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.
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©1959 Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.; (P)2008 Audible, Inc.
A part-time buffoon and ersatz scholar specializing in BS, pedantry, schmaltz and cultural coprophagia.
"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.
Hey Audible, don't raise prices and I promise to buy lots more books.
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!”
"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?
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
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.
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.
I work full time in Financial Services, teach part time, listen to music (a lot) and love Science Fiction and Speculative Fiction.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!!
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
I ended up not finishing this book by my favorite author. I just couldn't stand the narrator's style. Vonnegut is a satirist. His take on society is critical, but his humor is innocent, as though he looks at the world through another lens than the rest of us. The reader's style was that of an amateur newscaster. He didn't seem to understand the material. Don't listen to this one, read it.
I buy audio books to listen to during my commute and for taking long walks.
This was a wild, rollicking story of science fiction. I enjoyed the reading and the story. It reminded me of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - very fun, lots of twists & turns.
I love Kurt Vonnegut and his books work really well for me on audio. This one is fantastic!
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.
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