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The Sirens of Titan: A Novel

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Pub. Date:
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Language:
English
Lexile measure:
980L
Description
"[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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ISBN:
9780307423375
9780795311994
Lexile measure:
980L
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Grouping Information

Grouped Work IDdab68b99-87f6-ee9a-3be4-d1d75f606fe2
Grouping Titlesirens of titan
Grouping Authorkurt vonnegut
Grouping Categorybook
Grouping LanguageEnglish (eng)
Last Grouping Update2020-09-26 19:00:43PM
Last Indexed2020-09-26 19:02:05PM
Novelist Primary ISBNnone

Solr Details

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display_description

The Sirens of Titan (1959), Vonnegut's second novel, was on the Hugo final ballot along with Robert Heinlein's Starship Troopers and lost in what Harlan Ellison called a monumental injustice. Malachi Constant is a feckless but ultimately good-hearted millionaire who, in this incondensable interplanetary Candide (lacking perhaps Voltaire's utter bitterness), searches the solar system for the ultimate meaning of existence.

Constant is aided by another tycoon, Winston Rumfoord, who, with the help of aliens, has discovered the fundamental meaning of life. With the help of Salo—an alien robot overseeing the alien race, the Tralmafordians (who also feature in Slaughterhouse-Five)—Constant attempts to find some cosmic sense and order in the face of universal malevolence. Constant and Rumfoord deal with the metaphysics of "chrono-synclastic infundibula" and the interference of the Tralmafadorians. The novel is pervaded by a goofy, episodic charm which barely shields the readers (or the characters) from the fact of what seems to be a large and indifferent universe.

All of Vonnegut's themes and obsessions, further developed or recycled in later work, are evident here in a novel slightly more hopeful than most of his canon. It is suggested that ultimately Constant learns only that it is impossible to learn, that fate (and the Tralmafadorians) are impenetrable. On the basis of this novel, Vonnegut was wholly claimed by the science fiction community (as the Hugo nomination demonstrated) but he did not reciprocate, feeling from the outset that to be identified as a science fiction writer would limit his audience and trivialize his themes. His recurring character, the hack science fiction writer Kilgore Trout (prominent in Slaughterhouse-Five) was for Vonnegut a worst case version of the writer he did not wish to become.

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publishDate2002
2007
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external_econtent:ils:a1501720eBookeBookEnglishRandom House Publishing Group, 2007.336 p.
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ils:a1501720eBookeBookEnglishRandom House Publishing Group, 2007.336 p.
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subject_facetElectronic books
Literary -- FICTION
Satire -- FICTION
Space Opera -- Science Fiction
title_displayThe Sirens of Titan
title_fullThe Sirens of Titan
The Sirens of Titan A Novel
The Sirens of Titan A Novel [eBook] Vonnegut, Kurt
title_shortThe Sirens of Titan
title_subA Novel
topic_facetClassic Literature
Fiction
Literary
Literature
Mystery
Satire
Science Fiction
Science Fiction & Fantasy
Space Opera