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Wampeters, Foma and Granfalloon Paperback – 1 Jan 1999

4.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group (Jan. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385333811
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385333818
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 1.6 x 20.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 524,764 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"He is our strongest writer . . . the most stubbornly imaginative."--John Irving
"A book filled with madness and truth and absurdity and self-revelation . . . [Vonnegut is] a great cosmic comedian and rattler of human skeletons, an idealist disguised as a pessimist."--"St. Louis Post-Dispatch"
"Vonnegut is George Orwell, Dr. Caligari and Flash Gordon compounded into one writer."--"Time"

He is our strongest writer . . . the most stubbornly imaginative. John Irving
A book filled with madness and truth and absurdity and self-revelation . . . [Vonnegut is] a great cosmic comedian and rattler of human skeletons, an idealist disguised as a pessimist. "St. Louis Post-Dispatch"
Vonnegut is George Orwell, Dr. Caligari and Flash Gordon compounded into one writer. "Time""

About the Author

Kurt Vonnegut s black humor, satiric voice, and incomparable imagination first captured America s attention in "The Sirens of Titan" in 1959 and established him as a true artist ("The New York Times") with" 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."


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Top Customer Reviews

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Not as goos as his novels, but unmistakeably Vonnegut. His iopinions in interviews don't have the impact that the same views have in his novels, where there is the backup of a story setting.
If you've read his novels, this will make sense to you.
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By A Customer on 23 July 1999
Format: Paperback
I had forgotten how much I liked vonnegut. if you haven't read him in a while, and don't care to read or reread one of his novels, this is the book for you. get the straight dope from the mans mouth in the many interviews. I found myself bumping around from section to section haphazardly, and then realizing that I had finished it all. its just that scattered.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
So here we have the first of what has become a bit of an obsession for Vonnegut: the autobiographical collage. This version is a bit better than the later entries, though, since it puts more emphasis on worldview-articles and less on endless ramblings of Vonnegut history and "what's on my mind today" type of things. Best of all is a trip to Burma during the revolution that ranks amongst the half a dozen best short pieces he's ever written. By itself, that piece is worth the price of admission. But with a few other good bits and pieces, this becomes a nice rest stop for Vonnegut fans, but little else. Perhaps if Vonnegut would truly throw himself into these works, and write some gut-wrenching auto-bio, I would be more convinced. But I always feel like he's holding back, and only putting out as much as he has to. Try this, Kurt: Re-read the Burma piece, and approach the rest of your life with the same passion.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have read most of Vonnegut's books and I rank this near the top. It gives the reader a chance to get Vonnegut's incisive views on a wide range of issues. This is a must read for Vonnegut fans.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x8edb02a0) out of 5 stars 24 reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8f35de1c) out of 5 stars 3 1/2 Stars - Vonnegut fans only 22 Mar. 2002
By Bill R. Moore - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Although you'd never guess it from the title, Wampeters, Foma & Granfalloons is a collection of essays, speeches, and reviews from Kurt Vonnegut - along with one piece of fiction and one interview. Certainly, it isn't on par with his wonderful fiction (or even his marvelous non-fiction book, Fates Worse Than Death), but neither does it pretend to be. This is a book for those who have already read most of what else Kurt Vonnegut has written. The reviews are nothing to write home about, though some of the essays are quite good - but his public speeches, as always, make for excellent reading. There is a handful of them in here. The highlight of the book, though, for any Vonnegut fan is his long interview with Playboy magazine that closes the book. It's an essential read for any KV fan. I reccommend this book to those who love Kurt Vonnegut and his fiction, and know it. If you're not familar with this quite amusing author, you should pick up some of his marvelous fiction first...
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8f35de70) out of 5 stars Vonnegut for a Vonnegut reader 26 Jun. 2001
By arye orona - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This collection is probably most interesting to those who are arleady Vonnegut fans. It doesn't really even pretend to contend with the writer's greater works. I think that, perhaps, this book is most helpful to those who already know Vonnegut's body of work, and simply wish to understand more about the author himself. "Wampeter's, Foma, and Granfalloons" basically consists of Vonnegut's public speeches, as well as various essays. The book can help a reader, already familiar with Vonnegut, understand more about the writer, and the ideas behind his novels. However, I would recomend that a first time reader pick up one of Vonegut's actual novels (Slaughter House five and Mother Night are higly recomended) before looking at this. I would recomend this book to an avid Vonegut reader/fan.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8f2aa57c) out of 5 stars You'll Enjoy It! 9 Feb. 2005
By James F. Barron - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Again, Kurt Vonnegut produces an excellent work of art through literature. This book, Wampeters, Foma & Granfalloons (Opinions) is a collection of essays written by Vonnegut. It took me only a few hours to begin and finish this book while drinking coffee in front of a coffee shop on a Saturday morning. I found the book to be highly entertaining, generously humorous, and, of course, packed with blithe satire.

Wampeters, Foma & Granfalloons (Opinions) exists in an aura of surreality, recounting the experiences had by Vonnegut. The preface, itself, explains that the novel contains situations related to ideas that are not only abnormal but not tangible, either. The word wampeter comes from Vonnegut's book, Cat's Cradle (see my review of Cat's Cradle at [...] ), and it describes any "object around which the lives of many otherwise unrelated people may revolve". This definition, alone, prompts the reader to realize that the book will involve many exemplifications of abstract ideology.

The novel contains essays describing events and satiring politics and societal figures. Vonnegut is one of the world's greatest black-humorists, and it is expected that he will try to offend quite a few persons while writing his works. Thus, Vonnegut's writing may not be for the light-hearted, and if this means you, then maybe you should not rush out to the bookstore and buy this book. However, if you dare to delve into the depths of derogatory literature, then this should be your next book. Another book I need to recommend -- completely unrelated to Vonnegut, but very much on my mind since I purchased it off Amazon is "The Losers' Club" by Richard Perez, an exceptional, highly entertaining little novel I can't stop thinking about.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8edb9114) out of 5 stars Pure Vonnegut 18 Feb. 2006
By A reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Hilarious, frightening, saddening, moving. I love this book and open it often, just to dip in and out, when I need some Vonnegutian insight and humor. It collects his nonfiction from 1965 through 1973, and the contents comprise one gem after another. You find KV expounding on subjects he hasn't engaged elsewhere, like murder (the Cape Cod serial killer Tony Costa), yachting ("Brief Encounters on the Inland Waterway"), and popular spiritualism (the once-notorious Madame Blavatsky). Since many of the pieces date from the late '60s and early '70s, you find him also expressing his own version of disgust and moral outrage at the various wars of attrition then being fought by America and other nations. Then there are the incisive speeches, the modest tributes to the unsung, and a classic Playboy interview. The reviewers are correct who say this collection is more for the Vonnegut fan than the casual or uninitiated reader, but once you've crossed the line from observer to fan, "Wampeters" will flesh out your experience of KV's fiction in surprising ways.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8edb9354) out of 5 stars a lot of good advice 22 Sept. 1999
By Mike Lisman (ml005f@uhura.cc.rochester.edu) - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book offers my idea of the essential quick-reading; short, quip-loaded, quasi-autobigraphical chapters on the life and mind of Vonnegut. Particularly memorable is his "On my own death", a three-paged pontification on the remembrance of dead authors. A must-read for any Vonnegut afficionado, and an enjoyable collection of anecdotes for the bathroom or bedtime reader!
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