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Player Piano by Kurt Vonnegut
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Player Piano (original 1952; edition 1999)

by Kurt Vonnegut

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5,385561,218 (3.74)52
Member:caitiem
Title:Player Piano
Authors:Kurt Vonnegut
Info:The Dial Press (1999), Paperback, 352 pages
Collections:Your library
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Player Piano by Kurt Vonnegut (1952)

  1. 62
    Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (Anonymous user)
  2. 00
    R.U.R. by Karel Čapek (CGlanovsky)
    CGlanovsky: Exploring societal implications of replacing humans with artificial labor.
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» See also 52 mentions

English (52)  French (2)  Italian (2)  All languages (56)
Showing 1-5 of 52 (next | show all)
my favorite Vonnegut so far during my 2016 campaign season blitz ( )
  nkmunn | Nov 17, 2018 |
Have decided to reread all Vonnegut books in the order of publication. I still love this book. I was amazed at how relevant it still is. Haven't read it since which school and I am sure I got a lot more out of it now. ( )
  CSDaley | Mar 28, 2018 |
Plot:
After World War III, the world has begun to rely more and more on machines and automation. This has led to a divided society: most people don't have to work and spend their lives with having pretty much all decisions made for them, while the small elite are managers and oversee the machines. Paul belongs to the latter group, but isn't entirely satisfied by state of things. That feeling is exacerbated when he is visited by his old friend Ed who takes him into the part of town where the masses live. They stumble on a resistance movement and find themselves thinking critically about the way things are for the first time of their lives.

Player Piano feels outdated in some ways, but other ways are still pretty current. Not bad for a novel that's 65 years old, but it won't become a favorite of mine regardless.

Read more on my blog: http://kalafudra.com/2017/07/09/player-piano-kurt-vonnegut/ ( )
  kalafudra | Jan 6, 2018 |
The race to produce weaponry during WWIII pushed humans out of the manufacturing field - they're too inefficient and unreliable. Machines left engineers the elite of society relegating/separating the rest of the population to mere existence in little boxes, all the same with IQ absolutely determining one's fate.

"What have you got against machines?"

"They're slaves."

"Well, what the heck - I mean, they aren't people. They don't suffer. They don't mind working."

"No. But they compete with people."

"That's a pretty good thing, isn't it - considering what a sloppy job most people do of anything?"

"Anybody that competes with slaves becomes a slave."

A promising engineer begins to question the morality of life subservient to the efficiency of programmed machines (the segregation of society into useful and dependents) and ponders pursuing an alternate life trajectory.

"It was an appalling thought, to be so well-integrated into the machinery of society and history as to be able to move in only one plane, and along one line."

Written in 1952, it seems Vonnegut will always be relevant:

"He stared at the President and imagined with horror what the country must have been like when, as today, any damn fool little American boy might grow up to be President, but when the President had had to actually run the country!"

Plus, igniting or enhancing daily questioning of the absurdity of society. ( )
1 vote dandelionroots | Apr 1, 2017 |
Hoo. Ending surprised me, but maybe I'm easily surprised. ( )
  Jon_Hansen | Mar 27, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 52 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (18 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kurt Vonnegutprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bacon, C.W.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Binger, CharlesCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Briemen, Reindert vanCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Charles, MiltonCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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FOR JANE - GOD BLESS HER
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This silly playlet seemed to satisfy them completely as a picture of what they were doing, why they were doing it, and who was against them, and why some people were against them. It was a beautifully simple picture these procession leaders had. It was a though a navigator, in order to free his mind of worries, had erased all the reefs from the maps.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0440170370, Mass Market Paperback)

Vonnegut's 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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:24 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

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 super computer and run completely by machines. His rebellion is a wildly funny, darkly satirical look at modern society.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

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