Galapagos: A Novel (Delta Fiction)

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Apparently, animals have the right idea, just eating and screwing and surviving their way through life. I disagree with this premise, because my large brain is essentially what allows me to read books by Kurt Vonnegut.


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In order to hammer home his theory, Vonnegut has the ghost of Kilgore Trout's son Leon tell us about "The Nature Cruise of the Century" upon which many celebrities are supposed to travel to the Galapagos Islands. He does not tell the tale in a linear format, rather mentioning extremely important bits of information what one might call spoilers if I were to mention them in this review right at the very beginning, and then sort of filling in the details as we go along. His narrator is also very conversational in his first-person account of the events.

He frequently divulges things in an aside that one might think are completely irrelevant, but turn out to be quite germane later on. Vonnegut is the inventor of the puzzle-book format, paving the way for those like Danielewski and Eichner, and he proves it with this work.

I read a lot of his stuff back when I was in college in a previous century and saw this book on a list of post-apocalypse novels, which I am collecting. It was more or less what I expected, sad, funny, very much in the style I remembered. His thesis here is that our species big brains are an evolutionary disadvantage, and the book follows this to a conclusion that is at once bizarre and entirely sensible.

There are even a couple beloved old characters of his tossed in for good measure. Very happy I got this. The BasicsA disembodied spirit "living" a million years in the future gives us the lowdown on exactly how evolution reached the point it did. Which is to say mankind took a sudden leap from having big brains to having small ones. And why having small ones is actually better. My ThoughtsThis is a hard one to talk about. This is the first Vonnegut I've read that didn't knock my socks off.

Did I hate it?


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No, not at all. But after reading five Vonnegut novels last year and being head-over-heels for each one, I'm bemused by the fact that I just thought this one was good. Not great. Maybe even just I've over-analyzed like a mother trying to figure out why that is. Technically, it should have all the charm of his other books, but somehow I wasn't feeling it here. And that's where reviewing becomes hard. Because I don't think it has anything to do with aspects of the book that need to be picked apart, though I'll probably try to anyway.

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Martha Stewart Episode on Blogging – I Guess it’s a Mature Medium?

I think in this case it's me and my tastes and the semi-slump I've been in when it comes to reading this month. I felt like I plodded through this book, whereas Vonnegut has been a writer I devour every time. I'm reluctant to blame him with that. I find myself wanting to compare this book to Breakfast of Champions.

I've seen people accuse that book of being too flighty, all over the place, no direction. I felt like there was a distinct method to the madness in that book. By contrast, there were times when I felt I was seeking the method with Galapagos and finding only a lack of damns that Vonnegut gave when it came to story structure. That's typical of him, but I think Galapagos proved to me it works better some times than others.

He's clearly the type to not focus on the science in his science fiction, and that has never bothered me. Over-explaining isn't always fun and can just bog things down. But there was a moment in this book that made me bristle. It's not science-related really. It's more just a symptom that connects with his need to skim over the science.

This book is a story about an apocalypse, and it starts with everyone deciding money is now worthless. Maybe he meant the stock market crashed super hard, but the way he put it was to say people realized money is worthless, and it felt cheap to me. Social commentary, I get it. But it didn't work for me. Then he goes on, over halfway through the book, to come up with more ways that humankind is going extinct, and it felt like he was shrugging and saying, "oh yeah, I forgot to put that in.

Here's some BS that should cover it. But were there things I liked? Of course! Vonnegut's unique brand of philosophy is here in abundance. So is his trademark sense of humor.

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It's full of universal truths and nods to old characters and amusing tidbits and everything I love about his writing. I just didn't connect with it like I normally do. Final Rating3. Here at Walmart. Your email address will never be sold or distributed to a third party for any reason. Due to the high volume of feedback, we are unable to respond to individual comments. Sorry, but we can't respond to individual comments. Recent searches Clear All.

Update Location. If you want NextDay, we can save the other items for later. Yes—Save my other items for later. No—I want to keep shopping. Order by , and we can deliver your NextDay items by. In your cart, save the other item s for later in order to get NextDay delivery. We moved your item s to Saved for Later. There was a problem with saving your item s for later. You can go to cart and save for later there. Galapagos : A Novel. Average rating: 4. Kurt Vonnegut. I've seen people accuse that book of being too flighty, all over the place, no direction.

I felt like there was a distinct method to the madness in that book. By contrast, there were times when I felt I was seeking the method with Galapagos and finding only a lack of damns that Vonnegut gave when it came to story structure. That's typical of him, but I think Galapagos proved to me it works better some times than others. He's clearly the type to not focus on the science in his science fiction, and that has never bothered me. Over-explaining isn't always fun and can just bog things down. But there was a moment in this book that made me bristle. It's not science-related really.

It's more just a symptom that connects with his need to skim over the science.

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This book is a story about an apocalypse, and it starts with everyone deciding money is now worthless. Maybe he meant the stock market crashed super hard, but the way he put it was to say people realized money is worthless, and it felt cheap to me. Social commentary, I get it. But it didn't work for me. Then he goes on, over halfway through the book, to come up with more ways that humankind is going extinct, and it felt like he was shrugging and saying, "oh yeah, I forgot to put that in.

Here's some BS that should cover it. But were there things I liked? Of course! Vonnegut's unique brand of philosophy is here in abundance. So is his trademark sense of humor. It's full of universal truths and nods to old characters and amusing tidbits and everything I love about his writing. I just didn't connect with it like I normally do. Final Rating3. Here at Walmart. Your email address will never be sold or distributed to a third party for any reason. Due to the high volume of feedback, we are unable to respond to individual comments.

Sorry, but we can't respond to individual comments. Recent searches Clear All. Update Location. If you want NextDay, we can save the other items for later. Yes—Save my other items for later. No—I want to keep shopping. Order by , and we can deliver your NextDay items by. In your cart, save the other item s for later in order to get NextDay delivery.

We moved your item s to Saved for Later.


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    Galapagos: A Novel (Paperback) | Kepler's Books

    Galapagos : A Novel. Average rating: 4. Kurt Vonnegut. Walmart Tell us if something is incorrect. Book Format: Choose an option. Add to Cart. Product Highlights A small group of apocalypse survivors stranded on the Galapagos Islands are about to become the progenitors of a brave new human race.

    About This Item We aim to show you accurate product information. Manufacturers, suppliers and others provide what you see here, and we have not verified it. See our disclaimer. Galapagos is a madcap genealogical adventure". Vonnegut is a postmodern Mark Twain. A simple vacation cruise suddenly becomes an evolutionary journey. 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.

    ISBN 13: 9780385333870

    Specifications Series Title Delta Fiction. Customer Reviews. See all reviews. Write a review. Most helpful positive review. Average rating: 4 out of 5 stars, based on reviews.

    See more. Most helpful negative review. Average rating: 2 out of 5 stars, based on reviews. I suppose that I should start by saying that this is among the saddest reviews that I have ever written. Throughout my high school and college years, Kurt Vonnegut was one of my literary heroes. I voraciously consumed everything he wrote and spent countless hours discussing his clever wordplay and the intricacies of his ideas or at least my perceptions of those ideas with all of my friends who were similarly smitten. However, like most love affairs from that time in one's life, the ardor soon cooled and I had stopped reading the author's work altogether before he published Galapagos.

    Indeed, it was only when I was on the verge of my own trip to the Galapagos Islands some 25 years later that I decided to read the novel. Whether driven by nostalgia for the past or a simple attempt to pair my passions for travel and literature, it was a decision that did not end as well as I had hoped. I suspect that Vonnegut intended this to be work of meta-fiction: a straightforward science fiction story wrapped inside of an Important Message about the foibles of human nature.