This is Kurt Vonneguts 1st novel.
the pre curser to many to come and one of my favoritesIts kind of 1984 or Brave New World in the sarcastic and witty Vonnegut style.
Classic Vonnegut You can never go wrong when choosing from his writing.
As a fan of Vonnegut s writing, I was extremely disappointed with this book It has a good story premise but it doesn t really go anywhere The basics of this story Vonnegut depicts America as a land run by machines All the humans must have a doctorate in order to be considered qualified for any jobs because machines have been built that efficiently replace lower workers There is very little mention of children, but the few that are brought up merely point out the struggles of trying to pass tests for degrees and then fighting 500 others for the one job opening available The protagonist, Dr Paul Proteus, gets fed up with his machine dominated environment but doesn t have the will to commit himself to opposition until he is forced into it There is a second story line with a diplomat from another country touring America as his host tries to convince him of the need to replace humans with machines in his own country The host fails in his mission as things fall apart in the end.
Basically, I thought there were too many strings left hanging in this book Vonnegut would start off on a tangent, with such extreme description, but then there was no real resolution Like, what happened to the farm I was especially disappointed in the ending, expecting out of Dr Proteus than was given So many things were left unexplained that I felt like I was wasting my time reading this book I would become interested in one aspect only to find myself filled with questions left unanswered.
Player Piano is a novel written in the early 1950s It is remarkably prescient but not particularly about the technology In technology, It envisions an automated world of the 1950s it fails to envision the massively interconnected Internet based world of today There is no inkling in it of the power and wealth of the financial industry However, and this is the most important thing, it fully envisions the fact of and implications of the inequality that modern technology ahs created It has brought material wealth, but it has caused a loss of the sense of purpose and meaning for large portions of the population They have become superfluous and are being displaced both from their jobs by automation and from their homes by gentrification Player Piano foresees both.
The novel itself is rather slow and belaboured at times The characters seem rather artificial and seem created only to represent certain themes This is not Vonnegut of Slaughterhouse 5 or Breakfast of Champions.
Player Piano is the story of an unlikely uprising against an over industrialized society, which proved to be too successful and reminds the reader to be careful what you wish for Doctor Paul Proteus, manager of the Ilium Works plant responsible for the industrial output and energy production of Ilium, New York and the surrounding area, sought to escape his predestined vocational life One of the people he encounters in this quest summarized nicely the disenchantment Proteus and his cohorts felt with technology, and the trail of obsolete men left behind in its wake.
The machines are to practically everybody what the white men were to the Indians People are finding that, because of the way the machines are changing the world, and of their old values don t apply any People have no choice but to become second rate machines themselves, or wards of the machines.
Proteus rebellion against his industrialized world starts quietly enough, with the acquisition of a farm and the conscious sabotage of a promotion he deserved However, he eventually crosses paths with radicals who saw fit to not only stem the tides of mass production, but to destroy all of the machines in the process.
Interesting enough story line, right Yes, but the story s potential is better than its execution Many great ideas are left unpolished Besides Dr Proteus, there are no sympathetic characters in this tale, which made it difficult to root for the revolution s failure or success Plus, things spiraled so badly out of control that you don t even know if success was achieved by anyone s measure This book was one giant crescendo, and the actual revolution occurs in about five pages at the end, hastily described and leaving way too much to the imagination There were many characters introduced independently who eventually met at the end not in a logical way that sewed everything together, but in a chaotic assembly of random people e.
, the Shah of Bratpuhr what was that guy s purpose other than comedic relief.