Recommended books by Kurt Vonnegut

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Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (November 11, 1922 - April 11, 2007) was an American writer. In a career spanning over 50 years, Vonnegut published 14 novels, three short story collections, five plays, and five works of non-fiction. He is most famous for his darkly satirical, best-selling novel Slaughterhouse-Five (1969).

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Product picture for Slaughterhouse-Five: A Novel (Modern Library 100 Best Novels) by Kurt Vonnegut
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Kurt Vonnegut himself was present in Dresden in 1945 when the Allies bombed the city. He survived the attack by sheltering with his fellow prisoners in the cellars of the slaughterhouse where he was employed as a prisoner of war. He processed this traumatic experience in the initially controversial but nowadays classical war novel Slaughterhouse-Five. The book truly shows the absurdity of the war.

Billy Pelgrim, the main character, is not bound by time. He goes to sleep as a an old...
Book cover from The Sirens of Titan: A Novel by Kurt Vonnegut
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“[Kurt Vonnegut’s] best book . . . He dares not only ask the ultimate question about the meaning of life, but to answer it.”—Esquire

Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read

The Sirens of Titan is an outrageous romp through space, time, and morality. The richest, most depraved man on Earth, Malachi Constant, is offered a chance to take a space journey to distant worlds with a beautiful woman at his side. Of course there’ s a...
Book cover from Player Piano: A Novel by Kurt Vonnegut
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“A funny, savage appraisal of a totally automated American society of the future.”—San Francisco Chronicle

Kurt Vonnegut’s first novel spins the chilling tale of engineer Paul Proteus, who must find a way to live in a world dominated by a supercomputer and run completely by machines. Paul’s rebellion is vintage Vonnegut—wildly funny, deadly serious, and terrifyingly close to reality.

Praise for Player Piano

“An exuberant, crackling style . . . Vonnegut is a...
Book cover from Breakfast of Champions: A Novel by Kurt Vonnegut
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“Marvelous . . . [Vonnegut] wheels out all the complaints about America and makes them seem fresh, funny, outrageous, hateful and lovable.”—The New York Times

In Breakfast of Champions, one of Kurt Vonnegut’s most beloved characters, the aging writer Kilgore Trout, finds to his horror that a Midwest car dealer is taking his fiction as truth. What follows is murderously funny satire, as Vonnegut looks at war, sex, racism, success, politics, and pollution in America and reminds us...
Book cover from Welcome to the Monkey House: A Collection of Short Works by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
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“[Kurt Vonnegut] strips the flesh from bone and makes you laugh while he does it. . . . There are twenty-five stories here, and each hits a nerve ending.”—The Charlotte Observer

Welcome to the Monkey House is a collection of Kurt Vonnegut’s shorter works. Originally printed in publications as diverse as The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction and The Atlantic Monthly, these superb stories share Vonnegut’s audacious sense of humor and extraordinary range of creative...
Book cover from Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut
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“Vonnegut is George Orwell, Dr. Caligari and Flash Gordon compounded into one writer . . . a zany but moral mad scientist.”—Time

Mother Night is a daring challenge to our moral sense. American Howard W. Campbell, Jr., a spy during World War II, is now on trial in Israel as a Nazi war criminal. But is he really guilty? In this brilliant book rife with true gallows humor, Vonnegut turns black and white into a chilling shade of gray with a verdict that will haunt us all.

“A...
Book cover from Kurt Vonnegut: The Complete Novels: A Library of America Boxed Set by Kurt Vonnegut
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The ultimate Vonnegut: all 14 novels plus a selection of the best of his stories in a definitive collector's boxed set.

The novels of Kurt Vonnegut defined a generation a remain among the most enduringly popular and influential works of the last century. Now, for the first time, they are available in a single collector's edition, featuring authoritative annotated texts. This boxed set includes four Library of America volumes:

Novels & Stories 1950-1962
Player Piano / The...
Book cover from If This Isnt Nice What Is?, (Much) Expanded Second Edition: The Graduation Speeches and Other Words to Live By by Kurt Vonnegut
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Best known as one of America’s most astonishing and enduring contemporary novelists, Kurt Vonnegut was also a celebrated commencement address giver. Vonnegut never graduated from college, so his words to any class of graduating seniors always carried the delight, and gentle irony, of someone savoring an achievement he himself had not had occasion to savor on his own behalf.
“But about my Uncle Alex, who is up in Heaven now,” Vonnegut, an avowed Humanist, would say sometimes in a...
Book cover from Galapagos: A Novel (Delta Fiction) by Kurt Vonnegut
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“A madcap genealogical adventure . . . Vonnegut is a postmodern Mark Twain.”—The New York Times Book Review

Galápagos takes the reader back one million years, to A.D. 1986. A simple vacation cruise suddenly becomes an evolutionary journey. Thanks to an apocalypse, a small group of survivors stranded on the Galápagos Islands are about to become the progenitors of a brave, new, and totally different human race. In this inimitable novel, America’ s master satirist looks at our...
Book cover from Kurt Vonnegut: Novels & Stories 1963-1973: Cats Cradle / God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater / Slaughterhouse-Five / Breakfast of Champions / Stories (Library of America, No. 216) by Kurt Vonnegut
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Like Mark Twain, Kurt Vonnegut (1922-2007) was a Midwestern everyman steeped in the rhythms of American speech whose anger at the way things are was matched only by his love for the best that we can be. His cunningly relaxed delivery was so original, so finely calibrated, and so profound an articulation of the Sixties' spirit that many critics overlooked the moral seriousness behind the standup-comic craftsmanship.

Capturing Vonnegut in pyrotechnic mid-career, this first volume of a...