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The Sirens of Titan (1959)

by Kurt Vonnegut

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
9,043103626 (4.02)1 / 152
Malachi Constant, "the richest man in America," gives up his indulgent lifestyle to follow an urgent calling to probe the depths of space. He participates in a Martian invasion of Earth, mates with the wife of an astronaut adrift on the tides of time, and follows the lure of the "Sirens of Titan."
  1. 82
    The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (mike_frank)
  2. 47
    Watchmen by Alan Moore (wvlibrarydude)
    wvlibrarydude: Is there meaning to the universe, or one big joke of coincidences.
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» See also 152 mentions

English (100)  German (1)  Swedish (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (103)
Showing 1-5 of 100 (next | show all)
Malachi Constant is told that it is inevitable that he will travel from Earth to Mars to Mercury, back to Earth and then to Titan. Despite his best efforts to avoid this prophecy it does come true.

The first chapter had some funny scenes, but although I could see that the rest of it was meant to be funny, it just didn't tickle my funny-bone. ( )
  Robertgreaves | Jan 11, 2021 |
This book is brilliant in that subtle way that great writers can expertly manage to pull off, whether they were consciously seeking to or not. It is an easy read while simultaneously grappling with concepts like free-will and the human desire to seek purpose. This book just cradles so many ideas, and does so in such a delicately interconnected way that is so impressive i think i'll read it again and again when i have the time. I'm sure that it will shed new light with each new reading.

Vonnegut's irk with organized religion is pretty apparent. He doesn't make any insult or find it irrelevant per se, but Rumfoord appears to be a caricature of the enterprising evangelist. Unk's/Rumfoord's life might almost appear to be a christ-like sacrifice, with their appearing to have no choice in changing the course of their future.

I think what strikes me most about this book is that for all its quiet and colorful abstractions through the medium of science fiction, Vonnegut manages to appeal to a very human sensibility that he recognizes and states in the book. That "it is the contrast that they love". The ending is simple. The answer to the question of the human purpose is simple. And ironically so after the massive nature of the variables included in the book, where we're dealing with unimaginably insane timelines and events. In the end, the answer brings us back from this science fiction to our very humanity and to the world that we live in. ( )
  verkur | Jan 8, 2021 |
Some nice moments, but on the whole kind of tedious -- heavier on wacky plot and machinations than I usually go for. ( )
  dllh | Jan 6, 2021 |


Not exactly sure where I should put this book but as the other books from them same author it was a pure joy to read.

Fascinating timeless story about the eternal struggle of humanity. ( )
  gullevek | Dec 15, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 100 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (20 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Vonnegut, Kurtprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Adams, MarcCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Chris MooreCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kapari, MarjattaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Koeppl, LíviaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Powers, RichardCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rowohlt, HarryÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Snyder, JayNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Teason, WilliamCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
"Every passing hour brings the Solar System forty-three thousand miles closer to Globular Cluster M13 in Hercules—and still there are some misfits who insist that there is no such thing as progress."
—Ransom K. Fern
Dedication
For Alex Vonnegut, special agent, with love
First words
Everyone now knows how to find the meaning of life within himself.

But mankind wasn’t always so lucky. Less than a century ago men and women did not have easy access to the puzzle boxes within them. 

They could not name even one of the fifty-three portals to the soul.
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Malachi Constant, "the richest man in America," gives up his indulgent lifestyle to follow an urgent calling to probe the depths of space. He participates in a Martian invasion of Earth, mates with the wife of an astronaut adrift on the tides of time, and follows the lure of the "Sirens of Titan."

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