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The Sirens of Titan (S.F. Masterworks) (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 9. September 1999

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Mehr über den Autor

Kurt Vonnegut wurde 1922 in Indianapolis geboren. Er studierte an den Universitäten von Chicago und Tennessee und begann dann, für verschiedene Zeitschriften Kurzgeschichten zu schreiben. Seinen ersten Roman, Player Piano (Das höllische System), veröffentlichte er 1952. Es folgten viele weitere Romane, u.a. The Sirens of Titan (1959) (Die Sirenen des Titan), Mother Night (1961) (Mutter Nacht), Cat's Cradle (1963) (Katzenwiege), God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater (1964) (Gott segne Sie, Mr. Rosewater), Welcome to the Monkey House (1968) (Geh zurück zu deiner lieben Frau), eine Sammlung von Kurzgeschichten, sowie Breakfast of Champions (1973) (Frühstück für Helden), Slapstick, or Lonesome No More (1976) (Slapstick), Jailbird (1979) (Galgenvogel), Deadeye Dick (1982) (Zielwasser), Galapagos (1985) (Galapagos), Bluebeard (1987) (Blaubart) und Hocus Pocus (1990) (Hokus Pokus oder wohin so eilig?). Während des Zweiten Weltkriegs geriet Vonnegut in deutsche Kriegsgefangenschaft und wurde Zeuge der Luftangriffe auf Dresden, eine Erfahrung, die er in seinem berühmtesten Werk, Slaughterhouse Five or The Children's Crusade(1969) (Schlachthof 5 oder der Kinderkreuzzug), verarbeitete. Außerdem veröffentlichte er einen Band mit Reden und Reportagen, Palm Sunday (1981) (Das Nudelwerk), sowie die autobiographische Collage Fates Worse than Death (1991) (Dann lieber gleich tot).



Kurt Vonnegut's second SF novel was published way back in 1959 but remains horribly timeless. For all the book's wild inventiveness, it's one of the most blackly nihilistic comedies ever published in the genre. The tragicomic godgame is presided over by Winston Niles Rumfoord, who has accidentally become a standing wave in space/time and knows the past and the future. Since the future is fixed, he can't change it even though it involves him arranging nasty fates for many people--in particular Malachi Constant, richest man in the world since his father's career of interpreting the Bible as a coded guide to the stockmarket. Despite his struggles, Constant is destined for a grimly comic pilgrimage around the Solar System to Titan, home since 203,117 BC of the visiting alien Salo whose presence has warped the whole of human history. Salo's far-off people manipulated us into building Stonehenge, the Great Wall of China and other vast constructions as reassuring signals to their stranded emissary--who himself is carrying a message of truly cosmic unimportance. Small wonder that Rumfoord tries to cheer up humanity by founding the Church of God the Utterly Indifferent. Vonnegut scatters crazed ideas in all directions, forcing you into painful laughter at the grandiose futility of his cosmos. Another worthy Millennium SF Masterworks classic. --David Langford


“Vonnegut is George Orwell, Dr. Caligari and Flash Gordon compounded into one writer . . . a zany but moral mad scientist.”—Time

“Reading Vonnegut is addictive!”—Commonweal

“His best book . . . He dares not only ask the ultimate question about the meaning of life, but to answer it.”—Esquire
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One wouldn't say Kurt Vonnegut is an easy writer. Yet witty, sarcastic, endearing and painfully truthful in all which deals with human nature and contemporary society - with his seriousness hidden behind the bravade of the sci-fi facade.
Out of his many creations "the Sirens" is especially remarkable. The plot is vivid, there are several different story lines, all tied up in one knot later: a rich eccentric American gets lost in space with his pet dog and is turned into a wave; a handsome guy whose father made fortune in business guided by only one book - Bible - thinks somebody above likes him and has all luck in the world, and then he travels to Mars and back to Earth and finally, to Titan; societies overtake one another, personal dramas are interwined with historical processes. All thrilling, brilliant, witty! You laugh even if you don't want to and remain pondering the sad sides of the mankind.
Everything is taking place in the far future, but this book does not only reflect the realities of the 60-es when it was actually written, but in fact remains as up-to-date as one could possibly imagine. His ruthless critic of the American values and American way of making history shows solely that Vonnegut dares to use his contemporary realities to show us all that some basic things about a human being are always true; and that the future is in our own hands.
He does not provide a clue or a solution, neither he proposes the way out of crisis. He subtly suggests everyone should think with his own head and leaves all questions open. This is the most amazing things about this brilliant book and this is what leaves a swarm of thoghts and a feeling of intellectual satisfaction for a long time after. It is almost a decided fact that once you read it, you would want to come back and read it again.
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When people hear the name Kurt Vonnegut, they think of Slaughterhouse 5, or Cat's Cradle, or perhaps even that his books are often burned in high schools around the country for their dim look at human existence. Not to, in any way, down play the importance or greatness of his more famous works, as I love them all, but I must say that Sirens of Titan is superior to his other works. For some reason, perhaps the science fiction aspects of the novel, this book has not received its deserved recognition. I read approximately the first fifty pages thinking that this book would be about the same as his other novels. I almost put it away to start a different one. Thankfully, I pressed on. Literally, a few pages later, I was entranced by the language, the structure, the revealed surprises, and the humanity of The Sirens of Titan. Every time you think he has revealed the best secret of the book, another one reveals itself. This story is wonderfully intertwined between a set of characters, and the meaning of life. I have since read this book three more times, enjoying it more each time through. If you only read another book in your entire life, please let it be this one. Open your heart and your mind, and let Vonnegut pour into them his wisdom and hope for a better tomorrow.
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To all those Douglas Adams fans still hitch-hiking through galaxy: There was someone who wrote about all this years and years before!!!
Unfortunately the book is not currently edited in my f... country. They don't know what they miss! Found it more or less by chance in GB last year. All I can say: it is one of the best and exciting novels that I have read so far.
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"Sirens of Titan," by Kurt Vonnegut, is about a man and his life in the future. Malachi Constant is one of the richest men in the world. He is invited to see the materialization of William Niles Rumford and his dog Kazak. This man and his dog flew a space ship into a chrono-synclastic infundibula, scattering him throughout the galaxy. Rumford tells Constant of his future. Constant, not wanting to believe that he has a set future, does everything he can to make it not come true. Despite his efforts he soon finds himself living it out: first by being a part of the Martian army, then by going to Mercury, then coming back to Earth, finally ending on a moon of Saturn called Titan.
"Sirens of Titan's" theme would be that it doesn't matter how much one tries to escape it, there is a set plan for his or her life. Malachi Constant tries as hard as he can to escape his future given to him by William Niles Rumford. In every scene that occurs in the book we see Rumford's prophecy come true. Despite all that Constant does he still ends up doing the exact things that Rumford told him he was going to do. There is also something else in the book that is very significant. We find out that the setting for our whole existence is based around getting massages to an alien which is waiting on Titan for a replacement part for his space ship. Here Vonnegut is trying to say that maybe there is some purpose to life, but when we find out what it is we are not necessarily going to be happy with it.
This is a very great book for someone who likes science fiction. However even people who don't care for science fiction can be greatly pleased by the story line. I would recommend that this be one of those books you just have to read in your lifetime. I also want to say that if you like this book you should read Slaughterhouse Five also by Kurt Vonnegut.
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