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Hocus Pocus by Kurt Vonnegut

Hocus Pocus (original 1990; edition 1991)

by Kurt Vonnegut

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3,942241,303 (3.68)30
Title:Hocus Pocus
Authors:Kurt Vonnegut
Info:Berkley (1991), Paperback
Collections:Your library

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Hocus Pocus by Kurt Vonnegut (1990)



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One of KV's last novels, but still on his game. Amazing, 40 years of writing, and the brilliant imagination was still there. Japanese corporations running overcrowded prisons, etc... "Just because some of us can read and write and do a little math, that doesn't mean we deserve to conquer the universe." ( )
  BooksForDinner | Jan 21, 2016 |
"Thank you for sharing that with me" -- reply to the Hiroshi, the warden of the private prison, who wanted his neighbor to know that he survived Hiroshima. He got out of a ditch and nobody was alive but him. [320]. And of course, there was the showing of the Rape of Nanking films to the inmates. A fascinating dystopia of many-layered realities. ( )
  keylawk | Jan 20, 2015 |
Not one of his better efforts. The more things change, the more they stay the same? What was the point? I really wasn't sure. The perpetual motion of a world feeding on its own inadequacies and eccentricities, perhaps? And I, unlike the protagonist's friend from Vietnam, did not have to laugh like hell. ( )
  AliceAnna | Oct 20, 2014 |
For the most part this feels like Vonnegut took a bunch of parts from other books and spliced them together into a new book. The jailhouse narrative from Jailbird, the slow apocalypse of Cat's Cradle, the soldier recovering from war like Slaughterhouse-V, and so forth. That doesn't mean this is bad, just that it seems like it's covering a lot of familiar territory. But while it came out about 20 years ago it's talk of corporate greed remains just as relevant. And if you change most of the mentions of Japan to China it would largely reflect our current world.

That is all. ( )
  ptdilloway | Nov 21, 2013 |
I've never read Vonnegut before. This was a sharp, biting satire against most of society. The author had served in Vietnam, and I think that it was his experience there that came through clearly in his writing and made the satire seem almost too bitter to me. (Though, God knows, I'd be bitter, too!).

Still, it was an interesting read, and I would definitely try his work again. It was an extremely clever book which lived up to its title. At the end, I had the feeling that the author was playing a great joke on his readers, which I'm sure was intentional and brilliant. ( )
  bookwoman247 | Nov 17, 2013 |
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My name is Eugene Debs Hartke, and I was born in 1940.
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Tarkington College, a small, exclusive college in upstate New York, is turned upside down when ten thousand prisoners from the maximum security prison across Lake Mohiga break out and head for the college.

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