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am 22. Dezember 2013
In diesem Buch geht es um Krieg und Moral. Typisch Vonnegut erzählt er die Geschichte in einem unvergleichlichen Stil. Unverblümt und direkt, mit Zeitsprüngen und bissigem Humor.

Die Story an sich steht dabei eher im Hintergrund. In diesem Punkt fand ich Bluebeard zum Beispiel interessanter. Aber Vonneguts Bücher faszinieren in erster Linie mit Sprache. Es macht einfach Spaß, sie zu lesen. Und hier trumpft Hocus Pocus auf. Genial. Ich konnte mich nicht mehr von diesem Buch losreißen.

Ich würde dem, der Kurt Vonnegut noch überhaupt nicht kennt, vielleicht empfehlen, mit Bluebeard oder Slaughterhouse-Five zu beginnen, da hier die Storys mehr im Vordergrund stehen. Doch ich möchte keinem Angst machen vor Hocus Pocus. Wer sich darauf einlassen möchte, der dürfte nicht enttäuscht werden!
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am 9. Mai 2000
This time out, Vonnegut imagines a near future where prisons are outsourced to the Japanese. He addresses the hypothetical question, "What is the difference between schools and prisons?", and doesn't seem to find much fundamental difference - both being represive institutions that are subject to the whim of the moneyed classes. The humor and delightful Vonnegut quips are all here. His eye for detail has never been better and his use of deadpan delivery of skewering observations is right on. BUT, this is essentially the same kind of stuff that he has been serving up for decades. To those who are coming to his work fresh this must be an eye opener, but I suspect to a lot of veteran Vonnegut readers it will just seem like more of the same. I can't really complain because I like his style, agree with much of his world view, appreciate his dark humor and keep coming back for more. But I keep hoping for something that has the lyrical freshness I found in Slaughterhouse Five or the fierce apocalyptic fun that was Cat's Cradle. Maybe Vonnegut has just spoiled us and we want him to top his past success. I'll keep hoping he can.
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am 21. November 1999
In one of the finest books of the 1990's, Kurt Vonnegut shows that he has lost none of his wit and taste for satire. Very thought provoking with many themes that he uses in his work (insanity, horrors of war, stupidity of humanity). An important book into understanding the human condition and at the same time Vonnegut's style is uncluttered and easy to read. Direct and to the point, Mr. Vonnegut hits his target precisely. Marvelous.
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am 29. April 2000
"HOCUS POCUS," is one of the best pure fiction books I've read in a while. Because the method that Kurt Vonnegut uses to encompass humor with fiction created a hilarious story of a man named Eugene Debs Hartke, a jazz player with the huge desire of becoming one of the best musicians ever accompanied by his band "The Soul Merchants." But never makes it thanks to his dad, a chemical engineer, who "needed something to boast and impress the simple minded neighbors." So Eugene got enrolled in the military and when he returns he comes with the nickname of the "Preacher" because he never swore or masturbated. He also found a job at Scipio's high school as a teacher, yet it didn't last for he got fired and as he was dying of tuberculosis he wrote 2 lists; one with all the names of all the women he had sex with and the second one with all the names of all the people he had hurt. I highly suggest this book to everyone because besides being funny, sad, and interesting it portrays how many of us got screwed by our parents decision.
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am 18. Juli 1998
The reviewers of ALL modern satire on these Amazon pages (Pynchon, Vonnegut, Robbins, etc.) just aren't able to "put it together." Every single writer of this vein is drawing inspiration from the same well. No one seems interested in going down to the well, so I will.
In Hocus Pocus, Vonnegut constructs the image of the disgruntled professor who produces a work of art entitled "The Complicated Futility of Ignorance." This pessimistic display upsets the optimistic outlook of the average American who examines it. Naturally. What do we make of this?
Vonnegut is trying to poke fun at the READER. That is what every single one of the modern satirists is doing, folks. They provide good mental candy that stimultes a quick rush, and then they are disposed. Seeing as the relationship between author and reader is akin to the "one-night stand," the author has decided he is going to have the upper hand in the relationship.
The second la! w of thermodynamics is REAL. Entropy is a REAL principle. Every cotton-picking thing is going to fall apart and lead to ultimate catastrophe regardless of whether men and women think this is wrong. It just doesn't matter what we think. This is an established FACT. In the light of this inevitability, the modern satirist, such as Vonnegut in this work, pokes fun at the ignorant dupe who is busy reading pulp literature when the Apocalypse is a verifiable reality. "Hocus Pocus," the joke's on you. The end IS going to happen. "And castles made of sand, fall in the sea, eventually......" Get it? I hope someone does.
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am 16. Januar 2000
It's hard to imagine a worse guess of what the year 2001 might look like in the U.S. The dark future themes are timeless - capitalists greedily sucking the life out of the country, foreign invasion through privatization, pollution out of control. If this book was written today and set 10 more years in the future, the predictions would look just as appealing to the same sort of people and just as Chicken-Little-ish to the doubters. I suspect that, in another ten years, this version of the future will still be about ten years off, like chasing an ugly rainbow. Unfortunately, the doubters being somewhat vindicated (at least for this time-frame) takes much of the sting out of Vonnegut's social commentary and satire.
However, accuracy of predictions aside, the world he paints makes for lovely allegories, especially drawing parallels with war and the Vietnam War in particular. Also, he is right on the money on a couple of things, though, such as Universities clamping down on upsetting speech, which makes those examples that much more chilling.
Vonnegut's prose in this book was a joy to read. One cannot call this book a 'page-turner' because the plot is non-linear, and frankly, I was not in a hurry to find out what would happen next anyway. However, there is no reason to rush to the next page, since the page you are on is such a joy to read. This is almost enough for three stars by itself.
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am 23. Januar 1998
How could the man that turned out Galapagos, Slaughterhouse-Five, and Cat's Cradle turn out this? Yes, I will give the favorites credit: Parts of Hocus Pocus are excellent, parts. Sections are creative and funny, but it drags. The glue of the novel is Elmers; nothing interesting. No abnormal material holds this novel together. The more you get into the novel the worse it gets. It's all the same, droaning on and on. Then the reader hits a good part; and the good part is GOOD. Typical Vonnegut rules the good part, but Kilgore wrote all the stuff in between. Read this if you have time, but don't prevent yourself from reading something else first.
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am 3. Juni 2000
Pure Vonnegut at his best. It's impossible not to be clichéd in the modern "try-everything" society. The best we can do is to get the least used, more informed ones, which Vonnegut does perfectly for me. As with most Vonnegut, absolutely no drivel on love, and feelings, or other mushy subjects, although I may be contested on this point: basically, it's abou as far from Titanic as possible. The most effective aspect, which is seen in so few literary works of today, is the frequent lapse in time: althoug based in one time zone, Vonnegut skips nimbly between various occurance of the past, never losing the focus of the audience, and retaining, even strengthening, his glorious pensive approach.
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am 16. März 1999
Vonnegut's humor is unbeatable. Yet, while you laughing out loud, you are struck by what Vonnegut's poking at. He is a master. Hocus Pocus is definitely more than worth the 2 cups of overpriced coffee i gave up to buy it!! :)
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am 1. Juni 2000
This was the second Vonnegut book I ever read. I read it when I was living in a one bedroom apartment in Las Vegas six years ago with three other guys. The apartment was right off Freemont street where prostitutes and drug dealers hung out all night and no-one with any sense ever went out there after dark. Reading this book made me laugh about the whole situation and I read it often still. When things seem at their worst Vonnegut always says "It's ok everyone else is having a bad time too."
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