HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Player Piano by Kurt Vonnegut
Loading...

Player Piano (original 1952; edition 1980)

by Kurt Vonnegut

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,499431,065 (3.71)32
Member:mike_frank
Title:Player Piano
Authors:Kurt Vonnegut
Info:Dell (1980), Mass Market Paperback, 295 pages
Collections:Your library, Use for Recommendations
Rating:**1/2
Tags:None

Work details

Player Piano by Kurt Vonnegut (1952)

  1. 62
    Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (Anonymous user)
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 32 mentions

English (39)  French (2)  Italian (2)  All languages (43)
Showing 1-5 of 39 (next | show all)
When considering the "best" dystopian novel, a contest typically pitted between Orwell's 1984 and Huxley's Brave New World, my vote goes to Player Piano. On one hand, Orwell presents a police state that is too reminiscent of Nazi Germany to seem like a plausible future - the result of a worst case scenario, perhaps, but not a viable everyday situation. Huxley presents a much more compelling dystopian society where free will has been sacrificed for a vapid psuedo happiness, an increasingly realistic situation in today's technological world, but the comparative relate-ability of Huxleyan society in juxtaposition with the Christlike savage diminishes the novel's overall effect. Vonnegut's Player Piano, on the other hand, tells the story of a mechanical society in which humanity has become secondary to progress. It has enough of the fear that Orwell evokes in order to seem threatening and enough of Huxley's plausibility to drive the fear home. Every character in Player Piano is relate-able in his or her own way. We can see ourselves on both sides of the river, which makes the dystopia seem all the more real. Early Vonnegut, but I'm impressed! ( )
  juliecarlsen | Apr 17, 2014 |
This book took me a while to get into. I do like that Vonnegut never follows a traditional storyline, you never know what to expect. That being said, I have a hard time getting through his longer works. I really liked Welcome to the Monkey House, his short story collection. I might try and read more of those. ( )
  ariahfine | Jan 21, 2014 |
A very compelling read. Both sides of this conflict between "man" and "machine" are granted time represented in prose, situation, and character. I know many people consider this novel to be about dystopia resulting from the rise of machines (and that may have been the intent) but I think it is much more complicated than that. This book gives someone a lot to ponder beyond the advertised conflict; the mark of a good piece of fiction. ( )
  shawse | Dec 25, 2013 |
2.5/5

Trovo che Vonnegutt abbia scritto dei romanzi fantastici, questo suo primo lavoro, però, non raggiunge le vette toccate da Cat's Cradle etc..
L'idea: in una America del dopo guerra la società è retta dagli ingegneri che, ideando macchine di ogni genere, hanno reso facile la vita dell'uomo medio. Talmente facile che l'uomo medio non fa nulla, ci pensano le macchine. Vonnegut affronta l'aspetto sociologico di questo possibile futuro seguendo diverse figure: quella ricorrente di Paul, ingegnere senza attaccamento per il proprio lavoro, e altre, alcune sovversive, altre conservative.
L'idea è buona, però rispetto a altri romanzi dello scrittore la narrazione è sotto tono: manca l'enfatizzazione delle assurdità umane.

---
I think that Vonnegut wrote amazing novels, however this one is not good as Cat's Cradle etc..
The idea is that in a post-war America society is ruled by engineers who, creating every kind of machines, allowed an easy life to the whole population. In fact people do nothing at all since the machines provide to every need. Vonnegut analyses the sociologic point of view of this setting following various characters: Paul, an engineer who does not love his work anymore, and others, some subversive, some conservative.
The idea is good, but the narration could be much better: it lacks the emphasis on human absurd behavior.
( )
  Saretta.L | Mar 31, 2013 |
Player Piano was Vonnegut's first novel, and while many of the themes that populate his work are present here the execution is lacking. Actually, less "lacking" and more "nonexistent." Probably the greatest problem with the work is that it is dystopian fiction, but the dystopia presented is not so much terrifying or brutal as boring and soul-sucking, populated with characters that are superficial and uninteresting. Well, it is hard to write an interesting plot about such an uninteresting society. Even in his greatest works, Vonnegut was never spectacular with characterization, relying instead on fantastical places and plot points. Lacking the fantastical, Player Piano just spins its wheels in place for pages and pages, with little action and nothing but the bland ruminations of Dr. Paul Proteus to attempt to entertain us. There are some amusing aside chapters about the tour of one Shah of Bratpuhr through the dystopian United States, but they don't have much to do with anything and end up repeating themselves before long. In the last 60 or so pages, Vonnegut attempts to pull together something resembling a plot, but it is far too late and everything comes together far too fast to seem plausible, and even then it ends not with bang but a whimper. I can only recommend Player Piano to the Vonnegut fan who must read everything. Everyone else should probably stay away. ( )
  AGuyNamedCarl | Mar 30, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 39 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (18 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kurt Vonnegutprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bacon, C.W.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Binger, CharlesCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Briemen, Reindert vanCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Charles, MiltonCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Information from the French Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to the English one.
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
FOR JANE - GOD BLESS HER
First words
ILIUM, New York, is divided into three parts.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Haiku summary

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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:53:19 -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 2 descriptions

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.71)
0.5 2
1 9
1.5 12
2 47
2.5 20
3 241
3.5 62
4 348
4.5 42
5 167

Audible.com

Three editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 89,599,494 books! | Top bar: Always visible