HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Bagombo Snuff Box by Kurt Vonnegut
Loading...

Bagombo Snuff Box (1999)

by Kurt Vonnegut

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,793143,905 (3.59)9

None.

None
Loading...

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

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 9 mentions

English (13)  Dutch (1)  All (14)
Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
Pick up this collection of short stories and you'll get to travel back several decades while inside of Kurt Vonnegut's bizarre imagination. It's a long strange trip through 23 previously unpublished stories. The stories in the collection were written shortly after he left his PR job at General Electric, back in the 1950's. That was a time when the nation's magazines provided a ready market for short stories, allowing Vonnegut to begin to make a living off of his creative writing. His rich and fertile imagination gives this collection a wonderful variety. Some of the social and sexual attitudes are dated, but the prices that past for outrageously expensive in the 50's are so very comical now—just imagine $100,000 mansions and rare expensive sports cars for $5,651!

Reading Bagombo Snuff Box brought memories flooding back of studying in college and using Vonnegut to "air out my mind" between reading Hegel and Marx. While it's guaranteed that Vonnegut fans will find some new favorite stories, all readers should know that it's impossible to traverse this fertile 23-step path without appreciating this writer's mind and his humorous imagination. You owe yourself some Vonnegut.

(5/01) ( )
  jphamilton | Jul 27, 2014 |
These are Vonnegut's first published works, so obviously some of them lack a little polish. Still, many of them are recognizable as Vonnegut stories. At the end in the Afterword he has some great insight into the writing world (still true about 20 years later) and the Midwest. (Yay, Midwesterners!) ( )
  ptdilloway | Nov 21, 2013 |
Not your typical Vonnegut - but then again short stories aren't really his thing ... ( )
  beebowallace | Jun 30, 2013 |
More than just a snapshot of Vonnegut's developing skills as a writer, Bagombo Snuff Box stands as a look back into American life in the mid-twentieth century. Full of stories of marriage, relationships, and love, this book explores changing notions of gender roles and family dynamics through the words of one of the country's greatest writers. Vonnegut's signature gentle humor comes through in early every story, and each reads as a quick jaunt into an easily-resolved dilemma.

This collection is a representation of what magazine audiences at the time wanted to read, more than what Vonnegut wanted to write. It's a fascinating little cultural nugget, and it makes me wonder how popular fiction of today will hold up in fifty or sixty years. Surely, 50 Shades of Grey and Twilight will not find themselves among the pantheon of great American literature, while Vonnegut's stories have done just that. ( )
1 vote porcupineracetrack | Jul 12, 2012 |
This is a short story collection by Kurt Vonnegut. These short stories were written in a time when a writer could make a living selling short stories to commercial magazines, and these were Vonnegut's. Other writers who were cranking out short stories for a regular paycheck included William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway,and John Steinbeck, so Vonnegut was in good company in this regard.

The stories in this collection are all very entertaining and all have Vonnegut's typical sardonic wit. None of the stories really stand out as all are quite enjoyable, and Vonnegut does not have the bad habit of repeating the same themes that can lead to a short story collection becoming tedious by the end of the book. Instead, these are all very inventive, and many are quite different from each other. The only thing missing from this collection was that one great short story that the reader will remember long after finishing the book. File these under forgettably fun read. ( )
  fuzzy_patters | Jul 3, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
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
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Information from the Japanese Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (3)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0425174468, Paperback)

From out of the blue, here's a new collection of Vonnegut fiction--his first magazine stories from the 1950s in book form at last, with some charming reminiscences (and three new endings for old stories) by the author. Vonnegut says these tales were meant to be as evanescent as lightening bugs, and that image captures their frail magic. They're like time travelers from an epoch when stories swarmed in mass-market magazines, before TV dawned and doomed them.

Later greatness glimmers here: the offbeat sci-fi of "Thanasphere" (in which an astronaut encounters dead souls in space) and the hero's bogus adventures in alien lands in "Bagombo Snuff Box" look forward to Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five, as do the war stories "Souvenir," "Der Arme Dolmetscher," and "The Cruise of The Jolly Roger," which incorporate and amplify Vonnegut's actual war experiences. There's authentic midcentury news here, even in the gentle Saturday Evening Post social satire of "The No-Talent Kid," "Ambitious Sophomore," and "The Boy Who Hated Girls," which pretty much nail the high-school marching band experience. The pieces are peppered with odd, true observations and neat little turns of phrase: one incompetent kid in Lincoln High's band marches "flappingly, like a mother flamingo pretending to be injured, luring alligators from her nest."

You can't miss the ironic humor and the humane, death-haunted melancholy of the young war veteran and tyro writer. This collection beats his first novel, Player Piano, and anticipates the masterpiece Cat's Cradle, whose tiny chapters resemble short stories. Young Vonnegut is derivative, mostly of Saki and O. Henry, partly because he couldn't think of endings, and their switcheroos offered a handy model. But from the start, Vonnegut's idiosyncratic voice is unmistakable. --Tim Appelo

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:17 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Never-before-collected, vintage Vonnegut. Vonnegut said that his last book, Timequake (1997), would be his last, but no one as imaginative and in love with language and story can resist the lure of the page, and it's obvious that he had a grand time working on this collection of his vintage stories. Bagombo Snuff Box resurrects Vonnegut's earliest efforts, stories written during the fifties and sixties for such popular venues as The Saturday Evening Post and Collier's. In his engagingly autobiographical introduction, Vonnegut describes his stints as a Chicago journalist and PR man for General Electric in Schenectady, New York; his decision to supplement his income by writing; and his rapid success and evolution into a full-time writer. So, here are his literary roots, a set of stories that reflects their era's eagerness to turn the horrors of war into anecdote and to equate technology with progress. Unabashedly fablelike, they can be either sly or sweet, sentimental or vaudevillian, but all are quietly subversive. ... Rich in low-key humor and good old-fashioned morality, Vonnegut's stories are both wily and tender.… (more)

» see all 2 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
2 avail.
93 wanted
1 pay2 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.59)
0.5 1
1 5
1.5 1
2 22
2.5 5
3 105
3.5 22
4 115
4.5 6
5 50

HighBridge Audio

An edition of this book was published by HighBridge Audio.

» Publisher information page

HighBridge

An edition of this book was published by HighBridge.

» Publisher information page

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 117,061,119 books! | Top bar: Always visible