I expected from such a prestigious name This book just did not do it for me.
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 As An Added Bonus, When You Purchase Our Audible Modern Vanguard Production Of Kurt Vonnegut S Book, You Ll Also Receive An Exclusive Jim Atlas Interview This Interview Where James Atlas Interviews Gay Talese About The Life And Work Of Kurt Vonnegut Begins As Soon As The Audiobook Ends Great book, great author This novel concentrates on some favorite themes of Vonnegut those of inequality, luck, happenstance and indifference to others The novel is very similar in terms of them and characterization to Slaughterhouse 5 and in terms of the themes of inequality and indifference to Player Piano.
Vonnegut was born in 1922 and so was a member of the generation that grew up in the Great Depression and entered adulthood during World War 2 I don t find it surprising then that this novel points out the degree with which luck and happenstance are behind much of the apparent success of individuals in society people He saw action in WW2 He saw masses of people being killed by simply being in the wrong place He saw the indifference to life that marks war What then is the purpose of life Why are we alive How do we confront the meaningless that is behind existence In the novel, human civilization is directed by Tanfalmadorians to function as a means of sending messages to the pilot of a disabled space ship on the Saturn moon Triton Malachi Constant is distressed whn he discovers this on Triton.
Vonnegut proposes an answer the questions in ending of the book That is the answer of empathy and compassion to each other Life is inherently meaningless at its base but that does not mean that it cannot be given meaning Salo supplies Malachi Constant with a hypnotic post suggestion that gives him comfort in the final seconds of his life Salo is a machine that the organic inhabitants of Trnfalmadore developed to find the meaning with life When the machines found that there was no meaning, the organic Tranfalmaorians committed mass suicide by machine Salo, the machine, found a purpose with his development of empathy and compassion by his interaction with constant on Triton Was good This is my fifth Vonnegut novel I have already read Player Piano, Cat s Cradle, Slaughterhouse Five, and Breakfast of Champions and I can say with confidence that The Sirens of Titan is the best in this group.
It is neat to see Vonnegut s novels evolve over time Player Piano, while still a masterpiece, is a very conventional novel without a lot of the craziness that is so evident in his later novels Breakfast of Champions is the most unconventional novel I have ever read, its like the two books were written by two totally different authors.
The Sirens of Titan, on the other hand, is somewhere in the middle There is a clear plot in the story, much like Player Piano, but it is not as structured as the former We begin to see the early beginnings of what would later become one of Vonnegut s trademarks unrelenting sarcasm and irony.
What makes The Sirens of Titan my favorite Vonnegut novel Everything comes together at the very end Throughout the novel, there is a clear question looming over the reader and the characters in the book the purpose of human life Vonnegut answers this question or Malachi Constant, rather in the last few pages of the story, and it is absolutely brilliant The fact that the author even dared to ask such a question and then answer it, is extraordinary.
Sirens of Titan marks the second book of Vonnegut s career It s the book that started Vonnegut s career While it s not the best example of Vonnegut s quirky pen, it does encapsulate his fascination with space, time travel and life s sometime cruel reality Sirens of Titan also is a good example of Vonnegut s strengths in developing characters of less than heroic traits, but characters still respected for their oh well, let s keep trudging along attitude.
The author is very in genius in his use of time and morality and where God fits in in this whole scheme of things