Best Selling Books by Kurt Vonnegut

Kurt Vonnegut is the author of Hocus Pocus (1997), Complete Stories (2017), Cat's Cradle (2009), Kurt Vonnegut (2014), Palm Sunday (1999) and other 140 books.

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Hocus Pocus

release date: Jan 01, 1997
Hocus Pocus
Tarkington College, a small, exclusive college in upstate New York, is turned upside down when ten thousand prisoners from the maximum security prison across Lake Mohiga break out and head for the college

Complete Stories

release date: Sep 26, 2017
Complete Stories
Here for the first time is the complete short fiction of one of the twentieth century's foremost imaginative geniuses. More than half of Vonnegut's output was short fiction, and never before has the world had occasion to wrestle with it all together. Organized thematically—"War," "Women," "Science," "Romance," "Work Ethic versus Fame and Fortune," "Behavior," "The Band Director" (those stories featuring Lincoln High's band director and nice guy George Hemholtz), and "Futuristic"—these ninety-eight stories were written from 1941 to 2007, and include those Vonnegut published in magazines and collected in Welcome to the Monkey House, Bagombo Snuff Box, and other books; here for the first time five previously unpublished stories; as well as a handful of others that were published online and read by few. During his lifetime Vonnegut published fewer than half of the stories he wrote, his agent telling him in 1958 upon the rejection of a particularly strong story, "Save it for the collection of your works which will be published someday when you become famous. Which may take a little time." Selected and introduced by longtime Vonnegut friends and scholars Dan Wakefield and Jerome Klinkowitz, Complete Stories puts Vonnegut's great wit, humor, humanity, and artistry on full display. An extraordinary literary feast for new readers, Vonnegut fans, and scholars alike.

Cat's Cradle

release date: Nov 04, 2009
Cat's Cradle
“A free-wheeling vehicle . . . an unforgettable ride!”—The New York Times Cat’s Cradle is Kurt Vonnegut’s satirical commentary on modern man and his madness. An apocalyptic tale of this planet’s ultimate fate, it features a midget as the protagonist, a complete, original theology created by a calypso singer, and a vision of the future that is at once blackly fatalistic and hilariously funny. A book that left an indelible mark on an entire generation of readers, Cat’s Cradle is one of the twentieth century’s most important works—and Vonnegut at his very best. “[Vonnegut is] an unimitative and inimitable social satirist.”—Harper’s Magazine “Our finest black-humorist . . . We laugh in self-defense.”—Atlantic Monthly

Kurt Vonnegut

release date: Jan 14, 2014
Kurt Vonnegut
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Newsweek/The Daily Beast • The Huffington Post • Kansas City Star • Time Out New York • Kirkus Reviews This extraordinary collection of personal correspondence has all the hallmarks of Kurt Vonnegut’s fiction. Written over a sixty-year period, these letters, the vast majority of them never before published, are funny, moving, and full of the same uncanny wisdom that has endeared his work to readers worldwide. Included in this comprehensive volume: the letter a twenty-two-year-old Vonnegut wrote home immediately upon being freed from a German POW camp, recounting the ghastly firebombing of Dresden that would be the subject of his masterpiece Slaughterhouse-Five; wry dispatches from Vonnegut’s years as a struggling writer slowly finding an audience and then dealing with sudden international fame in middle age; righteously angry letters of protest to local school boards that tried to ban his work; intimate remembrances penned to high school classmates, fellow veterans, friends, and family; and letters of commiseration and encouragement to such contemporaries as Gail Godwin, Günter Grass, and Bernard Malamud. Vonnegut’s unmediated observations on science, art, and commerce prove to be just as inventive as any found in his novels—from a crackpot scheme for manufacturing “atomic” bow ties to a tongue-in-cheek proposal that publishers be allowed to trade authors like baseball players. (“Knopf, for example, might give John Updike’s contract to Simon and Schuster, and receive Joan Didion’s contract in return.”) Taken together, these letters add considerable depth to our understanding of this one-of-a-kind literary icon, in both his public and private lives. Each letter brims with the mordant humor and openhearted humanism upon which he built his legend. And virtually every page contains a quotable nugget that will make its way into the permanent Vonnegut lexicon. • On a job he had as a young man: “Hell is running an elevator throughout eternity in a building with only six floors.” • To a relative who calls him a “great literary figure”: “I am an American fad—of a slightly higher order than the hula hoop.” • To his daughter Nanny: “Most letters from a parent contain a parent’s own lost dreams disguised as good advice.” • To Norman Mailer: “I am cuter than you are.” Sometimes biting and ironical, sometimes achingly sweet, and always alive with the unique point of view that made him the true cultural heir to Mark Twain, these letters comprise the autobiography Kurt Vonnegut never wrote. Praise for Kurt Vonnegut: Letters “Splendidly assembled . . . familiar, funny, cranky . . . chronicling [Vonnegut’s] life in real time.”—Kurt Andersen, The New York Times Book Review “[This collection is] by turns hilarious, heartbreaking and mundane. . . . Vonnegut himself is a near-perfect example of the same flawed, wonderful humanity that he loved and despaired over his entire life.”—NPR “Congenial, whimsical and often insightful missives . . . one of [Vonnegut’s] very best.”—Newsday “These letters display all the hallmarks of Vonnegut’s fiction—smart, hilarious and heartbreaking.”—The New York Times Book Review

Palm Sunday

release date: May 11, 1999
Palm Sunday
“[Kurt Vonnegut] is either the funniest serious writer around or the most serious funny writer.”—Los Angeles Times Book Review In this self-portrait by an American genius, Kurt Vonnegut writes with beguiling wit and poignant wisdom about his favorite comedians, country music, a dead friend, a dead marriage, and various cockamamie aspects of his all-too-human journey through life. This is a work that resonates with Vonnegut’s singular voice: the magic sound of a born storyteller mesmerizing us with truth. “Vonnegut is at the top of his form, and it is wonderful.”—Newsday

Player Piano

release date: Sep 30, 2009
Player Piano
“A funny, savage appraisal of a totally automated American society of the future.”—San Francisco Chronicle Kurt Vonnegut’s first novel spins the chilling tale of engineer Paul Proteus, who must find a way to live in a world dominated by a supercomputer and run completely by machines. Paul’s rebellion is vintage Vonnegut—wildly funny, deadly serious, and terrifyingly close to reality. Praise for Player Piano “An exuberant, crackling style . . . Vonnegut is a black humorist, fantasist and satirist, a man disposed to deep and comic reflection on the human dilemma.”—Life “His black logic . . . gives us something to laugh about and much to fear.”—The New York Times Book Review

Slaughterhouse Five Or the Children's Crusade

release date: Jan 01, 1991
Slaughterhouse Five Or the Children's Crusade
Billy Pilgrim survives capture by the Gemans in World War II, the Dresden bombings, and the struggle for financial success only to be kidnapped in a flying saucer and taken to the planet Tralfamadore.

Jailbird

release date: Jan 12, 1999
Jailbird
“[Kurt Vonnegut] has never been more satirically on-target. . . . Nothing is spared.”—People Jailbird takes us into a fractured and comic, pure Vonnegut world of high crimes and misdemeanors in government—and in the heart. This wry tale follows bumbling bureaucrat Walter F. Starbuck from Harvard to the Nixon White House to the penitentiary as Watergate’s least known co-conspirator. But the humor turns dark when Vonnegut shines his spotlight on the cold hearts and calculated greed of the mighty, giving a razor-sharp edge to an unforgettable portrait of power and politics in our times. Praise for Jailbird “[Vonnegut] is our strongest writer . . . the most stubbornly imaginative.”—John Irving “A gem . . . a mature, imaginative novel—possibly the best he has written . . . Jailbird is a guided tour de force of America. Take it!”—Playboy “A profoundly humane comedy . . . Jailbird definitely mounts up on angelic wings—in its speed, in its sparkle, and in its high-flying intent.”—Chicago Tribune Book World “Joyously inventive . . . gleams with the loony magic Vonnegut alone can achieve.”—Cosmopolitan “Vonnegut is our great apocalyptic writer, the closest thing we’ve had to a prophet since . . . Lenny Bruce.”—Chicago Sun-Times “Vonnegut at his impressive best. . . . His imaginative leaps alone . . . are worth the price of admission. . . . His far-reaching metaphysical and cultural concerns . . . are ultimately serious and worth our contemplation.”—The Washington Post

Love, Kurt

release date: Dec 01, 2020
Love, Kurt
A never-before-seen collection of deeply personal love letters from Kurt Vonnegut to his first wife, Jane, compiled and edited by their daughter “A glimpse into the mind of a writer finding his voice.”—The Washington Post “If ever I do write anything of length—good or bad—it will be written with you in mind.” Kurt Vonnegut’s eldest daughter, Edith, was cleaning out her mother’s attic when she stumbled upon a dusty, aged box. Inside, she discovered an unexpected treasure: more than two hundred love letters written by Kurt to Jane, spanning the early years of their relationship. The letters begin in 1941, after the former schoolmates reunited at age nineteen, sparked a passionate summer romance, and promised to keep in touch when they headed off to their respective colleges. And they did, through Jane’s conscientious studying and Kurt’s struggle to pass chemistry. The letters continue after Kurt dropped out and enlisted in the army in 1943, while Jane in turn graduated and worked for the Office of Strategic Services in Washington, D.C. They also detail Kurt’s deployment to Europe in 1944, where he was taken prisoner of war and declared missing in action, and his eventual safe return home and the couple’s marriage in 1945. Full of the humor and wit that we have come to associate with Kurt Vonnegut, the letters also reveal little-known private corners of his mind. Passionate and tender, they form an illuminating portrait of a young soldier’s life in World War II as he attempts to come to grips with love and mortality. And they bring to light the origins of Vonnegut the writer, when Jane was the only person who believed in and supported him supported him, the young couple having no idea how celebrated he would become. A beautiful full-color collection of handwritten letters, notes, sketches, and comics, interspersed with Edith’s insights and family memories, Love, Kurt is an intimate record of a young man growing into himself, a fascinating account of a writer finding his voice, and a moving testament to the life-altering experience of falling in love.

Timequake

release date: Jan 01, 1998
Timequake
The author's first full-length novel in seven years, a hilarious moral satire features a science fiction writer, Kilgore Trout, who manages to turn time back a decade, insisting that everyone repeat it exactly the same way. Reprint.

Bluebeard

release date: Sep 08, 1998
Bluebeard
“Ranks with Vonnegut’s best and goes one step beyond . . . joyous, soaring fiction.”—The Atlanta Journal and Constitution Broad humor and bitter irony collide in this fictional autobiography of Rabo Karabekian, who, at age seventy-one, wants to be left alone on his Long Island estate with the secret he has locked inside his potato barn. But then a voluptuous young widow badgers Rabo into telling his life story—and Vonnegut in turn tells us the plain, heart-hammering truth about man’s careless fancy to create or destroy what he loves. Praise for Bluebeard “Vonnegut is at his edifying best.”—The Philadelphia Inquirer “The quicksilver mind of Vonnegut is at it again. . . . He displays all his talents—satire, irony, ridicule, slapstick, and even a shaggy dog story of epic proportions.”—The Cincinnati Post “[Kurt Vonnegut is] a voice you can trust to keep poking holes in the social fabric.”—San Francisco Chronicle “It has the qualities of classic Bosch and Slaughterhouse Vonnegut. . . . Bluebeard is uncommonly feisty.”—USA Today “Is Bluebeard good? Yes! . . . This is vintage Vonnegut—good wine from his best grapes.”—The Detroit News “A joyride . . . Vonnegut is more fascinated and puzzled than angered by the human stupidities and contradictions he discerns so keenly. So hop in his rumble seat. As you whiz along, what you observe may provide some new perspectives.”—Kansas City Star

Galapagos

release date: Aug 11, 2009
Galapagos
“A madcap genealogical adventure . . . Vonnegut is a postmodern Mark Twain.”—The New York Times Book Review Galápagos takes the reader back one million years, to A.D. 1986. A simple vacation cruise suddenly becomes an evolutionary journey. Thanks to an apocalypse, a small group of survivors stranded on the Galápagos Islands are about to become the progenitors of a brave, new, and totally different human race. In this inimitable novel, America’ s master satirist looks at our world and shows us all that is sadly, madly awry–and all that is worth saving. Praise for Galápagos “The best Vonnegut novel yet!”—John Irving “Beautiful . . . provocative, arresting reading.”—USA Today “A satire in the classic tradition . . . a dark vision, a heartfelt warning.”—The Detroit Free Press “Interesting, engaging, sad and yet very funny . . . Vonnegut is still in top form. If he has no prescription for alleviating the pain of the human condition, at least he is a first-rate diagnostician.”—Susan Isaacs, Newsday “Dark . . . original and funny.”—People “A triumph of style, originality and warped yet consistent logic . . . a condensation, an evolution of Vonnegut’s entire career, including all the issues and questions he has pursued relentlessly for four decades.”—The Philadelphia Inquirer “Wild details, wry humor, outrageous characters . . . Galápagos is a comic lament, a sadly ironic vison.”—St. Louis Post-Dispatch “A work of high comedy, sadness and imagination.”—The Denver Post “Wacky wit and irreverent imagination . . . and the full range of technical innovations have made [Vonnegut] America’s preeminent experimental novelist.”—The Minneapolis Star and Tribune

If This Isn't Nice, What Is? (Much) Expanded Second Edition

release date: Apr 26, 2016
If This Isn't Nice, What Is? (Much) Expanded Second Edition
Best known as one of America’s most astonishing and enduring contemporary novelists, Kurt Vonnegut was also a celebrated commencement address giver. Vonnegut never graduated from college, so his words to any class of graduating seniors always carried the delight, and gentle irony, of someone savoring an achievement he himself had not had occasion to savor on his own behalf. “But about my Uncle Alex, who is up in Heaven now,” Vonnegut, an avowed Humanist, would say sometimes in a graduation speech, “one of the things he found objectionable about human beings was that they so rarely noticed it when they were happy. . . . We could be drinking lemonade in the summertime, and Uncle Alex would interrupt the conversation to say, ‘If this isn’t nice, what is?’” If This Isn’t Nice, What Is? includes eleven speeches and four pieces of journalism on related themes. Six of the fifteen are new to the second edition—on topics as wide-ranging as why it is that Kurt Vonnegut’s dog loves people more than Kurt Vonnegut does, and what it feels like to be the most censored writer in America—and much, much more. In each of these talks and short essays, Vonnegut takes pains to find the few things worth saying and a conversational voice to say them in that’s funny and serious and joyful even if sometimes without seeming so.

Welcome to the Monkey House: The Special Edition

release date: Apr 08, 2014
Welcome to the Monkey House: The Special Edition
Since its original publication in 1968, Welcome to the Monkey House has been one of Kurt Vonnegut’s most beloved works. This special edition celebrates a true master of the short-story form by including multiple variant drafts of what would eventually be the title story. In a fascinating accompanying essay, “Building the Monkey House: At Kurt Vonnegut’s Writing Table,” noted Vonnegut scholar Gregory D. Sumner walks readers through Vonnegut’s process as the author struggles—false start after false start—to hit upon what would be one of his greatest stories. The result is the rare chance to watch a great writer hone his craft in real time. Includes the following stories: “Where I Live” “Harrison Bergeron” “Who Am I This Time?” “Welcome to the Monkey House” “Long Walk to Forever” “The Foster Portfolio” “Miss Temptation” “All the King’s Horses” “Tom Edison’s Shaggy Dog” “New Dictionary” “Next Door” “More Stately Mansions” “The Hyannis Port Story” “D.P.” “Report on the Barnhouse Effect” “The Euphio Question” “Go Back to Your Precious Wife and Son” “Deer in the Works” “The Lie” “Unready to Wear” “The Kid Nobody Could Handle” “The Manned Missiles” “Epicac” “Adam” “Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow”

Deadeye Dick

release date: Oct 07, 2009
Deadeye Dick
“The master at his quirky, provocative best.”—Cosmopolitan Deadeye Dick is Kurt Vonnegut’s funny, chillingly satirical look at the death of innocence. Amid a true Vonnegutian host of horrors—a double murder, a fatal dose of radioactivity, a decapitation, an annihilation of a city by a neutron bomb—Rudy Waltz, aka Deadeye Dick, takes us along on a zany search for absolution and happiness. Here is a tale of crime and punishment that makes us rethink what we believe . . . and who we say we are. Praise for Deadeye Dick “A moving fable . . . Vonnegut, sweet cynic and ugly duckling, continues to write gentle swan songs for our uncivil society.”—Playboy “A brilliantly unconventional novel . . . a must for all Vonnegut fans.”—Worcester Sunday Telegram “Hits the bull’s-eye . . . dolefully celebrates the randomness of life, treating private and public disasters with a kind of reckless whimsy. . . . You don’t read Kurt Vonnegut for meaning exactly. You read him for the sad-funny attitude of mind, the kind of weirdness that can interpret the world’s weirdness.”—USA Today “Vonnegut is beguiling as ever . . . Incredible plot constructions and inventive language continue to leap from his typewriter . . . the humor is natural and inborn; the insight usually purchased by his characters at painfully high cost. Funny how life turns out. Even funnier how Mr. Vonnegut turns life’s insanities into funny, profound sense. That takes a master’s touch. Mr. Vonnegut still has it.”—Kansas City Star “Playful and imaginative . . . On finishing the novel, the kitchen of your mind is a cleaner and more well-lighted place than it was before.”—Houston Chronicle “Endearing and enchanting . . . a wise and charming book . . . very full of life.”—Glamour

Hello, Red (Stories)

release date: Aug 25, 2009
Hello, Red (Stories)
Look at the Birdie is a collection of fourteen previously unpublished short stories from one of the most original writers in all of American fiction. In this series of perfectly rendered vignettes, written just as he was starting to find his comic voice, Kurt Vonnegut paints a warm, wise, and often funny portrait of life in post—World War II America–a world where squabbling couples, high school geniuses, misfit office workers, and small-town lotharios struggle to adapt to changing technology, moral ambiguity, and unprecedented affluence. “Hello, Red” is a sharply observed homecoming tale in which embittered merchant sailor Red Mayo returns to his small town after nine years at sea. There he confronts the man who ended up marrying the only woman Red ever loved–and stakes a claim on a certain something he left behind. “Hello, Red” and the thirteen other never-before-published pieces that comprise Look at the Birdie serve as an unexpected gift for devoted readers who thought that Kurt Vonnegut’s unique voice had been stilled forever–and provide a terrific introduction to his short fiction for anyone who has yet to experience his genius. Other stories from Look at the Birdie available as single-story e-books: On sale September 29, 2009: "The Petrified Ants" On sale October 20, 2009: "Confido" "FUBAR" "Shout About It from the Housetops" "Ed Luby's Key Club" "A Song for Selma" "Hall of Mirrors" "The Nice Little People" "Little Drops of Water" "The Honor of a Newsboy" "Look at the Birdie" (Short Story) "King and Queen of the Universe" "The Good Explainer"

Mother Night

release date: Aug 11, 2009
Mother Night
“Vonnegut is George Orwell, Dr. Caligari and Flash Gordon compounded into one writer . . . a zany but moral mad scientist.”—Time Mother Night is a daring challenge to our moral sense. American Howard W. Campbell, Jr., a spy during World War II, is now on trial in Israel as a Nazi war criminal. But is he really guilty? In this brilliant book rife with true gallows humor, Vonnegut turns black and white into a chilling shade of gray with a verdict that will haunt us all. “A great artist.”—Cincinnati Enquirer “A shaking up in the kaleidoscope of laughter . . . Reading Vonnegut is addictive!”—Commonweal

2 B R 0 2 B

release date: Jan 01, 2021
2 B R 0 2 B
2 B R 0 2 B' is a short story by renowned science fiction writer Kurt Vonnegut. The title is pronounced as "2 B R naught 2 B", referencing to the famous phrase "to be, or not to be" from William Shakespeare's 'Hamlet'. In this story, the title refers to the telephone number one dials to schedule an assisted suicide with the Federal Bureau of Termination. The setting is a society in which aging has been cured, individuals have indefinite lifespans, and population control is used to limit the population of the United States to forty million. This is maintained through a combination of infanticide and government-assisted suicide. In short, in order for someone to be born, someone must first volunteer to die. As a result, births are few and far between, and deaths occur primarily by accident.

Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-five

release date: Jan 01, 2009
Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-five
Presents a collection of critical essays about Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-five.

God Bless You, Dr. Kevorkian

release date: May 22, 2001
God Bless You, Dr. Kevorkian
'Vonnegut is our strongest writer...the most stubbornly imaginative' - John Irving Setting himself up as a 'reporter on the afterlife,' Vonnegut bravely allows himself to be dispatched on a round-trip to the Pearly Gates - or at least that's what he claims - in these 30-odd comic and irreverent 'interviews' with the likes of William Shakespeare, Adolf Hitler and Clarence Darrow. A delight for all Vonnegut devotees, it will appeal to just about anyone with a sense of humour.

Pity the Reader

release date: Nov 05, 2019
Pity the Reader
“A rich, generous book about writing and reading and Kurt Vonnegut as writer, teacher, and friend . . . Every page brings pleasure and insight.”—Gail Godwin, New York Times bestselling author Here is an entirely new side of Kurt Vonnegut, Vonnegut as a teacher of writing. Of course he’s given us glimpses before, with aphorisms and short essays and articles and in his speeches. But never before has an entire book been devoted to Kurt Vonnegut the teacher. Here is pretty much everything Vonnegut ever said or wrote having to do with the writing art and craft, altogether a healing, a nourishing expedition. His former student, Suzanne McConnell, has outfitted us for the journey, and in these 37 chapters covers the waterfront of how one American writer brought himself to the pinnacle of the writing art, and we can all benefit as a result. Kurt Vonnegut was one of the few grandmasters of American literature, whose novels continue to influence new generations about the ways in which our imaginations can help us to live. Few aspects of his contribution have not been plumbed—fourteen novels, collections of his speeches, his essays, his letters, his plays—so this fresh view of him is a bonanza for writers and readers and Vonnegut fans everywhere. “Part homage, part memoir, and a 100% guide to making art with words, Pity the Reader: On Writing with Style is a simply mesmerizing book, and I cannot recommend it highly enough!”—Andre Dubus III, #1 New York Times bestselling author “The blend of memory, fact, keen observation, spellbinding descriptiveness and zany characters that populated Vonnegut’s work is on full display here.”—James McBride, National Book Award-winning author

Hall of Mirrors (Short Story)

release date: Oct 20, 2009
Hall of Mirrors (Short Story)
Look at the Birdie is a collection of fourteen previously unpublished short stories from one of the most original writers in all of American fiction. In this series of perfectly rendered vignettes, written just as he was starting to find his comic voice, Kurt Vonnegut paints a warm, wise, and often funny portrait of life in post–World War II America—a world where squabbling couples, high school geniuses, misfit office workers, and small-town lotharios struggle to adapt to changing technology, moral ambiguity, and unprecedented affluence. In this disquieting tale, the investigation into a string of mysterious disappearances turns surreal for two detectives, when they pay a visit to the home of a celebrated hypnotist. But who will turn the tables on whom when the final spell is cast? Hall of Mirrors and the thirteen other never-before-published pieces that comprise Look at the Birdie serve as an unexpected gift for devoted readers who thought that Kurt Vonnegut's unique voice had been stilled forever—and provide a terrific introduction to his short fiction for anyone who has yet to experience his genius.

Kurt Vonnegut: The Last Interview

release date: Dec 16, 2011
Kurt Vonnegut: The Last Interview
One of the great American iconoclasts holds forth on politics, war, books and writers, and his personal life in a series of conversations, including his last published interview. During his long career Kurt Vonnegut won international praise for his novels, plays, and essays. In this new anthology of conversations with Vonnegut—which collects interviews from throughout his career—we learn much about what drove Vonnegut to write and how he viewed his work at the end. From Kurt Vonnegut's last interview Is there another book in you, by chance? No. Look, I’m 84 years old. Writers of fiction have usually done their best work by the time they’re 45. Chess masters are through when they’re 35, and so are baseball players. There are plenty of other people writing. Let them do it. So what’s the old man’s game, then? My country is in ruins. So I’m a fish in a poisoned fishbowl. I’m mostly just heartsick about this. There should have been hope. This should have been a great country. But we are despised all over the world now. I was hoping to build a country and add to its literature. That’s why I served in World War II, and that’s why I wrote books. When someone reads one of your books, what would you like them to take from the experience? Well, I’d like the guy—or the girl, of course—to put the book down and think, “This is the greatest man who ever lived.”

The Good Explainer (Stories)

release date: Oct 20, 2009
The Good Explainer (Stories)
Look at the Birdie is a collection of fourteen previously unpublished short stories from one of the most original writers in all of American fiction. In this series of perfectly rendered vignettes, written just as he was starting to find his comic voice, Kurt Vonnegut paints a warm, wise, and often funny portrait of life in post–World War II America—a world where squabbling couples, high school geniuses, misfit office workers, and small-town lotharios struggle to adapt to changing technology, moral ambiguity, and unprecedented affluence. Joe Cunningham thinks he's going to Chicago to see a world-renowned specialist and find out why he and his wife can't have kids. But the explanation the doctor provides is as unwelcome as it is unexpected. The Good Explainer and the thirteen other never-before-published pieces that comprise Look at the Birdie serve as an unexpected gift for devoted readers who thought that Kurt Vonnegut's unique voice had been stilled forever—and provide a terrific introduction to his short fiction for anyone who has yet to experience his genius.

A Man Without a Country

release date: Jun 20, 2017
A Man Without a Country
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “For all those who have lived with Vonnegut in their imaginations . . . this is what he is like in person.”–USA Today In a volume that is penetrating, introspective, incisive, and laugh-out-loud funny, one of the great men of letters of this age–or any age–holds forth on life, art, sex, politics, and the state of America’s soul. From his coming of age in America, to his formative war experiences, to his life as an artist, this is Vonnegut doing what he does best: Being himself. Whimsically illustrated by the author, A Man Without a Country is intimate, tender, and brimming with the scope of Kurt Vonnegut’s passions. Praise for A Man Without a Country “[This] may be as close as Vonnegut ever comes to a memoir.”–Los Angeles Times “Like [that of] his literary ancestor Mark Twain, [Kurt Vonnegut’s] crankiness is good-humored and sharp-witted. . . . [Reading A Man Without a Country is] like sitting down on the couch for a long chat with an old friend.”–The New York Times Book Review “Filled with [Vonnegut’s] usual contradictory mix of joy and sorrow, hope and despair, humor and gravity.”–Chicago Tribune “Fans will linger on every word . . . as once again [Vonnegut] captures the complexity of the human condition with stunning calligraphic simplicity.”–The Australian “Thank God, Kurt Vonnegut has broken his promise that he will never write another book. In this wondrous assemblage of mini-memoirs, we discover his family’s legacy and his obstinate, unfashionable humanism.”–Studs Terkel

Wampeters, Foma & Granfalloons

release date: Mar 03, 2020
Wampeters, Foma & Granfalloons
Wampeters, Foma & Granfalloons is a rare opportunity to experience Kurt Vonnegut speaking in his own voice about his own life, his views of the world, his writing, and the writing of others. An indignant, outrageous, witty, deeply felt collection of reviews, essays, and speeches, this is a window not only into Vonnegut’s mind but also into his heart. “A book filled with madness and truth and absurdity and self-revelation . . . [Vonnegut is] a great cosmic comedian and rattler of human skeletons, an idealist disguised as a pessimist.”—St. Louis Post-Dispatch Includes the following essays, speeches, and works: “Science Fiction” “Brief Encounters on the Inland Waterway” “Hello, Star Vega” “Teaching the Unteachable” “Yes, We Have No Nirvanas” “Fortitude” “‘There’s a Maniac Loose Out There’” “Excelsior! We’re Going to the Moon! Excelsior!” “Address to the American Physical Society” “Good Missiles, Good Manners, Good Night” “Why They Read Hesse” “Oversexed in Indianapolis” “The Mysterious Madame Blavatsky” “Biafra: A People Betrayed” “Address to Graduating Class at Bennington College, 1970” “Torture and Blubber” “Address to the National Institute of Arts and Letters, 1971” “Reflections on my Own Death” “In a Manner that Must Shame God Himself” “Thinking Unthinkable, Speaking Unspeakable” “Address at Rededication of Wheaton College Library, 1973” “Invite Rita Rait to America!” “Address to P.E.N. Conference in Stockholm, 1973” “A Political Disease” “Playboy Interview”

Breakfast of Champions

release date: Sep 23, 2009
Breakfast of Champions
“Marvelous . . . [Vonnegut] wheels out all the complaints about America and makes them seem fresh, funny, outrageous, hateful and lovable.”—The New York Times In Breakfast of Champions, one of Kurt Vonnegut’s most beloved characters, the aging writer Kilgore Trout, finds to his horror that a Midwest car dealer is taking his fiction as truth. What follows is murderously funny satire, as Vonnegut looks at war, sex, racism, success, politics, and pollution in America and reminds us how to see the truth. “Free-wheeling, wild and great . . . uniquely Vonnegut.”—Publishers Weekly

The Sirens of Titan

release date: Sep 08, 1998
The Sirens of Titan
“[Kurt Vonnegut’s] best book . . . He dares not only ask the ultimate question about the meaning of life, but to answer it.”—Esquire Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read The Sirens of Titan is an outrageous romp through space, time, and morality. 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–and a prophetic vision about the purpose of human life that only Vonnegut has the courage to tell. “Reading Vonnegut is addictive!”—Commonweal

Conversations with Kurt Vonnegut

release date: Jan 01, 1988
Conversations with Kurt Vonnegut
Gathers interviews with Vonnegut from each period of his career and offers a brief profile of his life and accomplishments

Slapstick or Lonesome No More!

release date: Apr 13, 2010
Slapstick or Lonesome No More!
“Some of the best and most moving Vonnegut.”—San Francisco Chronicle Slapstick presents an apocalyptic vision as seen through the eyes of the current King of Manhattan (and last President of the United States), a wickedly irreverent look at the all-too-possible results of today’s follies. But even the end of life-as-we-know-it is transformed by Kurt Vonnegut’s pen into hilarious farce—a final slapstick that may be the Almighty’s joke on us all. “Both funny and sad . . . just about perfect.”—Los Angeles Times “Imaginative and hilarious . . . a brilliant vision of our wrecked, wacked-out future.”—Hartford Courant

Miss Temptation

release date: Jan 01, 1993
Miss Temptation
"Miss Temptation (Susanna) is beautiful, exciting and every man's dream. To those who gather in the country store to see her make her daily "entrance," she brings a rainbow to a dreary world. Unexpectedly a young man explodes at her in an angry tirade, giving voice to his personal feelings of insecurity around beautiful women. His hostility really disturbs Susanna and disrupts her life. Then, with brilliant Vonnegut insight, the two young people work it out in a moment of theatrical enchantment."--Publisher description.

The Petrified Ants (Stories)

release date: Sep 29, 2009
The Petrified Ants (Stories)
Look at the Birdie is a collection of fourteen previously unpublished short stories from one of the most original writers in all of American fiction. In this series of perfectly rendered vignettes, written just as he was starting to find his comic voice, Kurt Vonnegut paints a warm, wise, and often funny portrait of life in post—World War II America–a world where squabbling couples, high school geniuses, misfit office workers, and small-town lotharios struggle to adapt to changing technology, moral ambiguity, and unprecedented affluence. Vonnegut explores the relationship between science’s pursuit of truth and the state’s need to control it in “The Petrified Ants,” a darkly whimsical story about two Soviet researchers who stumble upon an amazing discovery, only to learn that natural history is also written by the hand that wields the power. “The Petrified Ants” and the thirteen other never-before-published pieces that comprise Look at the Birdie serve as an unexpected gift for devoted readers who thought that Kurt Vonnegut’s unique voice had been stilled forever–and provide a terrific introduction to his short fiction for anyone who has yet to experience his genius. Other stories from Look at the Birdie available as single-story e-books: On sale August 25, 2009 "Hello, Red" On sale October 20, 2009: "Confido" "FUBAR" "Shout About It from the Housetops" "Ed Luby's Key Club" "A Song for Selma" "Hall of Mirrors" "The Nice Little People" "Little Drops of Water" "The Honor of a Newsboy" "Look at the Birdie" (Short Story) "King and Queen of the Universe" "The Good Explainer"

Like Shaking Hands With God

release date: Dec 01, 2000
Like Shaking Hands With God
Features photographs and transcripts of a seminar hosted by the authors on October 1, 1998 during which they spoke together about the process of writing, being a writer, and what it means to be human. Reprint.

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. Reads Slaughterhouse-Five

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