because I'm not good in deciphering symbols, sometimes I have trouble finding the hidden message between the lines. And by the other hand because the book was written in 1959, in a completely different era, with different problems, different world and all.

    Still, there is something strange about the Sirens of Titan I cannot put my finger on - is it intentional? - so I gave four stars.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jefferson 01-19-15
    Jefferson 01-19-15 Member Since 2010

    I love reading and listening to books, especially fantasy, science fiction, children's, historical, and classics.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1566
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    271
    244
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1089
    15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    ""A truth--but, oh God, what a punctual truth""

    If Mark Twain wrote science fiction, it might resemble Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.'s The Sirens of Titan (1959). The novel is narrated by someone living nearly a century after our own time of "gimcrack religions" and exploration of outer space at the expense of inner truth, an exploration that yields only "empty heroics, low comedy, and pointless death." To illustrate what people were like before becoming able to find the meaning of life within themselves, the narrator tells a "true" story "from the Nightmare Ages," which took place between the Second World War and the Third Great Depression.

    In the story, Winston Miles Rumfoord is a Newport, Rhode Island millionaire who, nine years ago in an act of upper class "gallantry and style," accompanied only by his dog Kazak ("the Hound of Space") flew his private spaceship into a "chrono-synclastic infundibulum" near Mars. As a result, master and dog became scattered through space and time as wave phenomena, pulsing from the Sun to Betelgeuse in a spiral that overlaps the earth for a few minutes every fifty-nine days. In addition to no longer being "punctual" (that is, no longer existing moment to moment like normal life in the universe), Rumfoord has become able to read minds and see the future (because for someone like him everything that has ever happened, will happen, and vice versa). During one of his "materializations" on earth, Rumfoord gives some unpleasant news to the richest man in America, Malachai Constant: in the future he will mate with Rumfoord's wife Beatrice on Mars, producing a son called Chrono, and will end up living on Titan, the largest moon of Saturn. Needless to say, neither Beatrice (a woman who strives to remain cleanly aloof from life) nor Malachai (a hedonistic womanizer who because his name means messenger expects to bear a message from God to someone equally distinguished) want to make a baby together on Mars! But will they be able to do anything to avoid Rumfoord's future? And could Rumfoord be masterminding a "series of accidents" to bring about that future? And if so, to what end? For that matter, what is the purpose, if any, of life?

    The Sirens of Titan is a strange novel: comic, tragic, horrible, beautiful, silly, philosophical. . . Although probably the meaning of life comes down to "some people are lucky and some are not," although probably we are just victims of a series of accidents as we go through our lives, although, who knows, perhaps an ultra-advanced civilization of machines 150,000 lightyears away from earth has been warping every human action in history, although surely the universe is "not schemed in mercy," and although, generally speaking, humanity "is a scummy thing" (people being superstitious, selfish, violent, and ignorant), Vonnegut, Jr.'s novel does offer some truths to cling to: it's better to be used by somebody than not to be used by somebody, and human life has a purpose: "to love whoever is around to be loved." Despite its mockery of humankind (particularly its religious, martial, and business aspects), Vonnegut Jr.'s novel is also infused with his love of "lucky" losers (like Malachai, Beatrice, Boaz, Salo, and even Rumfoord), with his fertile imagination (like the machines of Tralfamadore, the harmoniums of Mercury, and the bluebirds of Titan) and with his knack for witty, vivid description, like the following:

    "Bobby Denton spitted his audience on a bright and loving gaze, and proceeded to roast it whole over the coals of its own iniquity."

    "There was no sign in the face of any intermediate stages in the aging process, no hint of the man of thirty or forty or fifty who had been left behind. Only adolescence and the age of sixty were represented. It was as though a seventeen-year-old had been withered and bleached by a blast of heat."

    "The Wilburhampton Hotel was a frumpish, three-story Tudor structure across the street from the Magnum Opus Building, standing in relation to that building like an ummade bed at the feet of the Archangel Gabriel."

    "The child's hair was jet black, bristly--and the black bristles grew in a violently counter-clockwise swirl. . . . And his eyes were luminous under their black-thatched eaves. They glowed with an unshared rage."

    Jay Snyder reads the audiobook well, especially Rumfoord's "genial and yodeling" voice and that of Salo, the machine from Tralfamadore.

    The Sirens of Titan is science fiction, but, despite the "appallingly beautiful" rings of Saturn ("dazzling bands . . . forty thousand miles across and scarcely thicker than a razor blade"), the Tralfamadorians, the harmoniums, an interplanetary war, and a 36-million-year space voyage mission, it is about exploring the human mind more than about exploring outer space. As Constant puts it (in reference to the shrines of Saturn and its moons made by his son Chrono), "It was all so sad. But it was all so beautiful, too."

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda B Northeast USA 07-08-12
    Linda B Northeast USA 07-08-12 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    622
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    638
    98
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    52
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant"

    Many other reviewers have done justice to this book, singing its praises. I can only second that. It is clever, thoughtful, intelligent, funny and just incredibly well done. Jay Snyder does his usual incredible job as a narrator.

    I wanted to note that audible is listing an incorrect narrator at the moment, though I am sure they will fix that. The narrator of this work is Jay Snyder.

    Overall, if you like science fiction, you can't go wrong with this.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul Singleton 12-17-09 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    60
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Great Writer, Great Book"

    Don't know if everyone will love Vonnegut's writing as much as I do. He has a style that I just love. He does have a style very much like Douglas Adams ( or should I say Douglas Adams has Vonnegut's style -- cause Vonnegut was first). He has great explanations for the most ridiculous things. Absurd!!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mike M. Javanmard CA 01-02-15

    javanomic

    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    65
    22
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great as usual"

    Another great story by Kurt Vo
    The reading was well done too. Eleven more words? I loved this story very much.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    moses st augustine, FL, United States 08-28-10
    moses st augustine, FL, United States 08-28-10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    Overall
    "Awesome"

    I would highly reccommend this purchase. K. V. comments not only on society, religion, and gender, but also the purpose of life. Great novel. The narrator, D.B., does a superb job of capturing the emotions of the text and portraying the intisity it deserves. Fantastc work

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 16 results PREVIOUS12NEXT
Sort by:
  • Stuart
    St Albans, United Kingdom
    2/14/12
    Overall
    "Fantastic"

    I love Kurt Vonnegut and his books work really well for me on audio. This one is fantastic!

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • I. A. Clark
    Whitby, N. Yorks, UK
    4/21/12
    Overall
    "Profoundly depressing"

    Inventive if improbable parable of meaninglessness and ridicule in riches, commerce and war. Anticipates Douglas Adams by 20 years, robbing him of any significant claim to originality. Has something Adams lacks: the bitter, casual cruelty of someone who has been betrayed in life. Winston Niles Rumfoord's wilfully ill-conceived and ill-starred Martian invasion of Earth prefigures every Western war since the book was published. A compelling read, like licking a sore tooth.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-2 of 2 results

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.