Timequake

Timequake

4.1 35
by Kurt Vonnegut
     
 

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There's been a timequake. And everyone—even you—must live the decade between February 17, 1991 and February 17, 2001 over again. The trick is that we all have to do exactly the same things as we did the first time—minute by minute, hour by hour, year by year, betting on the wrong horse again, marrying the wrong person again. Why? You'll have to ask

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Overview

There's been a timequake. And everyone—even you—must live the decade between February 17, 1991 and February 17, 2001 over again. The trick is that we all have to do exactly the same things as we did the first time—minute by minute, hour by hour, year by year, betting on the wrong horse again, marrying the wrong person again. Why? You'll have to ask the old science fiction writer, Kilgore Trout. This was all his idea.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This is the indispensible Vonnegut."
San Francisco Chronicle

"Wry and trenchant . . . highly entertaining."
—The New York Times Book Review

"His funniest book since Breakfast of Champions . . . There are nuggets of Vonnegutian wisdom throughout."
Newsweek

"Timequake is a novel by, and starring, Kurt Vonnegut . . . What Vonnegut does, which no one can do better, is give a big postmodern shrug . . . You've got to love him."
—The Washington Post Book World

"Humorous, sardonic . . . Timequake makes for irresistible reading that's loaded with more important truths than it lets on . . . Moralizing has never been funnier."
Chicago Sun-Times

"Vonnegut is at his best."
Atlanta Journal & Constitution

Valerie Sayers
Highly entertaining. -- NY Times Book Review
New York Times Book Review
Wry and trenchant. . .highly entertaining.
Newsweek
His funniest book since Breakfast of Champions
Chicago Sun-Times
Irresistible reading.
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Vonnegut is at his best.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Its publisher calls this Vonnegut's "first full-length work of fiction in seven years" (since the novel 'Hocus Pocus'), which seems like a polite way to avoid claiming it as a novel. It's certainly not that, nor is it, strictly speaking, a collection of stories. It is, rather, a good-natured and delightful ramble around the problem of not being able to get a book to work. Using his science-fictional alter ego Kilgore Trout, Vonnegut talks about a recalcitrant book of Trout's whose premise would have been that "a sudden glitch in the space-time continuum'' occurs, creating a 10-year hitch in time in which everyone is forced to live that period of their lives over again, every word and action exactly repeated, from 1991 until 2001, at which point their lives move forward once more. It is a nice conceit, and Vonnegut and Trout have some fun with it, all interwoven with anecdotes about the Vonnegut family, how it feels to be an aging author and suchlike. There are plenty of Vonnegut gems for the taking (he and William Styron agree at one point that only 17% of people in the world have lives worth living), but the effect of the book is more like a relaxed, jokey conversation than anything else. Call it a patchwork of brief, semi-fictional essays; no matter, Vonnegut is always good company.
Library Journal
Delayed over a year, Vonnegut's latest finally arrives, with alter ego Kilgore Trout facing millennial catastrophe.
Kirkus Reviews
Vonnegut's first "novel" in seven years (and 14th overall) might by an extremely generous extension of the term be labeled an unassuming metafiction.

Actually, it's unequal parts commonplace book, fragmentary autobiography, dystopian romance, and bemused meditation on our planet's presumable determination to destroy itself. The premise goes as follows: In the year 2001, "a sudden glitch in the space-time continuum, made everybody and everything do exactly what they'd been doing during the past decade . . . a second time": i.e., 2001 reverted to 1991, and "free will kicked in again" only after said decade had torturously re-run itself. One yearns to know what Thomas Berger might have made of this idea. Vonnegut, essentially, settles for employing it as an excuse to rummage through his own past and that of his alter-ego, the fictional science fiction writer Kilgore Trout. Accordingly, the novel about this "timequake" becomes a free-form farrago in which the author tenderly salutes and mourns his living and dead siblings, wives, and children; pays tribute to favorite books and writers; retells old jokes; reminisces about his experiences in WW II, and about his experiences also as a later respected public figure (visiting Nigeria after the Biafran War; giving a speech on the 50th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima); and woolgathers—often cloyingly—about the fate of "humanism" in an age dominated by technology. The book severely tests a reader's patience when it's padded with random bits of semi-relevant information and needless explanations (the plot of 'The Scarlet Letter'; the full text of the 23rd Psalm). And yet, Vonnegut's fitful summaries of the life and writings of the Hunter Thompsonlike Kilgore Trout are often very funny (the story "The Sisters B-36," set on "the matriarchal planet Booboo," really ought to have been written).

So, as he himself might say, it goes. "We are here on earth to fart around" runs one of Vonnegut's more endearing pronouncements. Nobody does it better.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780425164341
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
08/28/1998
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
7.82(w) x 5.12(h) x 0.73(d)

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"This is the indispensible Vonnegut."
San Francisco Chronicle

"Wry and trenchant . . . highly entertaining."
—The New York Times Book Review

"His funniest book since Breakfast of Champions . . . There are nuggets of Vonnegutian wisdom throughout."
Newsweek

"Timequake is a novel by, and starring, Kurt Vonnegut . . . What Vonnegut does, which no one can do better, is give a big postmodern shrug . . . You've got to love him."
The Washington Post Book World

"Humorous, sardonic . . . Timequake makes for irresistible reading that's loaded with more important truths than it lets on . . . Moralizing has never been funnier."
Chicago Sun-Times

"Vonnegut is at his best."
Atlanta Journal & Constitution

Meet the Author


Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (1922-2007) is the author of the novels Cat's Cradle (1963), Slaughterhouse-Five (1969), and Breakfast of Champions (1973).

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
November 11, 1922
Date of Death:
April 11, 2007
Place of Birth:
Indianapolis, Indiana
Place of Death:
New York, New York
Education:
Cornell University, 1940-42; Carnegie-Mellon University, 1943; University of Chicago, 1945-47; M.A., 1971

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Timequake 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 35 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
About a year and a half ago, some girl i know gave me a copy of this book and told my to read it, i took it just to be polite not really expecting to look at it, when i got home i was locked out with nothing to do but start reading this book and it changed my life. i had no idea who vonnegut was or what he wrote about. but i was instantly hooked, i loved the way it was written and the way the story broke away from itself and all off a sudden came together again. I since have read four of his other works and about twenty other books. i even started writing one of my own and i blame it all on kurt vonnegut and the girl who gave me the book. thank you both.
Guest More than 1 year ago
After reading six of Vonnegut's books in period of two months, I picked Timequake, thinking not much of it. I read the book in under 72 hours, put it down, and then read it 3 more times in a matter of weeks. Even though you do need to read some of his books to completely get this one, it's probably the best book I've ever read. Forget the classics, pick up this book because there is no possible way that you can not enjoy it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Oufdueh.kkv
Analogkid60 More than 1 year ago
Part Autobiography, Part Fiction, a Complete Joy If you read this book’s jacket, you already know the story. A timequake forces everyone back to ’91 for a ten year rerun. When it wears off and people don’t know how to react, failed sci-fi writer and veteran Vonnegut character, Kilgore Trout saves the day. I love the concept. I certainly wouldn’t mind reliving the 90’s, but the last decade was a real drag. The only criticism I have is that the story is minimized and the focus is on the author’s personal anecdotes and family stories. Then again, that’s Vonnegut. For the uninitiated, Vonnegut is the literary equivalent of pizza. He provides intellectual nourishment without being too preachy and overbearing. The thing I love most about him is the way he tells a ridiculous story in his deadpan, matter-of-fact tone. So, pour yourself a beverage of choice, put your feet up, and enjoy a delightful, effortless read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I like the amazimg booi on this nook even know its my faverite color
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tunic2 More than 1 year ago
I rarely read books more than once. There are just too many that sound good that I haven't gotten to yet. Timequake, however, is the exception to the rule. I have a copy above my desk and every now and then pull it off the shelf and read a chapter. Why? I'm not sure, but I do that with no other book. It's funny, clever, and insightful.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Yeah, the headline says it all. It was absolutely amazing.