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Timequake by Kurt Vonnegut

Timequake (1997)

by Kurt Vonnegut, Kurt Vonnegut

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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4,307381,146 (3.54)95
  1. 10
    A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr. (danconsiglio)
    danconsiglio: For people who like their books to hurt like f**king hell.

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English (36)  Portuguese (1)  Italian (1)  All (38)
Showing 1-5 of 36 (next | show all)
This is Mr. Vonnegut's last book - half science fiction, half biography, done in a way that only Vonnegut can do. First - it shouldn't work. But it does. With short, pragmatic paragraphs, that get straight to the point - its an easy read with deep undertones. ( )
  TheDivineOomba | Apr 9, 2017 |
This isn't a typical novel, but then Vonnegut wasn't a typical novelist. I've only read a handful of his books, but many don't have much of a plot, and the author himself is frequently a character. And he was ... a character, that is. I didn't know him, of course, but from his writing I sense a man of strong opinion and deep dismay about what people sometimes do. War was one of the big ones because he'd served in a big one. He had first hand knowledge of what they were like. Promoted as necessary, honorable, and glorious by those who start them, they were (and continue to be) just premeditated ways of spreading death, destruction, and misery. He was, perhaps, more of a disillusioned idealist than a cynic.

If you approach Timequake as a typical novel, you'll probably be dissatisfied. It's primarily an autobiography liberally splashed with history and personal commentary loosely tied together with illustrative fictional anecdotes. But it is entertaining. It is informative. It may not be a great novel, but it is a good book. ( )
  DLMorrese | Oct 14, 2016 |
TimeQuake seems like Kurt Vonnegut's farewell to his readers. It is not a proper novel at all, but a mish-mash of an idea for a novel, various short stories by his alter-ego, Kilgore Trout, and recollections of Vonnegut's extended family. I listened to the audio version of this book on a long car trip, which was perfect, because there was no long plot to get lost in, merely a series of amusing anecdotes. ( )
  memccauley6 | May 3, 2016 |
Not really up to standard. ( )
  ndpmcIntosh | Mar 21, 2016 |
Really not sure what to make of this book!

The blurb on the back says:

"Timequake explores what happens to Vonnegut when, in 2001, a 'timequake' hits. The universe has a decade of self-doubt, shrinking back to 1991 and forcing everybody to relive the last 10 years of their lives exactly as they had before, but without free will. The same mistakes. The same corny jokes. The same doses of clap."

Now, I don't know what you think that's going to be, but I certainly wasn't expecting the wierd and wonderful mix of fiction, autobiography, musings and history that I found. Based very losely around the 'timequake', Vonnegut explores the ideas around losing free-will for 10 years and then suddenly finding yourself 'free' again. Would you cope? What would you do? When Free Will kicks back in, would you notice or would you sit back and expect it all to happen again? Using his alter-ego, fictional author Kilgore Trout, as well as his own personal experiences and those of other fictional and real people he covers a wide range of thoughts and situations.

I found this an eclectic read, but not a book that I could sit and read for any length of time. Each chapter is only 2 or 3 pages and then we jump, like a butterfly, to the next chapter and next set of, not necessarily related, musings.

I was told Vonnegut was one of 'the authors to read' and I still believe that - just don't do what I did and start with this book. I don't know if he wrote any more after it, but he certainly wrote it expecting it to be his last. Read an earlier once first! ( )
  Cassandra2020 | Jan 24, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 36 (next | show all)
Anyway, we should salute Vonnegut for giving us this, even if, as he suggests, he just tossed it off. It's not just his will that's free, but his mind. Timequake, both all over the place and perfectly fixed at the same time, is a sure-footed exemplar of the dictum that appears on page 191: 'Listen: We are here on Earth to fart around. Don't let anybody tell you any different!'
added by andyl | editThe Guardian, Nicholas Lezard (Jul 25, 1998)

» Add other authors (12 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kurt Vonnegutprimary authorall editionscalculated
Vonnegut, Kurtmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Bacon,PaulCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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In memory of Seymour Lawrence,

a romantic and great publisher

of curious tales told with ink

on bleached and flattened wood pulp
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Ernest Hemingway in 1952 published in Life magazine a long short story called The Old Man and the Sea.
"You were sick, but now you're well again and there's work to do."

"Get a grip on your self, you brainless nervous breakdown."

"Every effort shall be made to make every person feel that he or she will be sorely missed when he or she is gone."

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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0425164349, Paperback)

Think of Timequake, Kurt Vonnegut's 19th and last novel (or so he says), as a victory lap. It's a confident final trot 'round the track by one of the greats of postwar American literature. After 40 years of practice, Vonnegut's got his schtick down cold, and it's a pleasure--if a slightly tame one--to watch him go through his paces one more time.

Timequake's a mongrel; it is half novel, half memoir, the project of a decade's worth of writer's block, a book "that didn't want to be written." The premise is standard-issue Vonnegut: "...a timequake, a sudden glitch in the space-time continuum, made everybody and everything do exactly what they'd done during past decades, for good or ill, a second time..." Simultaneously, the author's favorite tricks are on display--frequent visits with the shopworn science fiction writer Kilgore Trout, a Hitchcockian appearance by the author at the book's end, and frequent authorial opining on love, war, and society.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:05:03 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

There's been a timequake. And everyone-even you-must live the decade between February 17, 1991 and February 17, 2001 over again. The trick is that we all have to do exactly the same things as we did the first time-minute by minute, hour by hour, year by year, betting on the wrong horse again, marrying the wrong person again. Why? You'll have to ask the old science fiction writer, Kilgore Trout. This was all his idea.… (more)

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