Learn more Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Learn more Click Here Shop Kindle Learn More Shop now Shop Women's Shop Men's

Customer reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
Format: Paperback|Change
Price:£8.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on 18 September 2007
This is not a straightforward, run of the mill normal story. Like Vonnegut's most famous work, Slaughterhouse 5, it is told out of sequence, eccentrically and erratically. Much of the main plot is reported rather than seen, and you are told of events several times before they happen. Conceits like the asterisk before the name of everyone about to die keep you aware you are reading a story rather than being absorbed into a universe. This distancing is in keeping with the abstract feeling of the narrator - but what would you expect from the narration of a nosey ghost?

I found the ending an engaging puzzle, particularly when I considered the well known symptom of the illness the narrator has contracted before his death. Daren't say more, as I'd hate to spoil it for anyone.

Vonnegut is a quirky, interesting and funny writer but he is not for everyone. If you like his prose you will probably thoroughly enjoy this - it's a short, easy and appealing read. If a good old fashioned story is your thing, you'd do better to pick something else.
0Comment| 10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 2 August 2017
I recently reviewed a writer called Charlie Holmberg, in which I lamented her long-windedness.
Read this, by the inimitable Vonnegut, and that says it all. Pithy, sardonic, amusing; Vonnegut, in short.
What a loss to the world of real writing.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 2 July 2017
But never the less a good read.
Amazing echoes down the decades to the present day, especially politics and the human condition.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 20 March 2017
Funny and thought provoking as always. Kurt's take on mankind always leaves me with a fresh perspective, a true genius.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 29 November 2009
Written with typical Vonnegut esprit, Galapagos is an entertaining read. The pages fly by and, although a little laboured and repetitive at times, the hallmark humour is present. What it lacks, however, is the depth of some of his other work. Compared to Player Piano and Slaughterhouse 5 this is a slight work that doesn't resonate for long in the mind once finished. It's fun but it's not Vonnegut at his best.
0Comment| 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 13 February 2014
So slight a book, and such a slog! I started this review becalmed in the vicinity of p158 ('Blah-blah-blah') of the first (Grafton) paperback edition (the one with the misprint on p202 'Do did his father' for 'So did') and thinking of sending up a flare. The Sirens of Titan was a game-changer for me in my young manhood - so to speak - but in my old manhood I find Vonnegut's remedial English, tortuous plots and pasteboard, affectless 'characters'* very hard to take. The text is peppered with borderline inane quotations ('Help yourself, and heaven will help you. Jean de La Fontaine'; 'Doubt, of whatever kind, can be ended in Action alone. Carlyle.') Is he for real? The underlying Vonnegutian (rhymes with Lilliputian) philosophy - 'I would rather have been a stone' - is dilute, though I liked the image of cities as cancers, 'growing for the sake of growth alone'(p231). This needed oodles more humour ('So much for comedy', p128), irony, self-mockery - or even, crazed loon that I am, wit? - to mask the inner preacher. 'If [brains] had told the truth, then I could see some point in everybody's having one. But these things lied all the time!' This is not cynicism or realism, it's a crackerbarrel whine. Anyways, who's to say the author-narrator is not himself lying? (Though without 'lying' we could not have literature, as Vonnegut knew perfectly well.) Sirens, as I recall, was absurdism pure and simple; what was there not to like? I've not read Terry Pratchett. Could he be the Vonnegut the age demands?

* Not quite true - two of the younger females touched me, at certain points
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 30 December 2013
Told by the straightforward case of unreliable narrator (Leon Trotsky Trout, a ghost of a soldier who "died" of syphilis), "Galápagos" the book is a lot of fun with a hint of sci-fi. Okay, it's a bit repetitive and drags on occasionally, but it is full of all things that is Kurt Vonnegut - sarcasm, cynicism, scorn, nihilism and pessimism and ultimate believe in the best which is yet to come. An absurd plot, crazy ideas, and yet, and still, good-hearted humour.

"Galapagos" starts with the financial crisis of 1986 and ends with human species, devolved, lying down side by side, seals-like, furry and fingerless, with much lesser brains (and a lot less problems) on the volcanic shores of Galapagos exactly a million years later. Are you interested in Vonnegut's answer to Charles Darwin's The Origin of Species? - look no further.

I imagine "Galápagos" has to be re-read to catch up on all the little details and enjoy all dark humour. It is back on my reading list.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 25 June 2015
Vonnegut's best books were good reading. This is not one of them.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 4 October 2007
Vonnegut (may he rest in peace) has been my favourite author ever since I graduated out of 'youth' books 25+ yrs ago, and I've read all that he's written, in many cases several times over. Galapagos may not be his greatest work but it's certainly in the top-5, and in many ways it's my personal favourite - a really interesting, intellectually challenging, fun and life-affirming read. Rather than summarise or 'analyse' the book here, I'll just say this: if you've never read Vonnegut before and are wondering where to start, I'd recommend starting here. You'll get a really good feel for his style, and can then decide for yourself whether you like him.
0Comment| 34 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 26 August 1999
Once more, Vonnegut uses the genre of Sci-Fi to explore and give insight to the human condition. And he does it in such a way that it is almost but not quite believable and acceptable.
His ever-so-slightly tongue-in-cheek view (that the size of the human brain is the cause of all our problems, from sex to economics to world peace) doesn't seem either believable OR acceptable until you read the book.
Read it and understand that human intelligence is the cause of all of the ills in the world and when humanity is fully evolved (a million years in the future), we'll be less intelligent yet much happier.
This book is a lot of fun.
0Comment| 26 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse