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Wampeters, Foma & Granfalloons by Kurt…
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Wampeters, Foma & Granfalloons (1975)

by Kurt Vonnegut

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This book was interesting, in that it was a collection of opinions from one of my favorite writers. However, it was also really uninteresting due to the fact that it was mostly nonfiction, and didn't have as much of Vonnegut's signature wit and randomness. Reading some of his opinions before reading his next book was a fun experience, however, in that I got to see the ideas develop from a mental fetus to a full born novel.

All in all, this is better than Armageddon in retrospect, because the author was alive to have input.

Read it if you've read everything else and are sad there's nothing left. ( )
  wombatdeamor | Jun 30, 2009 |
In an interview with Playboy that appears at the end of this book, Vonnegut claims that he's "so unlike my books or my reputation." He also claims, earlier in the same interview, "You understand, of course, that everything I say is horseshit."

The interesting thing is that this book creates such a clear picture of Vonnegut as an artist, a thinker, and a person, and that it does so in a manner that is so consistent with his fiction that the contradiction above must be somewhere between a joke and a non sequitur. The many short missives, essays, and speeches reprinted here, which take up the first 235 pages, are wonderful pieces of the mind of Vonnegut, though they tend to run together if you read them in any sort of rhythm.

That all changes with the last 52 pages, a lengthy interview with Playboy that answers nearly every question you might have about the man at that time. His thoughts on fame, writing, depression, lonesomeness, politics, and the state of America are not too far off from the way things work today, and his prescience in seeing those issues (even if they have not yet been resolved) is incredible.

Not every piece in this text is a winner, but the closing interview is among the most introspective work Vonnegut has done and alone makes this book worth the read.
3 vote dczapka | Apr 1, 2008 |
Although the contributions are somewhat uneven, this is a better collection that Fates Worse Than Death. A somewhat uncritical essay on Madame Blavatsky. A good essay on the over valuation of Hermann Hesse. A moving essay on the Biafran war; it makes me want to learn more about that conflict and the people who tried to make a nation. ( )
  Darrol | Aug 23, 2007 |
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For Jill Who Cronkled Me
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Dear Reader: The tile of this book is composed of three words from my novel Cat's Cradle. (Preface)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385333811, Paperback)

Wampeters, Foma & Granfalloons (Opinions) is a rare opportunity to experience Kurt Vonnegut speaking in his own voice about his own life, his views of the world, his writing, and the writing of others. An indignant, outrageous, witty, deeply felt collection of reviews, essays, and speeches, this is a window not only into Vonnegut’s mind but also into his heart.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:38:48 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Wampeters, Foma & Granfalloons (Opinions) is a rare opportunity to experience Kurt Vonnegut speaking in his own voice about his own life, his views of the world, his writing, and the writing of others.

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