- Taschenbuch: 336 Seiten
- Verlag: Dial Press Trade Paperback; Auflage: Reissue (8. September 1998)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0385333498
- ISBN-13: 978-0385333498
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 13,4 x 1,8 x 20,3 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 42 Kundenrezensionen
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 180.756 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
The Sirens of Titan: A Novel (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 8. September 1998
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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 -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.
“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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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.
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.
About the sci-fi: there are trips to Mercury, Mars, and Titan (one of Saturn's moons). There are plans of an interstellar attack, all run by one man, leading a totalitarian society on Mars by controlling the people who live there with pain-creating antennas implanted in everyone's head. There is time travel, to a certain extent. There are almost-human robots. And this (as mentioned by other critics) is one of the reasons I think this book hasn't been appreciated to its full value. People make a relation between 'extreme sci-fi' and 'lame'. I have made this relation before; this book forced me to bite my tongue. The sci-fi feel of this book only makes it more interesting, in the sense that more becomes possible, and the meaning of life - which is developed often in this book - can be spoken of by many different points of view.
Now, about the criticism of humanity: even though Vonnegut is well-known for his criticism and mockery of the human race, NEVER - in any other book - has it been so direct or cruelly honest. You can't help but appreciate the wryness with which he says everything he has to say about us. The banality for reason and meaning of human life in this book is, ironically, depicted in a hiralious and inventive fashion.
This book demonstrates - as much as, and maybe more than, his other books - that Vonnegut is the cleverest, most perceptive author out there.
Kudos, Kurt, on a book that will never be read for the last time.
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