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Jailbird (Kurt Vonnegut Series)

Jailbird (Kurt Vonnegut Series) [Kindle Edition]

Kurt Vonnegut
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Product Description


"As provoking, as amusing and as silver-tongued as anything Vonnegut has written" (New Statesman)

"Jailbird has the crackle and snap of Vonnegut's early work - his best since Cat's Cradle. Using the laid-back, ironic voice that has become his stademark, Vonnegut combines fiction and fact to construct an ingenious, wry morality play" (Newsweek)

"An overtly political novel attacking McCarthyism and Watergate" (Daily Telegraph)

"After Vonnegut, everything else seems a bit tame" (Spectator)

Book Description

Jailbird is Vonnegut's riotous urban fairytale about the various fiascos of the Nixon years

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 385 KB
  • Print Length: 322 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0385333900
  • Publisher: RosettaBooks (21 Aug 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S. r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005IHWAN0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #4,268 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Kurt Vonnegut was a writer, lecturer and painter. He was born in Indianapolis in 1922 and studied biochemistry at Cornell University. During WWII, as a prisoner of war in Germany, he witnessed the destruction of Dresden by Allied bombers, an experience which inspired Slaughterhouse Five. First published in 1950, he went on to write fourteen novels, four plays, and three short story collections, in addition to countless works of short fiction and nonfiction. He died in 2007.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favourites! 28 Dec 2006
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm a big Kurt Vonnegut fan having read several of his books and I reckon that this is one of his best, and one of his funniest.

We follow Walter F. Starbuck on his first 24 hours after being released from prison as he becomes subjected to a series of comical coincidences and often farcical events, interspersed with flashbacks to his past. The tale unravels into several threads and Vonnegut skillfully weaves them together to form a satisfying whole. It is Vonnegut's genius that he can create a novel of complexity, and full of ideas, yet make it read so easily and entertainingly.

For those unfamiliar with Kurt Vonnegut, I would say his style is such that his books have a certain _personality_ to them, and once you become aquainted with this personality you can sit back and enjoy them like you were listening to the conversation of an old friend. But first you must be introduced, and in my opinion Jailbird is a great introduction.

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The vertigo of history 12 Aug 2008
By Pablo K
Yet another Vonnegut that nudges at perfection. Reminiscent of Mother Night and Hocus Pocus, this is the biography of a low-ranking participant in the Watergate scandal and a punchy morality tale on the vertigo of history and the failings of American capitalism. Full of wonderful jokes and characters, this is ground the master could re-tread again and again, extending the joy available to the rest of us each time. It's a real pity that there's not a flashier version of this out in the bookstores of the world at the moment. It's worth your time and your money. It will make you glow.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best place to start with Vonnegut 22 Nov 2002
By A Customer
Kurt Vonnegut can be harmful to your social life. So many people stumble across one of his novels, love it, and then spend much of their subsequent time acquiring the rest of his work, whilst persistently recommending others do the same with almost evangelical zeal. I too have been there.
So speaking as a fan, I'd have to say I was a wee bit dissapointed by Jailbird. It does have some of the virtues familiar to all Vonnegut's work: it's cynical yet compassionate, humanistic and a decent entertaining read. However, this bleak portrayal of people being lost and ignored among the ubiquitous forces of greed and corruption lacks the levity associated with much of the author's other work. I realise jokes aren't everything, but Vonnegut is often at his most incisive when mocking his targets with the aid of plenty black humour (as in Breakfast of Champions, for example).
So ultimately, Jailbird comes across as rather depressing. Perhaps it's because of the protagonist's perception of himself as a pathetically ineffectual nothing-man. Or perhaps it's because Vonnegut's pessimism got the better of him this time around.
Despite the above, I'd say Jailbird is certainly worth investigating, but if you aren't a fan of the author (yet!), it's probably best to start with another of his novels.
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4.0 out of 5 stars For Vonnegut fans 10 Nov 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is not in Vonnegut's top league of books but for a fan of his, which I have been for many years, even a more minor Vonnegut work can be fun. Jailbird has a lot of Vonnegut trademarks and does make some serious points about American politics and way of life along the way.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The 'american dream'...Vonnegut style 12 Oct 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Kurt Vonnegut's unravelling of US capitalism and politics is incisive and insightful...and hilarious!

Walter Starbuck - the protagonist - narrates his involvement in key US events and trends - labour relations, faceless corporations, Nuremburg war crime trials, Watergate - on the day of his release from jail.

Alongside the insanity of corporate America, he finds occasional acts of kindness, never sufficient to overthrow the status quo in the face of laissez faire indifference from himself.

Not perfect, and not even KVs best, but still worth more than a '4'. Read it to laugh, understand, and cry about the monster that continues to shape so much of our contemporary lives...
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