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PLAYER PIANO Mass Market Paperback – Mar 15 1974


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Laurel; Reissue edition (March 15 1974)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440170370
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440170372
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 10.7 x 2.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 272 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #642,192 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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By David R. Arden on Dec 27 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is Kurt Vonneguts 1st novel..the pre curser to many to come and one of my favorites...Its kind of 1984 or Brave New World in the sarcastic and witty Vonnegut style..
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Jan. 9 2004
Format: Paperback
This is one of my two favorite Vonnegut books (along with Galapagos), but I disagree with those who have posted the opinion that the true value of the book is Vonnegut's earily prophetic vision of social dinamics in post-industrial America. I believe that Vonnegut's intent was to convey his opinion of what constitutes fundamental human dignity (usefullness to others, in Vonnegut's opinion). Read in such a way, this book flawlesly illuminates the indignity of social welfare and mechanization.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Aug. 2 1997
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A lot of people, even Vonnegut fans, probably haven't heard of this book, for whatever reasons. Vonnegut really doesn't discuss it that much, mostly because he dislikes the label of science-fiction, which this book, along with The Sirens of Titan and even Slaughterhouse-Five, clearly is.

Still, this book is a must for Vonnegut fans or even those interested in old science-fiction in the style of Orwell or Huxley. Those looking for Vonnegut's classic deadpan black humorist style won't find it here. The beginnings of it are here, however and Vonnegut's tale of Paul Proteus' rebellion against the oppressive government is still as entertaining and fascinating as it was years ago. Read with the aforementioned 1984 and Brave New World, this book provides a slight contrast by using a different tone and more humor, but the message is still the same, that technology will ruin us all and bring about our ultimate downfall.

Fortunately this book has been reissued so that fans can see how Vonnegut started out, and fortunately, unlike most writers' first novels, Vonnegut's initial effort is just as readable as his later works
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I feel bad for writing this, but I was disappointed with Player Piano. I say this because Vonnegut is, hands down, my favorite writer and one of the first writers I truly took cues from. This was his first book which wasn't initially published. Given that, it's a bit unfair to hold it to the standards of a Breakfast of Champions or Slaughterhouse Five. Player Piano does not hold the same Vonnegut character developed in his latter books - it's very linear, doesn't have the quirky Vonnegutian wordsmithing and his black satire is less developed. It's more attuned to Orwell's 1984 and carries themes of post-war industrial America but without the same bite.
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Format: Paperback
As a fan of Vonnegut's writing, I was extremely disappointed with this book. It has a good story premise but it doesn't really go anywhere. The basics of this story: Vonnegut depicts America as a land run by machines. All the humans must have a doctorate in order to be considered qualified for any jobs because machines have been built that efficiently replace lower workers. There is very little mention of children, but the few that are brought up merely point out the struggles of trying to pass tests for degrees and then fighting 500 others for the one job opening available. The protagonist, Dr. Paul Proteus, gets fed up with his machine dominated environment but doesn't have the will to commit himself to opposition until he is forced into it. There is a second story line with a diplomat from another country touring America as his host tries to convince him of the need to replace humans with machines in his own country. The host fails in his mission as things fall apart in the end.
Basically, I thought there were too many strings left hanging in this book. Vonnegut would start off on a tangent, with such extreme description, but then there was no real resolution. Like, what happened to the farm? I was especially disappointed in the ending, expecting more out of Dr. Proteus than was given. So many things were left unexplained that I felt like I was wasting my time reading this book. I would become interested in one aspect only to find myself filled with more questions left unanswered.
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Format: Paperback
Some books I can plow through in an afternoon, regardless of the number of pages. However, every time I read something by Vonnegut, it becomes so deeply philosophical and thought-provoking that I can only take it in small bites.
It's about the future of America. It was written in 1952, as his first novel. In the book, a computer takes over the U.S. and most of mans' work has been taken by machines. Citizens are split into two groups: the ones who have high IQs and the ones who don't. In an almost communist society (where the government takes certain steps to ensure a person's well-being through provisions), a few people decide to call for a revolution against the machines, with surprising twists and an ironic ending.
It made me consider how much of my life seems automated--wake up, go to work, go home, repeat--and how much more I need to be less mechanized and more human.
This is a book that I think I'll buy so I can re-read it.
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Format: Paperback
Some books I can plow through in an afternoon, regardless of the number of pages. However, every time I read something by Vonnegut, it becomes so deeply philosophical and thought-provoking that I can only take it in small bites.
It's about the future of America. It was written in 1952, as his first novel. In the book, a computer takes over the U.S. and most of mans' work has been taken by machines. Citizens are split into two groups: the ones who have high IQs and the ones who don't. In an almost communist society (where the government takes certain steps to ensure a person's well-being through provisions), a few people decide to call for a revolution against the machines, with surprising twists and an ironic ending.
It made me consider how much of my life seems automated--wake up, go to work, go home, repeat--and how much more I need to be less mechanized and more human.
This is a book that I think I'll buy so I can re-read it.
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