Echo Dot countdown boutiques-francophones Introducing Fire 7 tablet, starting at $59.99 WFM Furniture Kindle Paperwhite Explore the Vinyl LP Records Store sports Tools

on March 12, 2017
Love this story, love the price, was here quick and in perfect condition!
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on June 29, 2003
As far as I can tell, this was Vonnegut's attempt at an distopian novel of the vein of Brave New World or 1984, yet more satirical. But Vonnegut struck out with this book.
The first person narrative style of Slapstick is somewhat similar to that of Cat's Cradle (which I have yet to finish). The story is told from the viewpoint of the King of New York, who is the ugliest man in the world and is the former President of the United States. During his presidency, he invents artificial familes based on randomized middle names, and scientific advancements by the Chinese and the Albanian flu lead to the destruction of the country.
As the descriptions of the novel show, Slapstick is utterly ridiculous, which was of course Vonnegut's aim. Unfortunately, the book does not seem to have much more of a deeper meaning. Instead, it seems as though it was just an excuse for Vonnegut to write another crazy book. It seems too silly to be intriguing on a more literary scope. Another problem is that the reappearing "Hi ho" in Slapstick becomes annoying quickly.
One good thing about this book is that it is a very quick read. If you see it at a yardsale, you might want to pick it up for a quick giggle. But that's about all you will get from this book. I wouldn't invest any more money in it than a dollar or two. If you are interested in Vonnegut, start with Slaughterhouse-Five if you haven't already read it. It is still the best book of his that I have read.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on June 17, 2000
Vonnegut himself said he couldn't decide if this book was his worst - or his best.
I love this one and it's my favorite Vonnegut book.
In it he actually discusses his own life a good bit, and his relationship with his sister, with whom he was very close. I felt like I had a much better idea of who Vonnegut is after reading this one.
The two main characters are very engaging, and the story is classic Vonnegut -- you gotta love people despite all their faults. The story is post-Apocalyptic, as so many of his stories are, but it has a more positive feel to it than many of them, despite the poor circumstances the people are in.
The message that life goes on is a hopeful one. I found the relationship between the main characters to be very thought-provoking. I think the critics vilified this one when it was first published, and I can't say that if you like Vonnegut you'll love this one -- because even some of his fans didn't like this one so much.
But if you like the idea of 2 soulmates being better together than they are separately, and if you've a fondness for the idiosyncracies of geniuses, you might like this one as much as I did.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on February 28, 2002
I am almost AFRAID to write this review, as "Slapstick" is my all-time favorite book, and I feel that an amateur review somehow cheapens it.
This story covers a lot of territory in a short period of time, but, as is the case with 99% of Vonnegut's work (I exclude "Timequake"), it is all tied together into one perfectly flowing storyline.
The main theme in "Slapstick" is lonliness, and the inexplicable human condition that forces each individual to search for acceptance into something bigger than just individual identity.
If you've never read a Vonnegut book, this should be your first choice, as it is one of the best examples of Kurt Vonnegut's uncanny ability to make the reader laugh out loud at tragic/sad situations.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on September 28, 2003
That pretty much sums it up. Welcome to entertainment, and lost society, lost humanity, lost everything. Told from the point of view of an old man who just doesn't care anymore, this novel hardly has the humor that the title suggests, and it's just more tragic than anything. Welcome to the twisted future, where the messed up inner workings of our minds come forth is a world devoid of resources, ambition, order, or any real accomplishments -- welcome to Western Civilization.
Where's the humor? Don't ask me. But, like all Vonnegut, this is indeed a memorable book.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on October 27, 2001
I am a huge Vonnegut fan, and this has to be one of my favorites. It is certainly his most imaginative book. It is great for stimulating your own imagination. Vonnegut gives us an alternative version of reality that is a little frightening to some people. In this book, you will meet weird and interesting characters, you will be presented with some far-out ideas about government, and gravity will no longer be constant. The book is fun, impossible, insane, and it is NEVER EVER boring. If you want to find out what the human imagination is capable of, read this book.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on May 19, 2004
Just two stars. It pains me. KV is one of my favorite authors, and so I'm used to his often quirky and silly style which he used to spectacular effect in books like Slaughterhouse-Five and especially Breakfast of Champions (my personal fave). But here it seems as if Vonnegut is simply working his shtick, heartlessly going through the motions as if he were getting tired of the whole routine. It wasn't for lack of ideas--as usual, he offers a huge pile of observations about our collective condition in the monkey house and wacky but insightful solutions to the problems therein--but they seem to be all but random bits of dust floating in a shapeless mess of a story that tries to coagulate into something meaningful and ultimately doesn't really go anywhere. Perhaps another draft would have helped pull everything together. Or maybe at this point KV really was as washed out as he keeps insisting. And yes, all the "hi-ho"s in this book are not only pointless but royally irritating, like the hiccups they are likened to--definitely not on the same level of literary greatness as KV's immortal "and so on". He was reaching. Kilgore Trout doesn't even appear.
Read Slapstick only after having seen what KV is REALLY capable of when all his cylinders are firing and the nitrous is on full blast: Breakfast of Champions, Slaughterhouse-Five, Welcome To The Monkey House, Cat's Cradle, Mother Night. Etc. And so on.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on October 6, 2000
While Vonnegut himself criticized this book, giving it a low grade in his writing report card, I find it to be one of his two best (the other being Galapagos). Slapstick is one of the funniest books I have ever read, in addition to being a stunning example of how forced collectivism would affect the world.
Vonnegut's books often make no sense on purpose. This annoyed me about Vonnegut when reading Slaughterhouse 5 and Breakfast of Champions. However, Slapstick has an impressively coherent plot. For all those who have complained that there is not enough unity or togetherness in the world, this book is an answer. The arbitrary collectivism imposed by the main character is disastrous to the nation. Everything regresses. While Vonnegut claimed to be an advocate of socialism, this book makes a well-defined argument against it. Vonnegut's works are not often read as intensely ideological, merely as humor, but satire implies ideas. This is one of my 20 favorite books, and that is exceedingly high praise.
Vonnegut fans will enjoy the inherent satire in this book, as well as the usual cheap comic gimmicks (yes, you know the phrase involving flying donuts and the mooooooooooooon). However, those who dislike most of Vonnegut's work will find in Slapstick a thorouighly enjoyable, coherent ideological work. Even if you don't generally like Vonnegut's style, this book may very easily surprise you.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on July 12, 2001
I was really disappointed when I started reading this book. I expected it to be as good as Vonnegut's others. It wasn't, but I kept reading anyway. I was glad I did. The story picks up a lot the further the reader gets into the pick. I loved the idea of new nicknames. The funniest part in the book was when the King of Michigan and the Duke of Oklahoma were at war. Although, it had a very slow start, this book is as good as almost anything else Vonnegut's written.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
Kurt Vonnegut's Slapstick or Lonesome No More! is an apocalyptic, though somehow light-hearted vision of the future of our planet and the demise of the United States. It is written as the autobiography of Dr. Wilbur Daffodil-11 Swain, former pediatrician, author, and President of the United States who is writing the story from the first floor of the Empire State Building on The Island of Death (a.k.a. Manhattan). In this amusing account, Vonnegut weaves some of his craftiest humor into a story that it strangely devoid of emotion like so many of his other novels. However, if you're expecting anything on the same level as Mother Night or Slaughterhouse-5, you'll be disappointed.
The basic fact of the matter is this: Vonnegut's best is always the most evocative of the world we live in. In this book, he discusses our future as a human race, but in doing this, he fails to show the connection between our current actions and the result in the impending future. In my opinion, that is what makes good satire, and though he manages to deliver a few nice punch lines, the purpose of the tale is murky and ambiguous.
Every once in the while, I felt that I might have finally figured out the real central theme of the novel. For example, when the main character becomes president, he splits the population into "families" so they will be "lonesome no more." However, it is difficult to tell if this is successful through his writing, so the purpose of this incident also becomes muddled under the constant onslaught of his humor. In conclusion, while Slapstick might be good for a laugh, the reader is likely to ask himself after finishing the book "What's the point?"
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse

Need customer service? Click here