The Sirens of Titan: A Novel

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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 catch to the invitation–and a prophetic vision about the purpose of human life that only Vonnegut has the courage to tell.

“Reading Vonnegut is addictive!”—Commonweal
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More by Kurt Vonnegut

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A special fiftieth anniversary edition of Kurt Vonnegut’s masterpiece, “a desperate, painfully honest attempt to confront the monstrous crimes of the twentieth century” (Time), featuring a new introduction by Kevin Powers, author of the National Book Award finalist The Yellow Birds
 
Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best novels of all time
 
Slaughterhouse-Five, an American classic, is one of the world’s great antiwar books. Centering on the infamous World War II firebombing of Dresden, the novel is the result of what Kurt Vonnegut described as a twenty-three-year struggle to write a book about what he had witnessed as an American prisoner of war. It combines historical fiction, science fiction, autobiography, and satire in an account of the life of Billy Pilgrim, a barber’s son turned draftee turned optometrist turned alien abductee. As Vonnegut had, Billy experiences the destruction of Dresden as a POW. Unlike Vonnegut, he experiences time travel, or coming “unstuck in time.”

An instant bestseller, Slaughterhouse-Five made Kurt Vonnegut a cult hero in American literature, a reputation that only strengthened over time, despite his being banned and censored by some libraries and schools for content and language. But it was precisely those elements of Vonnegut’s writing—the political edginess, the genre-bending inventiveness, the frank violence, the transgressive wit—that have inspired generations of readers not just to look differently at the world around them but to find the confidence to say something about it. Authors as wide-ranging as Norman Mailer, John Irving, Michael Crichton, Tim O’Brien, Margaret Atwood, Elizabeth Strout, David Sedaris, Jennifer Egan, and J. K. Rowling have all found inspiration in Vonnegut’s words. Jonathan Safran Foer has described Vonnegut as “the kind of writer who made people—young people especially—want to write.” George Saunders has declared Vonnegut to be “the great, urgent, passionate American writer of our century, who offers us . . . a model of the kind of compassionate thinking that might yet save us from ourselves.”

Fifty years after its initial publication at the height of the Vietnam War, Vonnegut's portrayal of political disillusionment, PTSD, and postwar anxiety feels as relevant, darkly humorous, and profoundly affecting as ever, an enduring beacon through our own era’s uncertainties.

“Poignant and hilarious, threaded with compassion and, behind everything, the cataract of a thundering moral statement.”—The Boston Globe
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Additional Information

Publisher
Dial Press
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Published on
Dec 18, 2007
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Pages
336
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ISBN
9780307423375
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Literary
Fiction / Satire
Fiction / Science Fiction / Space Opera
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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WARNING – This book is contagious. The author was suffering from the Thought-Plague when she wrote it. It's a satirical Kafkaesque critique of the mental health system in the U.K. set in a parallel science-fiction future. The book is based on the author's surreal-life experiences in a parallel world in which a permanent state of dissociation is the norm.

"IF YOU WANT TO STAY ALIVE, DON'T SMOKE TOO MUCH, DON'T DRINK TOO MUCH AND DON'T THINK TOO MUCH. TO AVOID ANOTHER THOUGHT PLAGUE EPIDEMIC, PLEASE REPORT ANY SUSPICIOUS OVER-THINKING IMMEDIATLEY."

"Someone must have reported Kay Joseph. She knew that she was of no immediate danger to herself or others, but, one morning, she was WARPED under section 22.5(b) of Psyberia's National Wellbeing and Recovery Protocol, (WARP).

When Psyberia was established as a quarantine and processing island, the elite High Permaniacs in the southern Altered States of Mania created the 'Psyber Skin', an anti-viral nano-tech psychic defence barrier around Psyberia's borders. On the 7.30am news this morning, Kay heard more reports of violence erupting through the 'Psyber Skin'. The Transylmaniacs had invaded through The Skin and were now penetrating the minds of the higher functioning Psyberians. Psyber Skin Hackers and Psy-Kick Investigators, like Kay's friend Adam, were particularly prone to Psy-Kick attack, as were users of Cat-A-Tonic.

Being possessed or Psy-Kickally attacked wasn't Kay's worst fear. Her worst fear was that this had already happened to her and that it was in some way connected to 'the treatment'. She felt that more and more, each day, the life was slowly getting sucked out of her and she was being drained to death. She didn't know what would happen if she was Psy-Kicked. Would she end up back in virtual hospital or would she end up killing herself like Adam did?"

A special fiftieth anniversary edition of Kurt Vonnegut’s masterpiece, “a desperate, painfully honest attempt to confront the monstrous crimes of the twentieth century” (Time), featuring a new introduction by Kevin Powers, author of the National Book Award finalist The Yellow Birds
 
Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best novels of all time
 
Slaughterhouse-Five, an American classic, is one of the world’s great antiwar books. Centering on the infamous World War II firebombing of Dresden, the novel is the result of what Kurt Vonnegut described as a twenty-three-year struggle to write a book about what he had witnessed as an American prisoner of war. It combines historical fiction, science fiction, autobiography, and satire in an account of the life of Billy Pilgrim, a barber’s son turned draftee turned optometrist turned alien abductee. As Vonnegut had, Billy experiences the destruction of Dresden as a POW. Unlike Vonnegut, he experiences time travel, or coming “unstuck in time.”

An instant bestseller, Slaughterhouse-Five made Kurt Vonnegut a cult hero in American literature, a reputation that only strengthened over time, despite his being banned and censored by some libraries and schools for content and language. But it was precisely those elements of Vonnegut’s writing—the political edginess, the genre-bending inventiveness, the frank violence, the transgressive wit—that have inspired generations of readers not just to look differently at the world around them but to find the confidence to say something about it. Authors as wide-ranging as Norman Mailer, John Irving, Michael Crichton, Tim O’Brien, Margaret Atwood, Elizabeth Strout, David Sedaris, Jennifer Egan, and J. K. Rowling have all found inspiration in Vonnegut’s words. Jonathan Safran Foer has described Vonnegut as “the kind of writer who made people—young people especially—want to write.” George Saunders has declared Vonnegut to be “the great, urgent, passionate American writer of our century, who offers us . . . a model of the kind of compassionate thinking that might yet save us from ourselves.”

Fifty years after its initial publication at the height of the Vietnam War, Vonnegut's portrayal of political disillusionment, PTSD, and postwar anxiety feels as relevant, darkly humorous, and profoundly affecting as ever, an enduring beacon through our own era’s uncertainties.

“Poignant and hilarious, threaded with compassion and, behind everything, the cataract of a thundering moral statement.”—The Boston Globe
Winner of the Hugo and Nebula Awards: A futuristic masterpiece, “perhaps the most important war novel written since Vietnam” (Junot Díaz).
 
In this novel, a landmark of science fiction that began as an MFA thesis for the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and went on to become an award-winning classic—inspiring a play, a graphic novel, and most recently an in-development film—man has taken to the stars, and soldiers fighting the wars of the future return to Earth forever alienated from their home.
 
Conscripted into service for the United Nations Exploratory Force, a highly trained unit built for revenge, physics student William Mandella fights for his planet light years away against the alien force known as the Taurans. “Mandella’s attempt to survive and remain human in the face of an absurd, almost endless war is harrowing, hilarious, heartbreaking, and true,” says Pulitzer Prize–winning novelist Junot Díaz—and because of the relative passage of time when one travels at incredibly high speed, the Earth Mandella returns to after his two-year experience has progressed decades and is foreign to him in disturbing ways.
 
Based in part on the author’s experiences in Vietnam, The Forever War is regarded as one of the greatest military science fiction novels ever written, capturing the alienation that servicemen and women experience even now upon returning home from battle. It shines a light not only on the culture of the 1970s in which it was written, but also on our potential future. “To say that The Forever War is the best science fiction war novel ever written is to damn it with faint praise. It is . . . as fine and woundingly genuine a war story as any I’ve read” (William Gibson).
 
This ebook features an illustrated biography of Joe Haldeman including rare images from the author’s personal collection.
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