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Hocus pocus by Kurt Vonnegut

Hocus pocus (original 1990; edition 1990)

by Kurt Vonnegut

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Title:Hocus pocus
Authors:Kurt Vonnegut
Info:New York : Putnam's, c1990.
Collections:Your library

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Hocus Pocus by Kurt Vonnegut (1990)

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A Vietnam vet writes an odd, disjointed memoir. As in other Vonnegut novels, the story jumps around in time, focused on one slightly anti-establishment man in his later years who observes the world around him with a slightly alien gaze. I wasn’t too impressed with this one; there’s no plot, of course, and I didn’t like the main character or want to read about him. ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
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.
Written from snippets, caught communications on cards, pieces of re-purposed paper. And filled with wisdom and a "story". Like the Quran.
The author says "profanity and obscenity entitle people who don't want unpleasant information to close their ears and eyes to you." [4]
And "Why argue somebody else out of the expectation of some sort of Afterlife?" Really, why? Has anyone's expectation of eternity caused any actual harm to other than them? The book is a wonderful explanation of how an ordinary man, only slightly well-graced and achieved, managed to become powerless and despised. ( )
  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 |
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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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