Look at the Birdie: Unpublished Short Fiction

Look at the Birdie: Unpublished Short Fiction

by Kurt Vonnegut
4.1 32

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Overview

Look at the Birdie: Unpublished Short Fiction by Kurt Vonnegut

Look at the Birdie is a collection of fourteen previously unpublished short stories from one of the most original writers in all of American fiction. In this series of perfectly rendered vignettes, written just as he was starting to find his comic voice, Kurt Vonnegut paints a warm, wise, and funny portrait of life in post—World War II America–a world where squabbling couples, high school geniuses, misfit office workers, and small-town lotharios struggle to adapt to changing technology, moral ambiguity, and unprecedented affluence. 

Here are tales both cautionary and hopeful, each brimming with Vonnegut's trademark humor and profound humanism. A family learns the downside of confiding their deepest secrets into a magical invention. A man finds himself in a Kafkaesque world of trouble after he runs afoul of the shady underworld boss who calls the shots in an upstate New York town. A quack psychiatrist turned "murder counselor" concocts a novel new outlet for his paranoid patients. While these stories reflect the anxieties of the postwar era that Vonnegut was so adept at capturing– and provide insight into the development of his early style–collectively, they have a timeless quality that makes them just as relevant today as when they were written. It's impossible to imagine any of these pieces flowing from the pen of another writer; each in its own way is unmistakably, quintessentially Vonnegut. 

Featuring a Foreword by author and longtime Vonnegut confidant Sidney Offit and illustrated with Vonnegut' s characteristically insouciant line drawings, Look at the Birdie is an unexpected gift for readers who thought his unique voice had been stilled forever–and serves as a terrific introduction to his short fiction for anyone who has yet to experience his genius.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780440338772
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/20/2009
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 540,722
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Kurt Vonnegut was a master of contemporary American literature. His black humor, satiric voice, and incomparable imagination first captured America’s attention in The Sirens of Titan in 1959 and established him, in the words of The New York Times, as “a true artist” with the publication of Cat’s Cradle in 1963. He was, as Graham Greene declared, “one of the best living American writers.” Mr. Vonnegut passed away in April 2007.

Sidney Offit has written two novels, two memoirs, and ten books for young readers. He was a senior editor of Intellectual Digest and a book editor of Politics Today, and for three decades he has served on the boards of the Authors Guild and PEN American Center. Currently, Mr. Offit is the curator emeritus of the George Polk Awards in Journalism. He lives in New York City with his wife, Avodah.


From the Hardcover edition.

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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Look at the Birdie: Unpublished Short Fiction 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 32 reviews.
juptam2 More than 1 year ago
there is, of course, nothing quite like vonnegut. i haven't even finished the book, and already, am as delighted as when i read every single book of his except for galapagos, as then, i was in ecstacy. i even use this word as a term to describe the feeling of absolute perfection. "galapagos." anyway, please read "look at the birdie," and you will NOT, i repeat NOT, have wasted a second.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
For someone familiar with Kurt Vonnegut's writing this will add to your feeling of completeness since he will not be writing in the future. For those not acquainted with the author, this is a good introduction to his genius. These are short stories and can be read in any order from short to longer depending on the time you want to spend. He has a specialty with endings of his stories.
lesterPA More than 1 year ago
Vonnegut has always been a great storyteller, and this collection is perhaps the best of his I have read yet. Really nice to find something new even after his passing, as well as so entertaining and easy to read. "The King and Queen of the Universe" may be the best short story of his I have ever read. I highly recommend this book to those who are already fans of Vonnegut, but maybe more so as an introduction to those who have never read him. It is a wonderful way to meet a great author, and find out how he got his start.
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This is a posthumous collection of short fiction that Vonnegut wrote in his early days as a writer, and that was left unpublished. It is clearly below the level of writing for which he became famous, and should probably have been left unpublished. Only for the serious collector of everything.written by Vonnegut.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Similar, but lighter than some of Vonnegut's other short stories. It was a good variety of entertaining pieces that follow similar themes from his other novels/short stories. It did not disappoint!
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