At the price it is a steal. For those who are familiar with Vonnegut's major novels (Slaughterhouse 5, Player Piano, Cat's Cradle, Breakfast of Champions, et al) this is a delight. For those unfamiliar it is a great introduction to the mind of Kurt Vonnegut. Although pidgeonholed as a Science Fiction writer, Vonnegut transcends boundaries. His imagination may sometimes take us to the stars but he is equally adept in the darker recesses of the mind, as the opening tale of obsession shows. Time to Vonnegut is not linear, but a pool to be dipped in and out of in search of the story behind his characters and his humour always restores my joy in reading.
As these have been published for the first time, one could reasonably assume them to be much rougher diamonds than the work the author sought to polish to publication perfection; however one cannot speak of a low quality Vonnegut here at all. This - a collection of six fiction short stories, the author's non-fiction 'anthropology' essay and an unfinished science fiction story - gives you all the author's wit and powers observation in a more bite sized format.
I personally did not find the title piece the strongest, that title in my opinion going to the non-fiction essay, where he reflects on the profession he studied for but did not enter into - anthropology.
In the end, if you are a fan of the author, I can only recommend the book. It has the qualities of his other works (even if one certainly cannot call it one of his best), and is probably the last of his works to be made available. If Vonnegut is not your thing, the book is unlikely to change your mind, either. In spite of the bite sized format, I would still probably recommend one of his other books for a first taste of the author for those completely new to him.
Thes are not all the best Kurt Vonnegut, but in even the worst of them, the quality shines through. What a pity that the SF story is unfinished as what is in here is intriguing and an excellent basis for a novel.
Thoughtful, wise and funny, Vonnegut couldn't help being otherwise, but not in the first rank of his writings. Better than just about any other writer of his generation, nonetheless. Something for the fans rather than to win over converts.