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Slapstick, or, Lonesome No More! (1976)

by Kurt Vonnegut

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,178392,150 (3.76)27
This hilarious, wickedly irreverent farce presents an apocalyptic vision seen through the eyes of the current King of Manhattan (and last President of the United States).
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» See also 27 mentions

English (38)  Dutch (1)  All languages (39)
Showing 1-5 of 38 (next | show all)
Absurd and insightful. One of the odder Vonnegut books, no real plot, lots of interesting thoughts.
Hi ho. ( )
  mjhunt | Jan 22, 2021 |
Surreal, even for a Vonnegut book. Not quite as good as his classics, but still a very good book -- mostly downvoting a star because the ending seemed unfinished and the core message wasn't as well defined (anti-authoritarianism/totalitarianism? Absurdity of government and society?). ( )
  octal | Jan 1, 2021 |
I can only imagine that this was published because of Vonnegut's name recognition. The publishers probably figured that people would buy the book expecting something sardonic and meaningful. This is just ridiculous.
I can imagine a reader from 1976... a post- Watergate intellectual.. raising an eyebrow then catching himself saying... "Oh yes... this isn't stupidity it's Vonnegut.. its witty and sardonic and a critique of our government."
Not all thoughts that an author has should be circulated.
Case in point. ( )
  Chrissylou62 | Aug 1, 2020 |
Hi ho ( )
  arewenotben | Jul 31, 2020 |
I understand the intention, however going off into la-la land doesn't work well for me in terms of personal history. I realize it can be painful to write about the real thing, but this doesn't work for me. ( )
  billycongo | Jul 22, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 38 (next | show all)
A brief outline of this lesser-known novel’s plot will help the listener better understand the interview. Even as children, protagonist Wilbur Swain and his twin Eliza are monstrous in appearance: freakishly tall, awkward, sporting six fingers on each hand, possessed of “Neanderthal features.” Their distressed parents at first consider them of subnormal intelligence, and remain ashamed of them even after the twins reveal their precocious theories about gravity, evolution, and extended families. The parents soon take the advice of an obviously twisted child psychologist and separate the twins. They are of course bereft without each other, but get back together as adults to publish a book on good child rearing. (Vonnegut reveals to Miller that his model for Wilbur Swain was Vonnegut’s friend Dr. Benjamin Spock, of baby-book fame.) Long into the future in a decaying U.S.A., Wilbur runs for president under the slogan “Lonesome no more.” He wins and takes office, but his creation of artificial extended families for every American can’t stop the demise of a society under a twin assault by microscopic Chinese, who have found a way to shrink themselves so they can invisibly invade the U.S. , and by microscopic invading Martians who, when inhaled by humans, give us a disease called the “Green Death.”
added by elenchus | editWNYC, William Rodney Allen (Dec 12, 2013)
 
Whatever it is, one is left feeling empty by "Slapstick," Emptiness, conveyed with grace and style, still amounts to almost nothing. That is why, for all the new chic skill Mr. Vonnegut has brought to his latest novel, it still seems as if he has given up storytelling after all.
 
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"Call me but love, and I'll be new baptiz'd ..."
– Romeo
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Dedicated to the memory of Arthur Stanley Jefferson and Norvell Hardy, two angels of my time.
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This is the closest I will ever come to writing an autobiography.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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This hilarious, wickedly irreverent farce presents an apocalyptic vision seen through the eyes of the current King of Manhattan (and last President of the United States).

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Average: (3.76)
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