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Timequake

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According to science-fiction writer Kilgore Trout, a global timequake will occur in New York City on 13th February 2001. It is the moment when the universe suffers a crisis of conscience. Should it expand or make a great big bang? It decides to wind the clock back a decade to 1991, making everyone in the world endure ten years of deja-vu and a total loss of free will – not to mention the torture of reliving every nanosecond of one of the tawdiest and most hollow decades.

With his trademark wicked wit, Vonnegut addresses memory, suicide, the Great Depression, the loss of American eloquence, and the obsolescent thrill of reading books.

276 pages, Kindle Edition

First published September 22, 1997

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About the author

Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

516 books32.6k followers
Kurt Vonnegut, Junior was an American novelist, satirist, and most recently, graphic artist. He was recognized as New York State Author for 2001-2003.

He was born in Indianapolis, later the setting for many of his novels. He attended Cornell University from 1941 to 1943, where he wrote a column for the student newspaper, the Cornell Daily Sun. Vonnegut trained as a chemist and worked as a journalist before joining the U.S. Army and serving in World War II.

After the war, he attended University of Chicago as a graduate student in anthropology and also worked as a police reporter at the City News Bureau of Chicago. He left Chicago to work in Schenectady, New York in public relations for General Electric. He attributed his unadorned writing style to his reporting work.

His experiences as an advance scout in the Battle of the Bulge, and in particular his witnessing of the bombing of Dresden, Germany whilst a prisoner of war, would inform much of his work. This event would also form the core of his most famous work, Slaughterhouse-Five, the book which would make him a millionaire. This acerbic 200-page book is what most people mean when they describe a work as "Vonnegutian" in scope.

Vonnegut was a self-proclaimed humanist and socialist (influenced by the style of Indiana's own Eugene V. Debs) and a lifelong supporter of the American Civil Liberties Union.

The novelist is known for works blending satire, black comedy and science fiction, such as Slaughterhouse-Five (1969), Cat's Cradle (1963), and Breakfast of Champions (1973)

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5 stars
8,587 (22%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,035 reviews
Profile Image for Lyn.
1,882 reviews16.6k followers
February 2, 2018
Another fun, rambling visit with cantankerous old Uncle Kurt.

As with most of his works, it is not so much what he writes, as how he writes it. He is funny. He is amusing and entertaining.

Here's the thing: It's about a timequake, where the world goes back 10 years and everyone and everything re-lives the past ten years all over again.

Listen: Kurt is too slick, this is an allegory about how our society will re-live our past, history will repeat itself because we are too stupid and apathetic to make a change.

Imagine!

All that and Kilgore Trout. Loved it!

description
Profile Image for J.L.   Sutton.
666 reviews927 followers
February 19, 2020
“Many people need desperately to receive this message: 'I feel and think much as you do, care about many of the things you care about, although most people do not care about them. You are not alone..”

Image result for kilgore trout

I was intrigued by the concept of Kurt Vonnegut's last novel: a 'timequake' beginning on February 13, 2001 rewinds the clock back to 1991. It's maddening, of course. Everyone must live those years again, exactly as they'd done before, all the while knowing what will happen, but unable to change anything. When people go from living in a continuous state of deja vu to being able to exercise free will, things go even further off the rails, like pileups at the bottom of the escalator. Front and center in this novel is Vonnegut's alter-ego, Kilgore Trout, as well as Vonnegut himself, who narrates the book. With Vonnegut providing specific and often poignant details about his life, family and relationships, as well as his views and interactions with said alter-ego, Timequake veers more toward autobiography than novel. And for Vonnegut this works!

Though the timequake is a frame for Kilgore and Vonnegut, this device made me think about how I would react to one of these timequakes (starting with 1991 to 2001). Even with so much to look forward to, could I be happy knowing all that would happen in the rewind? Would any rewind really be satisfying? The conceit that people have free will is explored when the timequake ends and don't really seem to exercise free will. Even though Kilgore Trout doesn't believe in free will, like a Paul Revere of the space-time continuum, he announces its return. It's an interesting image that allows Vonnegut to enter into a dialogue with 'American patriot' Trout about free will and humanity. Even more interesting, it feels like you are witnessing the last words of both men's long cantankerous lives or a moving on as both men wave farewell to who and what had been important to them. And then there is the clambake at the end of the journey,

I especially recommend this novel to fans of Kilgore Trout. This is a satisfying, entertaining and thought provoking novel! 4.25 stars

“In real life as in grand opera, arias only make hopeless situations worse.”
Profile Image for Darwin8u.
1,599 reviews8,729 followers
December 25, 2017
“In real life, as in Grand Opera, arias only make hopeless situations worse.”
- Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., Timequake

description

Timequake was one of the first books my wife ever gave me. I don't know why it took me so long to read. I WAS a huge fan of Vonnegut 20 years ago when we first got married and I loved my wife. Clearly, I at age 23 I wasn't a fan of Vonnegut enough or trusted my wife's taste in books enough. I think I was just fearful Vonnegut was just mailing a final novel in. This was one of the last things he published, and I think it was his last novel (I might check this and find out I was wrong, it happens).

Anyway, I think all three of us were right. My wife was beautifully right in buying me Kurt Vonnegut. Kurt Vonnegut was right in writing it. I was right in waiting. I wasn't ready for this book. I'm now 20 years closer to death. I am now a father to two pimply teenagers who are sleeping tonight waiting for their parents to pretend still they are Santa and bring them goodies on Christmas morning. We are all pretending the best we can. We are all making the best of this short spin on Earth. I am now in a place where I can functionally GET the older Vonnegut better. I can get better his take on free will, money, morality, and art.

Timequake isn't a great novel, but it has absolutely brilliant parts. I love its lines and sentences better than I liked the book. It has a fantastic message about extended family and friends and community that I absolutely adored. It has so many good lines (yes, I said that before, but now I'm going to pull back the curtain):

"Only when free will kicked in again could they stop running obstacle courses of their own construction."

"Let us be perfectly frank for a change. For practically everybody, the end of the world can’t come soon enough."

"I define a saint as a person who behaves decently in an indecent society."

"...when things were really going well we should be sure to notice it."

“Pictures are famous for their humanness, and not for their pictureness.”
Profile Image for Dave Schaafsma.
Author 6 books31.5k followers
June 25, 2019
Well, I just read Galapagos, one of Vonnegut’s finest novels, and Timequake is not in that club. I, as with most Vonnegut fans, am perfectly content reading Vonnegut write about the phone book or fleas or jazz. His rambling is like music to our ears. But this book is not one of the best of his books. Not the best or most original rambling from him. Though one occasion for the book becomes the death of Kurt’s dear brother Bernard. One attraction here is that both guys are science guys who are funny. Well, Timquake meanders from topic to topic, and isn’t really a novel, it’s a series of reflections and one-liners, but I still was mildly entertained, maybe 2.5, and here’s some stuff I liked:

On play and invention: “Listen: We are here on Earth to fart around. Don't let anybody tell you any different!”

On books: “I am eternally grateful for my knack of finding in great books, some of them very funny books, reason enough to feel honored to be alive, no matter what else might be going on.”

“But by accident, not by cunning calculation, books, because of their weight and texture, and because of their sweetly token resistance to manipulation, involve our hands and eyes, and then our minds and souls, in a spiritual adventure I would be very sorry for my grandchildren not to know about.”

On bombs: “[Andrei Sakharov] won his Nobel in 1975 for demanding a halt to the testing of nuclear weapons. He, of course, had already tested his. His wife was a pediatrician! What sort of person could perfect a hydrogen bomb while married to a child-care specialist? What sort of physician would stay married to a mate that cracked?
"Anything interesting happen at work today, honeybunch?"
"Yes. My bomb is going to work just great. And how are you doing with that kid with chicken pox?”

On the human race’s apparent desire to commit collective suicide: “So it is not one whit mysterious that we poison the water and air and topsoil, and construct ever more cunning doomsday devices, both industrial and military. Let us be perfectly frank for a change. For practically everybody, the end of the world can't come soon enough.”

On equality and democracy and Eugene Debs: “I still quote Eugene Debs (1855–1926), late of Terre Haute, Indiana, five times the Socialist Party’s candidate for President, in every speech: “While there is a lower class I am in it, while there is a criminal element I am of it; while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.” In recent years, I’ve found it prudent to say before quoting Debs that he is to be taken seriously. Otherwise many in the audience will start to laugh. They are being nice, not mean, knowing I like to be funny. But it is also a sign of these times that such a moving echo of the Sermon on the Mount can be perceived as outdated, wholly discredited horsecrap. Which it is not.”
Profile Image for Tom Quinn.
552 reviews167 followers
January 21, 2021
Timequake strikes me as less a novel than a loose autobiography with embellishments. And it's often quite a bummer, though more than a couple lines made me laugh. There's some frank and honest reflections on life and free will, which are sharp and zany in such a way as could only have been composed by Vonnegut, an irascible old codger. The whole structure is thin, almost to the point of seeming frail: he tosses out pitch after pitch for hypothetical stories, alluding to a first draft of the same book we're reading currently, while drifting back and forth from his own life to his fictional creations. I doubt anyone else could make this work so charmingly.

3.5 stars. Certain observations and parables are quite resonant, offering intriguing considerations about free will and the often baffling state of affairs we find ourselves in as humans groping around for agency while living in what appears to be a sometimes strangely semi-automated, deterministic world. Other parts are underdeveloped, leaving me wanting much more. Altogether I feel this book is best recommended strictly to Vonnegut completionists, and to them only after having read all his other stuff first.
Profile Image for Jon Nakapalau.
5,109 reviews724 followers
March 15, 2023
A lot like Groundhog Day...interesting questions raised about the nature of time and space. All I need say is that this is KV take on time travel (TT); that alone made me want to read this book. Some very interesting twists here; I always like to read how different authors handle TT - even if it repeats itself.
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,564 reviews32 followers
August 13, 2019
Timequake. Kurt Vonnegut
Timequake is a semi-autobiographical work by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. published in 1997. Marketed as a novel, the book was described as a "stew" by Vonnegut, in which he summarizes a novel he had been struggling with for a number of years. Kilgore Trout serves again as the main character, who the author declares as having died in 2001, at the fictitious Xanadu retreat in Rhode Island. Vonnegut explains in the beginning of the book that he was not satisfied with the original version of Timequake he wrote. Taking parts of Timequake One and combining it with personal thoughts and anecdotes produced the finished product, so-called Timequake Two. Many of the anecdotes deal with Vonnegut's family, the death of loved ones, and people's last words. ...

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز دهم ماه آگوست سال 2004 میلادی
عنوان: زمان لرزه ؛ نویسنده: کورت ونه‌گات؛ مترجم: مهدی صداقت پیام، تهران، انتشارات مروارید؛ 1382؛ در 282 ص؛ شابک: 9649937011؛چاپ دوم 1385، در 281 ص؛ چاپ سوم 1388؛ چاپ پنجم 1395؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان امریکایی - سده 20 م
عنوان: زمان لرزه ؛ نویسنده: کورت ونه‌گات جونیور؛ مترجم: حسین شهرابی، کاروان؛ 1384؛ در 312 ص؛ شابک: 9648497389؛
عنوان: زمان لرزه ؛ نویسنده: کورت ونه‌گات؛ مترجم: نصیبه حسین پور؛ تهران، نشر جمهوری؛ 1393؛ در 250 ص؛ شابک: 9786005687347؛ چاپ دوم 1395؛ چاپ سوم 1398؛
عنوان: زمان لرزه ؛ نویسنده: کورت ونه‌گات؛ مترجم: معصومه فخار؛ قم، کتابستان معرفت؛ 1397؛ در 320 ص؛ شابک: 9786008460558؛

در اثر لرزشی که در زمان رخ میدهد، همه کس و همه چیز از روز سیزدهم ماه فوریه سال 2001 میلادی، به روز هفدهم ماه فوریه سال 1991 میلادی باز میگردند. همه ی افراد گذشته ی خود که اینک تبدیل به آینده ی ایشان شده را به یاد دارند، اما توان دیگر کردن آن ندارند. در این دهسال مجبور هستند همچنان همان کارهای تکراری را انجام دهند، تا دوباره به سال 2001 میلادی بازگشته و دارای اختیار شوند. «ونه گات» در این رمان کوشش میکند با زبان طنز، تصاویری بدیع و زیبا از خانواده اش، مردم آمریکا، سیاستمداران، دانشمندان و .... ارائه نماید . بیانی بسیار روان، زیبا و دلپذیر که به صورت ناگهانی از موضوعی به موضوع دیگر میرود و با موشکافی و ریزبینی مسائل را مورد انتقاد قرار میدهد. «کورت ونه گوت جونیور» از معدود نویسندگان معاصر بودند، که رمان‌های ایشان، نه تنها در آمریکا، بلکه در سراسر جهان، با پیشواز گسترده‌ ای روبرو میشد و خواهد شد. این نویسنده‌ ی آمریکایی آلمانی‌ تبار، علاوه بر نق�� جامعه‌ ی خویش، تلاش می‌کنند، تا غیرانسانی بودن فجایعی، همچون: جنگ، بمب اتم، و فروپاشی نهاد خانواده را، در دنیای کنونی، با زبان طنز بیان کنند. از این‌روی، طنز «ونه گوت»، هیچ مرزی نمی‌شناسد، و پیشواز از آثار ایشان، در ایران نیز، موید همین نکته است. در رمان‌های «ونه گوت»، زبان و تأثیر آن، برای فهم واقعیت، اهمیتی بیش از شخصیت‌ پردازی، و پیرنگ، پیدا می‌کند، که همین امر باعث می‌شود، خوانش آثار «ونه گوت»، تجربه‌ ای تکرار ناپذیر باشد. «زمان لرزه»، که برای نخستین بار، در سال 1997 میلادی، در آمریکا به چاپ رسید، آخرین اثر این نویسنده‌ ی بزرگوار، دوران ما بوده است. «ونه گوت» پس از این رمان، رسماً اعلام کردند، که دیگر رمانی نخواهند نوشت، و این رمان، نقطه‌ ی پایان فعالیت‌های داستان‌ نویسی‌ ایشان خواهد بود. نقل از آغاز متن: «جونیور خطابم کنید. شش بچه ی بزرگسالم با همین اسم صدایم میکنند. سه تای آنها خواهرزاده ها، و در عین حال فرزند خوانده های من هستند، و سه تای دیگر هم بچه های خودم. آنها پشت سرم به من میگویند جونیور و فکر میکنند که من این را نمیدانم. من در سخنرانیهایم میگویم: یکی از وظایف مهم هنرمندان این است، که دست کم به اندازه ی سر سوزنی مردم را به ادامه ی زندگی تشویق کنند. آن وقت حضار میپرسند آیا هنرمندانی را میشناسم که موفق به انجام این کار شده باشند، من هم جواب میدهم: «بیتلز.» به نظرم تکامل یافته ترین مخلوقات زمینی، زنده بودن را شرم آور، و حتی چیزی بدتر از آن میدانند. دیگر چه برسد به موارد بحرانیتر، مثل وقتیکه آرمانگرایان به صلیب کشیده میشوند. دو نفر از زنان مهم زندگیم، یکی مادرم، و دیگری تنها خواهرم «آلیس» یا «اَلی»، که هم اینک آن بالا در بهشت اند، از زندگی متنفر بودند و آن را با صراحت بیان میکردند. «اَلی» فریاد میزد، «تسلیم!، تسلیم!»؛ مارک تواین، بامزه ترین آمریکایی دوران خودش، در هفتاد سالگی مثل من به این نتیجه رسید، که زندگی برای خودش و دیگران، آکنده از فشارهای روحی است، و این چنین نوشت: «از زمانی که به بلوغ رسیده ام، هرگز دلم نخواسته است کسی از دوستانم که به دیار باقی شتافته، دوباره زنده شود.» او این جملات را در مقاله ای آورده که پس از مرگ ناگهانی دخترش «ژان» نوشته است. «ژان» و یکی دیگر از دخترهایش «سوزی»، و همسر محبوبش و بهترین دوستش، «هنری راجرز»، از جمله کسانی بودند که او هرگز مایل نبود به زندگی برگردند. گرچه عمرِ تواین به جنگ جهانی اول نرسید، ولی چنین دیدگاهی داشت. مسیح در موعظه اش بر بالای کوه گفت، که زندگی چقدر مزخرف است: «آنان که سوگواری میکنند، آمرزیده خواهند شد.» و «بردباران آمرزیده خواهند شد.» و «آنانکه برای کار خیر تشنه و گرسنه میگردند، آمرزیده خواهند شد.»؛ این جمله ی «هنری دیوید تورو» هم شهرت زیادی دارد: «زندگانی توده ی مردم درماندگی ای خاموش است.»؛ پس به اندازه ی سرسوزنی هم عجیب نیست، که ما آب و هوا و خاک را آلوده کنیم، و دستگاههای فریبنده و نابودگر نظامی و صنعتی بسازیم. بیایید برای یکبار هم که شده، رک و راست باشیم. زیرا عملاً برای همه ی ما دنیا در آینده ای نزدیک به پایان نخواهد رسید. پدرم، «کورت سینیور»، که در «ایندیاناپلیس» معمار بود، سرطان داشت. پانزده سال پس از خودکشی همسرش، پلیس اتومبیل او را به جرم رد کردن چراغ قرمز متوقف کرد، و تازه معلوم شد که او بیست سال بدون داشتن گواهینامه رانندگی میکرده است. میدانید پدرم به افسری که جلویش را گرفت چه گفت؟ «خب شلیک کن.»؛ «فتس والر»، پیانیست آفریقایی آمریکایی سبک جاز، همیشه وقتی خیلی خوب پیانو میزد، و اجرای درخشانی داشت، یک جمله را با صدای بلند فریاد میزد: «لطفاً حالا که سرخوشم یک نفر مرا با تیر بزند.»؛ امروزه استفاده از اسلحه ی گرم، به راحتی استفاده از فندک است. قیمتش هم مثل قیمت توسترها، خیلی ارزان است، و هر کسی که هوس کشتن پدرش، یا «فتس» یا «آبراهام لینکلن» یا «جان لنون» یا «مارتین لوترکینگ جونیور» یا زنی را داشته باشد، که کالسکه بچه اش را هل میدهد، میتواند از اسلحه استفاده کند، و این امر گفته ی «کیلگور تراوت»، نویسنده ی مسن داستانهای علمی تخیلی را به همگان اثبات میکند که، «زنده بودن یعنی یک ظرف پر از کثافت.»؛ تصور کنید: یکی از دانشگاههای بزرگ آمریکا، به منظور حفظ سلامت دانشجویان، «راگبی» را از برنامه ی ورزشی اش حذف، و استادیوم خالی «راگبی» را به کارخانه ی تولید بمب تبدیل میکند. و البته که باز هم به خاطر حفظ سلامت دانشجویان. به یاد «کیلگور تراوت» افتادم. منظور من دانشگاهی است که خودم در آن درس خواندم، «دانشگاه شیکاگو». در دسامبر سال 1942 میلادی، چندین سال پیش از رفتن من به آنجا، دانشمندان نخستین واکنش زنجیره ای اورانیوم، روی کره ی زمین را، در زیر تیرکهای دروازه های «استگ فیلد» انجام دادند. هدف آنها این بود که نشان دهند آیا امکان ساختِ بمب اتم وجود دارد یا نه. آن سال ما با آلمان و ژاپن میجنگیدیم. پنجاه و سه سال بعد، در روز ششم آگوست 1995 میلادی در سالن اجتماعات همین دانشگاه، همایشی به منظور بزرگداشت پنجاهمین سالگرد انفجار بمب اتم در «هیروشیما» برگزار شد. من هم آنجا بودم. یکی از سخنرانها فیزیکدانی به نام «لئو سِرِن» بود. او در آزمایش موفقیت آمیزی که مدتها پیش در زیرِ زمین بلا استفاده ی «راگبی» انجام شده بود، شرکت داشت. به این توجه کنید: او به خاطر آن کارش معذرت خواست. کسی باید به او میگفت روی سیاره ای که باهوشترین حیواناتش، این همه از زنده بودن متنفرند، فیزیکدان بودن یعنی اینکه هیچوقت لازم نیست معذرت خواهی کنی. حالا این یکی را تصور کنید: مردی برای اتحاد جماهیر شوروی که همه ی کشورها را دشمن خودش میپنداشت، بمب هیدروژنی درست میکند و پس از اینکه مطمئن میشود بمب بدون هیچ ایرادی منفجر خواهد شد، برنده ی جایزه ی صلح نوبل میشود. این شخصیت واقعی که لیاقت آن را داشت که «کیلگور تراوت»، داستانی درباره اش بنویسد، فیزیکدان فقید «آندری ساخاروف» است. او در سال 1975 میلادی به خاطر درخواستِ توقف آزمایش سلاحهای هسته ای، برنده ی جایزه ی نوبل شد. البته «ساخاروف» قبلاً بمب خودش را آزمایش کرده بود. همسرش پزشک اطفال بود! کدام انسانی که همسرش پزشک اطفال است، میتواند بمب هیدروژنی بسازد؟ کدام پزشکی حاضر میشود با همسری تا این حد ابله زندگی کند؟ «عزیزم امروز در محلِ کارَت اتفاق جالبی نیفتاد؟»؛ «بمب من بدون هیچ ایرادی منفجر خواهد شد. آن بچه ای که آبله مرغان گرفته بود چی شد؟»؛ آندری ساخاروف در سال 1975 میلادی به یک قدیس تبدیل شد، البته از آن نوع قدیسهایی که امروزه دیگر کسی آنها را تحویل نمیگیرد، چون جنگ سرد تمام شده است. او در اتحاد جماهیر شوروی فردی دگراندیش بود. او خواستار پایان دادن به توسعه و آزمایش سلاحهای هسته ای و همچنین اعطای آزادی بیشتر به هموطنانش بود. او را از موسسه ی علوم اتحاد جماهیر شوروی بیرون، و از مسکو به شهر کوچکی در سرزمینهای سردسیر تبعید کردند. اتحاد جماهیر شوروی به «ساخاروف» اجازه نداد، برای دریافت جایزه ی صلحش به «اسلو» برود و «النا بانر»، همسرش که پزشک اطفال بود، آن را به جایش دریافت کرد. آیا وقتِ آن نیست که بپرسیم «النا بانر» یا هر پزشک اطفال و شفا دهنده ی دیگری، از کسی که در ساختن بمب هیدروژنی، دست داشته است استحقاق بیشتری برای دریافت جایزه ی نوبل ندارد؟ حقوق بشر؟ چه چیزی میتواند به اندازه ی بمب هیدروژنی، نسبت به حق حیات جانداران بی اعتنا باشد؟ در ژوئن 1987 میلادی کالج «استیتن آیلن» در نیویورک دکترای افتخاری به «ساخاروف» داد. دولت اتحاد جماهیر شوروی باز هم به «ساخاروف» اجازه نداد، که خودش جایزه را دریافت کند، بنابراین از من خواستند که این کار را برایش بکنم. وظیفه ی من خواندن پیام «ساخاروف» بود، پیامی به این مضمون: «استفاده از انرژی هسته ای را متوقف نکنید.» من هم آن را مثل یک روبات خواندم. من خیلی مودب بودم! یک سال قبل از آن در «چرنوبیل اُکراین» کشنده ترین فاجعه ی هسته ای ای، که تاکنون در این سیاره ی دیوانه رخ داده، به وقوع پیوسته بود. به دلیل تشعشعات هسته ای در این نیروگاه، بچه های تمام کشورهای شمال اروپا، تا سالیان سال بیمار خواهند بود، و حتی ممکن است وضعیت بدتری پیدا کنند. پزشکان اطفال هم بیماران زیادی خواهند داشت! رفتار آتش نشانهای «شنکتادی» نیویورک، پس از فاجعه ی «چرنوبیل» از اندرز مضحک «ساخاروف» هم، برای من دلگرم کننده تر بود. قبلاً در «شنکتادی» کار میکردم. آتش نشانهای «شنکتادی» نامه ای به همکارانشان در «چرنوبیل» فرستادند، و از آنها به خاطر شهامت و فداکاریشان در راه نجات جان و مال مردم قدردانی کردند. آفرین به آتش نشانها! شاید بعضیها در زندگی روزمره شان آدمهای پستی باشند، اما در وضعیتهای بحرانی همه میتوانند به قدیس تبدیل شوند. زنده باد آتش نشانها! «کیلگور تراوت» نویسنده ی داستانهای علمی تخیلی نایاب، در سال 1975 میلادی در «کوهوز نیویورک» بعد از فهمیدن مرگ پسرش «لئون»، سرباز فراری، در یک کارخانه ی کشتی سازی در «سوئد»، طوطی کوچک دم درازش را آزاد کرده، اکنون در آستانه ی آوارگی است.»؛ پایان نقل. ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for صان.
402 reviews244 followers
March 8, 2022
یکی از عجیب‌ترین رمان‌ها!

می‌شه گفت که کل رمان مثل یک سخنرانی بود. مثل یک معاشرت بود. حرف زدنِ نویسنده از چیزهای مختلف و جلو بردنِ آهسته‌ی یک خط داستانی.
اما پر بود از داستان و خرده‌پیرنگ و نقل‌قول و نصیحت و حرف و حرف که پشت سر هم میومدن. از لحاظ کلاژ بودنش می‌شه گفت که حسابی پست‌مدرن بود.
خط داستانیِ اصلی بسیار کمرنگ بود. حرف‌های ونه‌گوت هم طوری بود که گوشه‌هایی‌ش رو توی کتاب‌های دیگه‌ش شنیده بودی. مثل اکثر کتاب‌هاش البته.
دوتا جوک خوب هم تعریف می‌کرد :))

کتاب رو به یک علاقمند به ونه‌گوت پیشنهاد می‌کنم. اما نه کسی که بخواد اولین کتابش رو از این نویسنده بخونه.
Profile Image for Kirstine.
459 reviews569 followers
March 13, 2016
This is an odd mix of fiction and autobiography. Narrated by the author himself (who is not fictional), while relying on stories and quotations from the old science fiction author Kilgore Trout (who is). There are fake stories, true stories, and all of them will tell you something about being human, in all its terrible glory.
Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgment Day: We never asked to be born in the first place.
The universe happened upon the same question that hits us all, often for no particular reason and out of nowhere: What the hell am I supposed to do with myself? Do I continue expanding or do I quit and start over? In its understandable confusion and crisis it shrinks a bit and sends everyone back 10 years, forcing everyone to relive every moment, fully aware of having done it all before, but incapable of changing anything.

A nightmare really (“and they have to relive the 90s” I say, not knowing if the 90s really were awful, because I was a baby and then a child for all of it, Ting-a-ling! I once asked someone, though, what it was like being young in the 90s and he said "it was certainly ugly" referring to the fashion, so it probably wasn't all that great), but it makes for good storytelling.

Of course, a timequake is entirely unfeasible and would never occur, except it does every day of our lives. Humans are all too good at living in the past, reliving painful or humiliating memories, or being nostalgic for beautiful moments that are no more. That’s our timequake, and we are completely incapable of changing a thing that has happened. Reliving it too much, however, will freeze you in your present moment, because you forget that right now, you have the absolute power, you have your free will, to make every moment something you might not hate reliving.

I read this book and suddenly realized that if I had to relive the past 10 years of my life, it'd probably suck 80 percent of the time and I’d come out of it traumatized. But I can’t change a single second, so it’s best to just move on, and try to be the best I can be for the rest of my life.

Casting the ridiculous and brilliant Kilgore Trout as the hero of the story, the ideal of who we should try to be should this particular event ever occur, is a little bit genius. No one can be Trout, obviously, as he’s entirely fictional, and frankly I don’t think anyone wants to be him, but I do want to be like him.
’The main thing about van Gogh and me,’ said Trout, ‘is that he painted pictures that astonished him with their importance, even though nobody else thought they were worth a damn and I write stories that astonish me, even though nobody else thinks they’re worth a damn. How lucky can you get?’
The Timequake, however, plays a small role in the book. It is the frame, yes, the story we return to, but mostly this is a collection of stories from Vonnegut’s life and Kilgore Trout’s arsenal of oddball short stories. With his usual wit and round-a-bout way of saying anything, Vonnegut dishes up some striking social commentary. I’m continuously surprised by how achingly humane he is, making his observations all the more salient, because they come from a place of compassion and honesty.

I kept coming back to this one quote from a song by Say Anything, it goes:
I guess that everyone includes me
and that’s why I’m a humanist
If anyone, Vonnegut embodies that saying, at least in this particular book.

The song is called Hate Everyone. In a way, that is also very fitting.

Sure, “being alive is a crock of shit”, but also “I am eternally grateful for my knack of finding in great books, some of them very funny books, reason enough to feel honored to be alive, no matter what else might be going on.”

Thank you for such a book.
Profile Image for Kemper.
1,390 reviews6,970 followers
November 30, 2008
I'm suprised that I found some of Vonnegut's later, less talked about books as enjoyable as some of the classic ones. But I enjoyed Bluebeard, Hocus Pocus and Timequake just as much as Slaughterhouse 5, Cat's Cradle, Mother Night or Breakfast of Champions.

Even though this technically isn't the last Vonnegut work, it's obvious that he was thinking of it as his swan song in fiction, and it's a near-perfect farewell.
Profile Image for Ian "Marvin" Graye.
874 reviews2,265 followers
November 14, 2018
Timeless Impression

If this isn't nice, what is?

Kiss Me Again
By Kilgore Trout


Some people think that science fiction doesn't give an author much opportunity to write about herself.

Whether or not this is true, I thought I might tell you a little about my family, if not much about me and my role in it.

Before I start, I should warn you that I do not propose to discuss my love life. Not that there's much to tell you about anyway.

That said, I still can't get over how women are shaped, especially their butts and boobs. Dicks are nothing in comparison, believe me.

That's enough about me. Let's talk about my parents. Both my father and my mother were criminals, though only my father went to prison. My mother's only crime was to let my father ejaculate in her birth canal. I don't know how many times this happened, but I assume that I am the product of one occasion.

Likewise, my father only committed one crime, though, unlike my mother, he didn't repeat it.

My father shot my mother when I was only twelve years old. I don't know why or whether it had anything to do with my age at the time. My grandparents, bless them, thought of me as a precocious and slightly annoying child. But that's no reason for your father to kill your mother. Procreation isn't meant to be a crime between husband and wife. They can't send you to jail, just because you're infected with progeny.

My father was the famous ornithologist, Professor Raymond Trout, of Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. My mother was a housewife and therefore less famous than my father (until her death, and perhaps even then). However, I only discovered when I turned eighteen that she was also a poet.

I didn't learn this from my father. I learned it from my mother's sister, my aunt, to whom my mother had entrusted all her verse. She used to send each poem off to my aunt whenever she wrote a letter to her. Why she sent them to my aunt, I don't know, because she never finished school and absolutely hated poetry, like most normal people. So she never kept the poems my mother sent her.

She did remember one of her poems, though, when I asked her:

Woman or not,
You'll notice it,
Being alive is
A crock of shit.

It mightn't amount to a hill of beans as far as poetry goes, but you have to agree with the sentiment, especially having regard to the cause of her demise.

Oh, I almost forgot to tell you, my mother was beautiful as well. Before he shot her, my father was always trying to kiss her and take her off to their bedroom. Most often, she would put me in my bed and kiss me on the forehead, so that I'd go to sleep first. Sometimes, she'd giggle like one of the girls at school and go in with my father straight away. Sometimes, she turned away and ignored him, which made him angry, though I didn't realise he'd get so angry he'd want to shoot her.

What is it about women that makes men want to kill them? Men are jerks. Women are psychotic. I suppose.

When I asked my aunt why she thought my father had killed my mother, she replied:

"There is no way a beautiful woman can live up to what she looks like for any appreciable length of time."

She might have been right. Anyway, it still makes me sad that my mother will never kiss me again.

Kurt Vonnegut on Kilgore Trout

"That is what [Kilgore] Trout was, too, in all he wrote: gaily mournful."

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SOUNDTRACK:
Profile Image for Liam O'Leary.
485 reviews120 followers
February 20, 2022
Video Review on YouTube

Most of my thoughts are in the video above or on instagram, here are some other things. GoodReads reviews are now becoming more of my book diary than any other output.

This was my first buddy read and it was quite nice to have someone to talk to about the themes. However, the story is such a jumble and has barely any plot, which means that we had to talk more about the themes than the actual plot. I mean to say this would be A TERRIBLE book club read.

Also, having read Timequake I'm now wondering whether what we value in Kurt Vonnegut's style — Kilgore Trout, his anecdotes, and his "broken paragraph structure" — are really a PTSD-like manifestation of war memories. Are we valuing Kurt's coping mechanisms in writing? Finding entertainment in his healing? And that makes me wonder whether the same is true of all fiction. Are we finding comfort in reading therapeutic exercises of strangers? I think it's a more pertinent question for Timequake than any other book, as contains more of his history and reflections than any other novel I've read. At least with other Vonnegut novels you might like them for the story alone, for instance The Sirens of Titan or Cat's Cradle. This very much feels like a story with only an ending, no beginning or middle, that mostly takes place in the mind of the author.

Final thought. When I first read Breakfast of Champions I thought to myself it would be really cool if there was just one book with only Kilgore Trout's best Scifi stories. They were always so wacky and fun, I thought that a book only containing them would be funny even if it did not make a lot of sense. This is what I hoped Timequake would be, but Kilgore Trout in this book bizarrely seems like Kurt himself, and he doesn't tell his own stories. I wonder whether in this last book Kurt wanted to tell the reader, 'yes so Kilgore was actually a fictional version of me', and unite himself with this fictional character of his. I would have preferred my original goal, but it does at least seem to resolve a recurring theme in his stories — who or what does Kilgore Trout stand for? My answer to that based on my video review is 'forgiveness'.


—Original Thoughts—

Please, for goodness sake, do not read this first. I have read 11 of Kurt Vonnegut's novels, and this is far and away the worst. This will only be passable for established fans.

Review TBC.
Profile Image for Ali Book World.
348 reviews207 followers
June 18, 2022
طبق تحقیقاتی که انجام دادم (چون این اولین کتابی بود که از این نویسنده خوندم)، کلیگور تروت یکی از کاراکترهای اصلی چندتا از کتاب‌های نویسنده است که شغلش هم نویسندگی‌ست و بیشتر نوشته‌هاش هم داستان‌هاس کوتاهند، البته خانه به دوش هم هست. ژانر کتابهایی که این کاراکتر مینویسه علمی-تخیلی اند اما بلافاصله بعد از پایانِ نوشتن، همه رو دور میریزه. چرا؟ چون اعتقاد داره داستانهاش مال خودشن و لازم نمیبینه که کسی دیگه بخونشون...

و اما حالا توی این کتاب، شخصیت کلیگورت دوست کورت ونه گات (نویسنده‌ی کتاب) میشه... این دو نفر باهمدیگه روایت داستان رو پیش میبرن. در روز سیزده فوریه ۲۰۰۱ در دنیا زلزله‌ای در زمان رخ میده و همه‌چیز به ده سال قبل برمیگرده. الان همه‌ی مردم در ذهن‌های خودشون زندانی‌ شده‌اند و به اجبار باید دوباره این ده سال رو زندگی کنند و البته هیچکس نمیتونه هیچ تغییری در وقایع ایجاد بکنه و...

باید بگم که داستان این اینکتاب اصلا ساده و روون روایت نشده، خیلی عجیبه. سخت‌خوانه، مخ و مغز و روح خواننده رو در هم تاب میده و همه چیز رو باهم قاطی میکنه. من که خیلی خیلی گیج شدم اما به شدت جذابه. به این دلیل جذابه که ایده‌ش نابه و بدون اینکه ریشه‌ی داستان از دست نویسنده در بره، پیچش‌های بیش از حد و عجیبی به کتابش داده.

یک خوبی که داره اینه که زیاد طولانی نیست و به اینکه گیج کننده‌ست اما به مرور نوع نوشتار داستان دستتون میاد و خیلی منظورها رو متوجه میشید ولی باز هم تا آخرش همه چیز اوکی نمیشه، انگار از قصد اینکار رو کرده.

خلاصه اینکه کتاب فوق‌العاده عجیبیه و همه پسند نیست، فقط کسانی که از این مدل کتابهای عجیب خوششون میاد و میتونن داستانهایی که تم علمی و تخیلی دارن بخونن و بیش از حد درگیرتون بکنه که پیچش‌هاش رو حل بکنید، برید سراغش وگرنه اصلا پیشنهاد نمیکنم.
Profile Image for Art.
9 reviews
December 11, 2007
I hate to say this because I love Vonnegut. Cat's Crade and Slaughterhouse were pure genuis - satire at it's best. I also liked Sirens and Breakfast of Champions even though they were not of the calibre of his best works.

However, I am starting to fear that most of his other books are a waste of time. I think people read them only because they love Vonnegut and they desperately want to experience again the simple delight of discovering books that can shake you and engulf you.

I did not enjoy Vonnegut's short stories (much as I wanted to) and I had to give up on Timequake. That's right. Put it to rest before completing it. At some point in his life, Vonnegut appears to have stumbled upon a formula; a superbly quirky and poignent style and a set of peculiar characters to go along. Miserably pathetic, gloriously mournful, wonderous people, dredging through the absurdities of life. But it is still sorely disappointing when you see the same themes and characters repeated in his other books. Thinly veiled, these books are suspiciously like rejected drafts of his more successful novels or tired attempts to re-create magic.

Something interesting I noticed in Timequake was Vonnegut's very 1950s view of women and his hand-waving simplification of their personalities and desires. This was only alluded to in his other books but starkly stated in Timequake. I don't think he intended to be chauvinistic or mean as he appears to have been a nice and sweet man in real life. But it was too late. Already jaded at this pivotal juncture in Timequake, I could now put it down with good reason. And shake my head. Oh, Kurt. Tsk tsk. Rest in peace, and thanks for the cat.
Profile Image for mohamad jelvani.
210 reviews59 followers
April 23, 2019
بر من ثابت شد که هیچ یک از نوشته های ونه گات سلاخ خانه شماره پنج نمی شود
زمان لرزه را در ادبیات پست مدرن دسته بندی کرده اند
روایت های تو در تو همراه با فاصله گذاری و دخالت دادن زندگی شخصی و ارجاعات درون متنی و برون متنی متعدد
و استفاده از زبان طنزآمیز
از ویژگی های این نوع ادبیات است
که در زمان لرزه به وفور استفاده شده
هر چند نهایتاً نفهمیدم که نویسنده چه هدفی را دنبال می کند
و چندان از داستان سر در نیاوردم
اما خواندنش لذت بخش بود
Profile Image for Moonkiszt.
2,160 reviews210 followers
May 19, 2020
I've not read a lot of Mr. Vonnegut's works. . .just those assigned in class, and I will have to read those again to remind myself of their points and purposes.

Meanwhile this one, Timequake, seems like a big wrap-up to all the things he might have wanted to say in a book but hadn't yet. I had a difficult time holding on to the thread of this tale, but every once in awhile a phrase or sentence stands alone in the body of the text and feels very amusing and out of place. Like the time you were at a funeral and saw something funny and wanted to share it with the person next to you and laugh out loud, but no. It's a funeral.

This is certainly a book that definitely left me with the feeling that I do not have as good a grip on what I think I know as much as I think I do. OR I'm brilliant to recognize the absurdity herein. Meh. Who knows?

For that level of untetheredness, I can't go beyond 3 stars, and that still is me on the fence.
Profile Image for Pooriya.
130 reviews75 followers
February 10, 2016
قدیس کسی است که در یک جامعه مبتذل، با شرافت زندگی می‌کند.‌
Profile Image for Danger.
Author 33 books657 followers
May 23, 2017
2ND READ-THROUGH: There’s a lot going on here. Ruminations on life and regret, but strangely enough, Vonnegut’s trademark “cynicism” doesn’t quite sound so cynical to me. Dare I say, there’s a lot of hope and gratitude contained in this - a book that functions like an autobiography moreso than the novel within the novel it’s (marginally) attempting to tell. Suffice it to say, NO ONE writes like this, or this well, or this deeply, in the way Vonnegut does. This book had me laughing and tearing up, in turn. Just spectacular!
Profile Image for notgettingenough .
1,034 reviews1,186 followers
January 25, 2015
Come the half way point or so in this book I was rather indignantly thinking how wrong all the harsh criticism of it is. As usual Vonnegut was making me liberally annotate as I wrote. Here: Yes! There: Haha! Somewhere else: Ting-a-ling!!! By the end, however, it was a chore. Those explanation points! Those ting-a-lings!!! I wanted to get right into the very paper of the book and kill them!!!!

Maybe it’s worth reading as a piece on how writers suffer when they can’t write – or think they can’t write, since obviously they can.

But it is worth reading for the insights into life.

They say the first thing to go when you’re old is your legs or your eyesight. It isn’t true. The first thing to go is parallel parking.

It is worth reading for his regret,

rest here: https://alittleteaalittlechat.wordpre...
Profile Image for JSou.
136 reviews214 followers
November 14, 2008
Perfect last novel from one of my very favorite authors. This is the first time I've re-read this since Vonnegut passed, which made this book even more amazing. I've been yelling, "I FRY MINE IN BUTTER!" all week now, making many people think I'm even more "special" than they had originally assumed.
Profile Image for Jim.
1,168 reviews70 followers
November 19, 2020
I wanted to give this one 3 stars, but it's Vonnegut, one of my favorite authors, so I give it 4. I cannot give it 5 stars as I would give "Slaughterhouse- Five" or "Cat's Cradle." It's not even much of a story. We have the return of science fiction schlockmeister Kilgore Trout, which is wonderful. We have the timequake occurring in the near future of when the book was published in 1997--it occurs on February 13, 2001. All it does is cause a reset back to 1991 and everyone has to live the ten-year peri0d over again. Not too bad and I could do it-- but without the repeat of the horrendous 2000 election. Anyway, this book is more autobiographical than anything as Vonnegut reflects on family and friends and relationships. And, being a Vonnegut book, there are some truly hilarious moments. And some great quotes. Here's one I picked out: “But by accident, not by cunning calculation, books, because of their weight and texture, and because of their sweetly token resistance to manipulation, involve our hands and eyes, and then our minds and souls, in a spiritual adventure I would be very sorry for my grandchildren not to know about.”
Vonnegut was born on November 11, 1922 ( on an Armistice Day- the day "the war to end all war" ended, in 1918) and died on April 11, 2007. "Timequake" is his last novel.
Profile Image for Stewart Mitchell.
489 reviews10 followers
March 17, 2015
In honor of having finally finished my favorite author's very last novel, here's a list of what I've learned from his books:

Player Piano: We should control the machines, not the other way around.

The Sirens of Titan: Life is an adventure, and it's all about being happy.

Mother Night: Little people can get sucked into big things. That doesn't make it alright.

Cat's Cradle: We're going to blow ourselves up!

God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater: Money is God to dumb people. Family is God to smart people.

Slaughterhouse Five: It's better to lose your mind than go to war.

Breakfast of Champions: The world is hilarious and unpredictable. Take a look around!

Slapstick: If we all treated each other as family, the world would be a better place.

Jailbird: The government makes no sense, and neither does anything else.

Deadeye Dick: Fate isn't always pretty.

Galapagos: We have adapted and evolved into monsters.

Bluebeard: Art is beautiful, and a great way to screw around.

Hocus Pocus: We all need to get over ourselves already!

Timequake: Humans are so special, which is why it's such a shame that we keep blowing ourselves up.


I still have a lot more Vonnegut to read, between his short stories, essays, and letters, but it's sad to know that I'm done with his novels. I never thought I'd say this, but I might just read them again someday.
Profile Image for Adam Floridia.
586 reviews30 followers
May 11, 2021
This has the distinct honor of being my favorite KV book!

On re-reading 8/18/15 in preparation for English 298: The Novels of Kurt Vonnegut (which will probably be canceled due to low enrollment):

After a decade, re-reading this same novel, as if in a timequake, I can only repeat what my thoughts were the first time I read it: Wow, this is one of the best book's I've ever read. It's one of the best examples of postmodernism. It's one of the best examples of the value of art. It's one of the most touching, beautiful, meaningful, sad, and funny pieces of literature ever.

Read it!


Now I expect 4-7 pages on one of the following topics:

1) How does this novel develop/answer/culminate a theme or style from his other book(s) we've read?

2) What does this book have to say about Art, Freewill, and The Purpose of Life?


On re-reading 5/11/21for English 298: The Novels of Kurt Vonnegut:
Still my favorite because of the voice and heart despite the biting criticisms and often cynical views of humanity because, well, I get it.
Profile Image for Gary K Bibliophile.
229 reviews56 followers
June 25, 2021
Timequake is a fun short story consisting of idiosyncratic arrangements in horizontal lines, with ink on bleached and flattened wood pulp, of twenty-six phonetic symbols, ten numbers, and about eight punctuation marks. No - I didn’t make that up… one of a number of recurring Vonnegut-isms sprinkled into the book. Where Slaughterhouse Five’s tagline was “So it Goes” in this one KV reused lots of fun little sayings including
- ‘Ting-a-Ling’,
- ‘WWII was society’s second unsuccessful attempt to commit suicide’
- ‘You don’t want to look like something the cat dragged in’
- That’s “No laughing matter”
- “I never asked to be born in the first place.”
- An oft repeated (that i will let you read for yourself) description of the miracle of birth 😜
- “You were sick, but now you are well again… and there is work to do”

But wait… are these KV? Or are they KT? Who is KT you ask? Kurt’s alter ego Kilgore Trout (aka Vincent Van Gogh). Kurt (aka Guy Fawkes… interesting story behind that) uses Kilgore as a repeat character in many of his stories…. And this is no exception as KT is of the main characters of the story.

But what IS the story? Honestly there isn’t much of a story. In the introduction to the book KV says that he started writing Timequake with the premise that the universe hiccuped and time rewound 10 years. All people and all series of events all around the world were forced to repeat those 10 years. The people caught up in the timequake retained their memories, but despite this they were unable to alter those chain of events… robbing them of any free will.

KV said he thought the story (now dubbed Timequake One) was pointless and wasn’t going anywhere so he revamped it into this story… Timequake Two. I don’t know if that’s quite how it went down, but essentially TQ2 is about 20% TQ references and the rest is autobiographical stories and anecdotes about KV. Several times I found it hard to decouple real things about KV from embellished real things about KT (still Kurt) from totally made up things from Kurt’s imagination. There were several very personal stories from Kurt about his siblings that were most definitely real… several near end of life musings about life… the universe… and all that (I know - that’s Douglas Adams - you get the idea though). Kurt passed in 2007 (11 years after this book’s release).

Despite the lack of any contiguous storyline… it read more like a short story collection… it had so many great quotes. Among which were…

“I say in speeches that a plausible mission of artists is to make people appreciate being alive at least a little bit. I am then asked if I know of any artists who pulled that off. I reply, 'The Beatles did'.”

“Why throw money at problems? That is what money is for.
Should the nation's wealth be redistributed? It has been and continues to be redistributed to a few people in a manner strikingly unhelpful.”

“I will say, too, that lovemaking, if sincere, is one of the best ideas Satan put in the apple she gave to the serpent to give to Eve. The best idea in that apple, though, is making jazz.”

“There is a planet in the Solar System where the people are so stupid they didn't catch on for a million years that there was another half to their planet." - Kilgore Trout”

“To put it another way: No matter what a young person thinks he or she is really hot stuff at doing, he or she is sooner or later going to run into somebody in the same field who will cut him or her a new asshole, so to speak.”

“I always had trouble ending short stories in ways that would satisfy a general public. In real life, as during a rerun following a timequake, people don't change, don't learn anything from their mistakes, and don't apologize. In a short story they have to do at least two out of three of those things, or you might as well throw it away in the lidless wire trash receptacle chained and padlocked to the fire hydrant in front of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.”


If the quotable quotes aren’t enough to drag you in; you get to learn a lot about Kurt. Things like… What is Kurt’s least favorite punctuation mark? (See what I did there?) You also learn other interesting stuff like… What is the white stuff in bird poop? What is a Nim-Nim? What is a BooBoo? What do Chinese Temple Bells sound like? 😜

3.5 stars really. It wasn’t quite what I expected, but it’s Vonnegut so I should have known better. If you enjoy his other stories - as I do - you will probably like this one.
Profile Image for Girish.
899 reviews218 followers
August 21, 2018
"..that all that could be learned from history was that history itself was absolutely nonsensical, so study something else, like music"

Kurt Vonnegut's one of the last books (i think), is a semi autobiographical caricature painting based on the human condition. If through a timequake, people are made to relive the last 10 years, without free will, essentially do the exact same thing again and again, will be appreciate life any better? We have Kilgore Trout and Kurt Vonnegut walk out of such a timequake which happened in 2001 along with his usual set of quirky caricature characters, Trouts short stories and inserts of the Vonnegut family.

One of the parallel tracks is appreciation of life, art and the value. The book actually became a lot more sober towards the end when the author ends up reminiscing and the fact and fiction sort of overlap. It was a lot more personal to the author and hence by extension a bit lost. However, the writing style for around 60% is the usual pseudo arbitrary intellectualism laced with wit and humor.

"I say in speeches that a plausible mission of artists is to make people appreciate being alive at least a little bit.

Based on my readings of Vonnegut books, I wondered if he was a cynic and pessimist. I have concluded he is a closet optimist, who wanted to open up the readers to see the point of being pessimistic is often comical.

"In real life, as during a rerun following a timequake, people don't change, don't learn anything from their mistakes, and don't apologise. In a short story they have to do at least two out of three of those things"

The books is partly stories of the people in his life. No life is perfect. But then every life is beautiful. And this book is just perfect the way it is without regrets.

"You were sick, but now you're well again, and there's work to do" "Ïf this isn't nice, what is?" "Ting-a-ling!"
119 reviews2 followers
April 27, 2008
At first I didn't get into this book, and I had put it down and forgotten about it. Recently I spotted it on my bookshelf and, needing something new to read when I finished my last book, I grabbed Timequake. I read it mostly on the train thinking that would force me to get over the hump I couldn't overtake a couple years ago when I first tried to read it. I was surprised this time around that I had ever put it down. It's extremely witty; full of humor and beauty and saddness, but told in a refreshing, lighthearted way.

I was waiting throughout the book for something to "happen" - I guess I was confusing it with another Vonnegut book I had started and then gave up on. But by the end of this book, I really didn't care that very little "happened". I enjoyed learning about Vonnegut's life, his family, the little anecdotes that only he could put such a witty, quirky twist on. It saddens me that this was his last book, but it makes sense. It seems that by the end he has come to terms with, well, being old, and one might even say being ready for death; because he has enojoyed life so much, and found humor and "soul" out of the happy and even the sad parts of life.

Profile Image for M.M. Strawberry Library & Reviews.
4,225 reviews344 followers
July 21, 2021
Sigh. The more I read of Vonnegut, the more I feel that he is just fucking over-rated. This is my fifth Vonnegut novel, and definitely not one of his better ones. I have yet to read Slaughterhouse 5, but I did read Mother Night which to date is the best book of his I have read (though it's not without it's issues)

A couple of years back, I bought a lot of good condition Vonnegut books off eBay, 12 or 14 books, for 75 bucks. I thought it was a good deal for an author I've heard plenty about, but after 5 books, I can't help but feel like that 75 bucks was a waste.

This novel - although I doubt it really qualifies as one, compared to a standard novel - is a rambling, meandering mess that's more about Vonnegut's own family (so this book is semi-autobiographical?) than about the timequake that this book is supposed to be about, which was why I started reading this book in the first place - I wanted to read about the fucking timequake instead of Vonnegut's half-assed rambling about his family and his Gary Stu, Kilgore Trout. Fucking waste of my time.
Profile Image for MJ Nicholls.
2,049 reviews4,118 followers
May 14, 2011
Timequake is billed as Vonnegut’s last “novel” but it’s neither his last, nor a novel. Hocus Pocus was the final novel from the Master, and A Man Without a Country his last book. This is almost entirely autobiographical, with a few digressions on the career of Kilgore Trout to keep the fictional proceedings going.

No complaints from me. Kurt is on fine form, wisecracking and wise, settling into his batty old grandfather role with ease. What is surprising about this volume is the candour he displays when talking about his own family, a matter of contention among the Vonnegut clan. But his personal life was always entwined with his writing: from way back to his early 70s novels, when he began to write personally detailed prefaces.

This book’s catchword: Ting-a-Ling!
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