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Kurt Vonnegut erzählt in sechzehn weiteren frühen Geschichten gewohnt scharfsinnig vom Amerikanischen Traum der 1950er/60er Jahre ? erstmals ins Deutsche übertragen von Harry Rowohlt Beeindruckend klarsichtig seziert Vonnegut das Streben nach Geld, Ruhm und Liebe, welches das Leben hochintelligenter, schrulliger Menschen in unvorhersehbare Bahnen lenkt. Da ist zum Beispiel Kurt Vonnegut erzählt in sechzehn weiteren frühen Geschichten gewohnt scharfsinnig vom Amerikanischen Traum der 1950er/60er Jahre ? erstmals ins Deutsche übertragen von Harry Rowohlt Beeindruckend klarsichtig seziert Vonnegut das Streben nach Geld, Ruhm und Liebe, welches das Leben hochintelligenter, schrulliger Menschen in unvorhersehbare Bahnen lenkt. Da ist zum Beispiel George, der mit einem sprechenden Kühlschrank »Jenny« zusammenlebt; da ist die junge Sekretärin Amy, die sich in einen flüchtigen Bankräuber verliebt; da kommt eine Selbstmordwelle, die sich wie eine Seuche ausbreitet und selbst die angesehensten Wissenschaftler des Landes vor Rätsel stellt. Mit seinen pointierten und skurrilen Geschichten beeinflusste Vonnegut eine ganze Generation amerikanischer Autoren und erweist sich als ein Meister der genauen Beobachtung, dem es gelingt, mit präzisen Worten auf wenigen Seiten ganze Welten entstehen zu lassen.


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Kurt Vonnegut erzählt in sechzehn weiteren frühen Geschichten gewohnt scharfsinnig vom Amerikanischen Traum der 1950er/60er Jahre ? erstmals ins Deutsche übertragen von Harry Rowohlt Beeindruckend klarsichtig seziert Vonnegut das Streben nach Geld, Ruhm und Liebe, welches das Leben hochintelligenter, schrulliger Menschen in unvorhersehbare Bahnen lenkt. Da ist zum Beispiel Kurt Vonnegut erzählt in sechzehn weiteren frühen Geschichten gewohnt scharfsinnig vom Amerikanischen Traum der 1950er/60er Jahre ? erstmals ins Deutsche übertragen von Harry Rowohlt Beeindruckend klarsichtig seziert Vonnegut das Streben nach Geld, Ruhm und Liebe, welches das Leben hochintelligenter, schrulliger Menschen in unvorhersehbare Bahnen lenkt. Da ist zum Beispiel George, der mit einem sprechenden Kühlschrank »Jenny« zusammenlebt; da ist die junge Sekretärin Amy, die sich in einen flüchtigen Bankräuber verliebt; da kommt eine Selbstmordwelle, die sich wie eine Seuche ausbreitet und selbst die angesehensten Wissenschaftler des Landes vor Rätsel stellt. Mit seinen pointierten und skurrilen Geschichten beeinflusste Vonnegut eine ganze Generation amerikanischer Autoren und erweist sich als ein Meister der genauen Beobachtung, dem es gelingt, mit präzisen Worten auf wenigen Seiten ganze Welten entstehen zu lassen.

30 review for Hundert-Dollar-Küsse / ebook (German Edition)

  1. 5 out of 5

    MJ Nicholls

    Lordy, why were these stories published? This is buried-in-the-bottom-drawer stuff, early examples of competence in the writing-for-slicks-and-glossies side of Kurt’s career. There were two sides to Kurt in the fifties and sixties: one was the knockout novelist who wrote prophetic, visionary, hilarious, moving and perfect books of permanence that no one noticed until Slaughterhouse V. Then there was the hack who wrote formulaic stories to keep his family in shoes, clothes and Drano. And I confes Lordy, why were these stories published? This is buried-in-the-bottom-drawer stuff, early examples of competence in the writing-for-slicks-and-glossies side of Kurt’s career. There were two sides to Kurt in the fifties and sixties: one was the knockout novelist who wrote prophetic, visionary, hilarious, moving and perfect books of permanence that no one noticed until Slaughterhouse V. Then there was the hack who wrote formulaic stories to keep his family in shoes, clothes and Drano. And I confess: I dislike the hack! I don’t rate his short stories at all. They strip the essence of his Vonnegutness completely, leaving a first-rate craftsman and moralist without the satirical bite and crazy exuberance of Cat’s Cradle et al. These unpublished bottom-drawer pieces have good twists and morals, and as ‘Guardian of the Person’ or ‘Out, Brief Candle’ show, can be moving . . . but slim pickings. The short form has come a long way since these pieces were composed. The boredom sets in quite early on here, and completion is a struggle. (I skipped the last four). Why did I bother? Why, I’m a Vonnegut completist-obsessive, of course. Duh.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Diana

    Много радваща книга с ранни, неиздавани досега разкази. Един много различен Вонегът и все пак така очарователен, увлекателен и добър в разнищването на душата. Силна доза хумор, омесен с човечност, тъга, самота и няколко щипки абсурд. Горещо я препоръчвам.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Chris Remo

    Since Kurt Vonnegut’s death, there have been three volumes of previously unpublished Vonnegut short fiction. I didn’t bother with them initially, because I don’t gravitate to short stories to begin with, and on top of that I figured the posthumously published leftovers probably weren’t the cream of the crop. But recently it struck me that we won’t be getting any more genuinely new Vonnegut material ever (not the first time that realization has come to me as if it were a new discovery), so when I Since Kurt Vonnegut’s death, there have been three volumes of previously unpublished Vonnegut short fiction. I didn’t bother with them initially, because I don’t gravitate to short stories to begin with, and on top of that I figured the posthumously published leftovers probably weren’t the cream of the crop. But recently it struck me that we won’t be getting any more genuinely new Vonnegut material ever (not the first time that realization has come to me as if it were a new discovery), so when I saw a hardcover edition of While Mortals Sleep in my local bookstore, I picked it up. While Mortals Sleep is the third and latest of these attempts to scrounge any more material out of the Vonnegut name, so it is essentially the leftovers of the leftovers. As David Eggers explains in a foreword that is itself a worthwhile read, the material is drawn from early in Vonnegut’s career, before he came to real acclaim (though individual stories unfortunately aren’t individually dated). It is surprisingly blunt—nearly every piece wraps up with a neat lesson, often a reproach of unrestrained capitalistic greed, an exaltation of individualism, or a reminder of the value of compassion and companionship. Vonnegut never bothered to disguise his worldview. But while his great novels were always moral, they were rarely had a moral like these stories do. In that sense, reading through this collection was instructive. Before Vonnegut really became the Vonnegut we know, before he could weave his ideals into his structure-defying, often sci-fi-tinged and dystopian works, he hammered them out in these brief allegories. (Only one story, “Jenny,” about a feminine robot built into a refrigerator—yes—really shares the sci-fi-abusing tendencies of many of Vonnegut’s novels.) There’s plenty of his characteristic easy prose, the unfussy eloquence that defines Vonnegut’s style throughout his career. And this early work gives a wonderful perspective on what followed. Unfortunately, while several of the stories are great, the majority of them are essentially simple morality plays, and at times I found it difficult to feel any real sense of real edification. As Eggers points out, Vonnegut was really writing for the 1950s magazine editors he hoped would accept his submissions, so the tone is understandable, even if it can’t stand the test of time like his great works. The standout exception for me in that regard—the monumental, wonderful exception—is the final inclusion, “The Humbugs.” It tells the story of two working artists whose studios face each other across the street. One is an aging and commercially successful painter of lush but soulless pastoral landscapes, an impressive literary prediction of Thomas Kinkade; he receives no recognition from the critical community, and he holds a secret contempt for his own creative bankruptcy. The other is a young, dynamic abstractionist, whose paintings the public finds uncomfortable and alienating, who is on the constant brink of financial ruin despite critical adoration of his work’s emotional breadth; he harbors a deep insecurity about his inability to depict the world the way the human eye perceives it. A confrontation ensues between the two, making for one of the most wonderful portrayals of creative self-doubt and triumph I have encountered. It was a daring move to require readers to get through an entire book’s worth of material before reaching what is clearly the strongest piece, but what an ending. (Before publishing this post I did a quick Google search for “While Mortals Sleep” and discovered that Amazon has nonsensically categorized the book as “Science Fiction & Fantasy”—a label Vonnegut spent a lifetime trying to escape. The guy just can’t catch a break.)

  4. 5 out of 5

    Vderevlean

    mix de proze foarte bune cu unele slabe. stilul cinic, ironic, amuzant și parodic al lui vonnegut e dublat uneori de un realism simplu, sentimental. merită citit.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Murat G.

    tr. Ölümlüler Uyurken. Yazarın çoğunlukla gençken kaleme aldığı ve ölümünden sonra yayımlanan hikayelerden oluşuyor kitap. Bence mükemmel kitap. Niçin? Çünkü takdir edilecek pratik ve yaratıcı bir zeka, hikaye karakterlerini kısa sürede okuyucuya aktarabilen ve olay örgüsüne geçiş yapan bir ustalık ve hepsinden önemlisi bir dert bir samimiyet var neredeyse tüm öykülerde. Kitabın önsözünde Vonnegut'un ahlakçılığına dair birkaç kelam edilmiş. Bu çerçevede, Vonnegut'un toplum/hayat/insanlar vs. hak tr. Ölümlüler Uyurken. Yazarın çoğunlukla gençken kaleme aldığı ve ölümünden sonra yayımlanan hikayelerden oluşuyor kitap. Bence mükemmel kitap. Niçin? Çünkü takdir edilecek pratik ve yaratıcı bir zeka, hikaye karakterlerini kısa sürede okuyucuya aktarabilen ve olay örgüsüne geçiş yapan bir ustalık ve hepsinden önemlisi bir dert bir samimiyet var neredeyse tüm öykülerde. Kitabın önsözünde Vonnegut'un ahlakçılığına dair birkaç kelam edilmiş. Bu çerçevede, Vonnegut'un toplum/hayat/insanlar vs. hakkında dert edindiklerini paylaşmasam acaba kitaptan çok da hazzetmeyip, kendisini bir nevi "namazını kıl, öbür tarafta yanma yavrim" diyen Hacı dede, bir " İsa olsa niderdi?" diyen vaazcı Tolstoy olarak görür müydüm diye düşündüm ama cevabım hayır. (Muhafazakar mode on) Çünkü bana kalırsa Vonnegut'un bu hikayelerindeki ahlakçılık öyle çok da tartışılabilir değil. En azından olmamalı. Çünkü adam; amanın zina etmeyin, yok efendim çıplak heykel yapmayın falan demiyor. Genel olarak dediği hatasız kul olmaz, hatamla sev beni, paraya pula tamah etmeyin, insanların hissettiklerine önem verin, herkese anlayış gösterin, herkesi -saçma sapan davrananları bile- anlamaya çalışın diyor. (Muhafazakar mode off) E bu kadarcık ortak paydada da buluşalım bir zahmet. Humanity 101. Kaldı ki, yazar, bu bahsettiklerimi naif bi anlatımla yapıyor ve dünyaya karşı duruşunu/bakış açısını hikayelere kodluyor. Bunu dayatmıyor. Şahsen ben sonu bir yeren varmayan ve büyük ölçüde söyleyecek sözü olmayan yazarların kelimelerin peşine takılıp gittikleri durum fotoğraflarındansa; söyleyecek sözü olan Vonnegut'ları tercih ederim. İlk ve belki de kitaptaki en uzun hikaye olan Jenny'de bir Sabahattin Ali tadı aldım. İkinci hikaye Epizootik, çevresinde olan bitene kayıtsız kalmayan uyarı niteliğinde çok güzel bir kurmaca. Üçüncü hikaye "Yüz Dolarlık Öpücükler", insan olun adamı hasta etmeyin diyen, benim favori hikayelerimden biri. Kitaba adını da veren hikaye ise "Ölümlüler Uyurken". Bu hikaye kitap önsözünde "Huysuz bir gazeteci Noel aydınlatmalarını değerlendirecek komitede zorla jüri üyesi yapılınca, önce şatafatlı yaşamıyla şüpheleri üstüne çeken eski bir hükümlüyle, sonra da bir mucizeyle karşılaşıyor.." şeklinde tanıtılmış. Diğer bazı açıklamalarda da işte Anti-hristiyan gazetecinin, sır kapısının aralanmasıyla imana gelmesi şeklinde tasvir edilmiş ki bence alakası yok. Bir mucizeyle karşılaşmıyor, mucizeyi hazırlıyor bence "huysuz gazeteci". Bu noktada da kesin olmayan bir Noel ruhu/Hristiyanlık övgüsündense, kesin olan modern zaman kapitalist Hristiyanlık eleştirisine odaklanmalı diye düşünüyorum ama farklı yorumlara açık. Her neyse, diğer hikayeleri de okuyun, değerlendirin. Ben sevdim. Pratik zekasını, okuyucuya ve insanlığa saygısını, samimiyetini. Lisede İngilizcesini okuyup şu an unuttuğum Slaughterhouse-5'ı da yeniden okumak farz oldu. Bence Vonnegut iyi adam.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kevin

    Eh. I think, as other reviews on this site have stated more eloquently than I can, that these stories were in the 'unpublished' pile for a reason. Make no mistake: each and every one is better than something I could write, but compared to Vonnegut when he's on fire ... well, they're lacking. I went to pick it up today to finish off the last few stories and found myself staring at the rest of my to-read pile and my hand went straight to the next book in line. I could kid myself and say that I'll b Eh. I think, as other reviews on this site have stated more eloquently than I can, that these stories were in the 'unpublished' pile for a reason. Make no mistake: each and every one is better than something I could write, but compared to Vonnegut when he's on fire ... well, they're lacking. I went to pick it up today to finish off the last few stories and found myself staring at the rest of my to-read pile and my hand went straight to the next book in line. I could kid myself and say that I'll blow through the last few pages before I return it to the library but honestly it'd be like forcing myself to eat the last few bites of a mediocre free meal. I don't need to finish the whole thing to know what it tasted like.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Dani

    I just loved these stories by Vonnegut. I feel like he‘s talking to me - Hey, this is sad and crazy and even pathetic, but it‘s life and there‘s nothing much to do about it - so don‘t take it so seriously and smile for a moment! Hope lives where humour can be so bright...

  8. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    I could continue reading Vonnegut's unpublished works forever and I wish I could. There are only a few clunkers in this volume (The Epizootic, Guardian of the Person, While Mortals Sleep)- primarily because they end too abruptly. Jenny is a treasure of a story. It is a heartbreaking story of a lonely appliance salesman and his talking, dancing refrigerator. Hundred Dollar Kisses recounts the justifiable reason a man would beat his officemate with a telephone - "the part you talk and listen in". V I could continue reading Vonnegut's unpublished works forever and I wish I could. There are only a few clunkers in this volume (The Epizootic, Guardian of the Person, While Mortals Sleep)- primarily because they end too abruptly. Jenny is a treasure of a story. It is a heartbreaking story of a lonely appliance salesman and his talking, dancing refrigerator. Hundred Dollar Kisses recounts the justifiable reason a man would beat his officemate with a telephone - "the part you talk and listen in". Vonnegut noticed long ago the things that trouble us probably even more so today: "Everybody pays attention to pictures of things. Nobody pays attention to things themselves." I think of that every time I see a proud parent videotaping their kid with an iPad - obscuring their and everyone around them's view of the actual event. Ruth is a sad story of a pregnant widow's meeting with her husband's unpleasant mourning mother. It has a great surprise (to me) ending with an important message - don't get cocky, kid! Vonnegut's description, for me, gets lost in his novels' twisty plots. These short stories really show us what he's got. "Ruth threw back the covers, and walked to the window, needing the refreshment of a look at the outdoors. There was only a brick wall a few feet away, chinked with snow. She tiptoed down the hall, toward the big living room windows that framed the blue Adirondack foothills." While Mortals Sleep features some of the grumpy opinions that are the reason why Vonnegut is one of my favorites. "The contestants dangle colored electric lights all over the fronts of their houses, and the man whose meter goes around fastest wins. That's Christmas for you." "I'm not a religious man and I'm not a family man, and eggnog gives me gastritis, so the hell with Christmas." "It was a salmon-pink mansion with a spike fence, iron flamingos, and five television aerials- combining in one monster the worst features of Spanish architecture, electronics, and sudden wealth." Love these stories!

  9. 4 out of 5

    fortuna.spinning

    Not stellar, but a decent collection. And the artwork was a nice touch. Favorites: • Ruth • Out, Brief Candle • The Man Without No Kiddleys

  10. 5 out of 5

    EZRead eBookstore

    There are 16 short stories in “While Mortals Sleep,” and I really loved all of them. I’m not afraid to climb on top of one of those old trick planes and wave a banner from the sky: “I NO LONGER THINK KURT VONNEGUT IS JUST OKAY….HE IS WONDERFUL!” In all wickedness, I had only read “Slaughterhouse-Five” as my Kurt Vonnegut read beforehand. He seems to be touted by most everyone, but is especially praised by post-students who thought their assigned school reading (and nothing else) was “far out”. S There are 16 short stories in “While Mortals Sleep,” and I really loved all of them. I’m not afraid to climb on top of one of those old trick planes and wave a banner from the sky: “I NO LONGER THINK KURT VONNEGUT IS JUST OKAY….HE IS WONDERFUL!” In all wickedness, I had only read “Slaughterhouse-Five” as my Kurt Vonnegut read beforehand. He seems to be touted by most everyone, but is especially praised by post-students who thought their assigned school reading (and nothing else) was “far out”. So you can see, I’m not bitter. I actually was surprised to see how cohesive and magical these short stories were, far from overdoing a single point about this or that. And funny without being so aware of itself; just charming. Each short story is unique in its content, not necessarily so in its tone, and I definitely had my favorites. I loved the story of a widow who picks up a well-versed pen pal in “Out, Brief Candle”, and the rival painters with different styles in “The Humbugs”. I loved and hated the human drama of a pregnant and widowed wife meeting her mother-in-law for the first time in “Ruth”, and sort of didn’t understand the nonsense of “The Man Without No Kiddleys”. Some with twists and some without, it did remind me a lot of some of Roald Dahl’s short story collections for adult readers. Which is a high compliment indeed, coming from a reader who is going to forcefully name all of her children “Roald.” There is really no way you can dislike this story collection. Even if you were laid out on some operating table having something precious cut off, any one of these stories read aloud would bring a smile to your face. -EZ Read Staffer Jenifer

  11. 5 out of 5

    Ken

    I often feel that posthumous releases of an author's early work are little more than a money grab by the publisher. However, in this case, I'm glad these early stories made their way into the world. This is a side of Vonnegut that fans of his later work may not completely appreciate, but I enjoyed all the stories. Warm, often funny, and with a gentle reminder of the simpler morals of a time long passed, the stories are a light read--well worth it for anyone who appreciates short fiction.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Nguyen

    I love Vonnegut, but I don't love this collection of short stories. If Welcome to the Monkey House is Lord of the Rings: Return of the King on DVD, then While Mortals Sleep is 1.5 hours of Gollum outtakes and bloopers. It's entertaining for fans, but not that strong on its own. Vonnegut is a master of taking a small slice of science fiction and turning it into a story about human relations. That is almost entirely absent in this collection, as this is a collection of earlier Vonnegut works. The e I love Vonnegut, but I don't love this collection of short stories. If Welcome to the Monkey House is Lord of the Rings: Return of the King on DVD, then While Mortals Sleep is 1.5 hours of Gollum outtakes and bloopers. It's entertaining for fans, but not that strong on its own. Vonnegut is a master of taking a small slice of science fiction and turning it into a story about human relations. That is almost entirely absent in this collection, as this is a collection of earlier Vonnegut works. The essential, casual tone of Vonnegut is present, but these stories are from very early in Vonnegut's career and lack a bit of polish. The stories all have simple stories and simple morals (freedom is good, money can't make you happy). This isn't necessarily bad, but the moral is almost always buried until the very end which kind of made these stories read similarly and melt together. My favorite stories were Jenny, the story about the man who made a robot duplicate of his wife; Money Talks, where a fortune literally has a voice in the narration; and 10K A Year, the story about an wannabe opera singer who happily settles as a donut vendor. If you're a big Kurt Vonnegut fan, you'll probably like this book. If you haven't read Welcome to the Monkey House or any of Vonnegut's novels, I would suggest going after those first.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Prakash Yadav

    Vonnegut's short stories are among the best I have ever read, and I find myself recommending them to others quite often. With 'Jenny' as the first story the curator set a very high bar for the following stories, for 'Jenny' turned out to be my favourite ! Among other favourites were 'The Girl Pool' and 'Out, Brief Candle'. The title story 'While Mortals Sleep' wasn't quite impressive in my opinion. Though I firmly believe my toaster was Picasso in its past life, the illustrations in this book were q Vonnegut's short stories are among the best I have ever read, and I find myself recommending them to others quite often. With 'Jenny' as the first story the curator set a very high bar for the following stories, for 'Jenny' turned out to be my favourite ! Among other favourites were 'The Girl Pool' and 'Out, Brief Candle'. The title story 'While Mortals Sleep' wasn't quite impressive in my opinion. Though I firmly believe my toaster was Picasso in its past life, the illustrations in this book were quite abstract even for my understanding.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ioan

    -unele povestiri sunt foarte fain construite, chiar cu mici plot twist-uri și cu un iz satiric-moralizator, însă pe alocuri altele sunt construite extrem de schematic, tranzițiile dintre anumite scene importante(în opinia mea) lăsând de dorit. - majoritatea povesterilor au un umor ușor absurd, dulce-acrișor, tipic vonnegut.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Arif Abdurahman

    Seperti yang disebut Dave Eggers dalam kata pengantar, cerpen-cerpen ini ditulis ketika Vonnegut belum jadi Vonnegut yang kita kenal: humor satir gelap sinis-pesimistik, elemen fiksi ilmiah, Kilgore Trout. Memang, beberapa mengarah ke sana. Mungkin yang paling terasa di cerpen pertama. Kebanyakan cerpen ini punya tema utama, kehidupan Amerika pasca Perang Dunia.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    Kurt Vonnegut was unquestionably my favorite author when I was in high school. My most beloved English teacher, the grey-bearded Mr. Hansen (who somewhat resembled an Anglo-Saxon vision of God, if God wore Hawaiian shirts and linen shorts in the summertime), wrote something in my yearbook about how I had a Vonnegut-like sensibility. Nothing could've made me more proud. It's been years since I read anything by the man, though, and when my friend Lauren recommended this collection, I put it on hol Kurt Vonnegut was unquestionably my favorite author when I was in high school. My most beloved English teacher, the grey-bearded Mr. Hansen (who somewhat resembled an Anglo-Saxon vision of God, if God wore Hawaiian shirts and linen shorts in the summertime), wrote something in my yearbook about how I had a Vonnegut-like sensibility. Nothing could've made me more proud. It's been years since I read anything by the man, though, and when my friend Lauren recommended this collection, I put it on hold at the library right away. I am particularly fond of short stories and deeply adore Welcome to the Monkey House; Lauren said this would be right up my alley. She's right, that girl. How did I manage to allow it to be this long since I last read something from KV? I won't be foolish enough to make that mistake in the future. While I'm not usually enamored of forewords, I particularly enjoyed this one. Dave Eggers sets up the volume, a posthumously printed collection of works KV had published in various magazines and journals, rather brilliantly. His main argument is that the world needs (and is currently lacking) storytellers like KV, who was an unabashedly moral voice. His stories frequently have a very clear moral, he is quite often trying to teach his reader something about what it means to be good or kind or right (or at least not ridiculous and selfish). Eggers argues that the world is full of opinionated people who have a lot to say about right and wrong but the loudest of these voices are usually on the fringe and (my words) somewhat deranged. Story writers, on the other hand, have learned to avoid telling people what is right and wrong, to remain a nonjudgmental voice. And while there's a place for everything, the spot occupied by writers like KV lately remains fairly empty. But on to the stories. Vonnegut has a way of turning ordinary situations extraordinary while still keeping them grounded. Where else would you read a story about a man who travels the country shilling appliances by showing off a custom fridge he built to resemble his ex-wife (complete with blinking eyes, blushing skin, and skills on the dance floor) and come away with a story about the dangers of idolizing our loves and not seeing them for the imperfect people they really are? Goddamnit, Kurt Vonnegut, you've done it again. If you're the sort of person who didn't hate "A Long Walk to Forever," a somewhat romantic and mysteriously divisive story from Welcome to the Monkey House, this is going to be right up your alley, as it was mine.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Charles

    Stuff I Read - While Mortals Sleep by Kurt Vonnegut Review So I would consider myself a fan of Vonnegut, due mostly to a busy summer when I read through a number of his books. I have been curious to see how many of those books would hold up now that I'm older (I was in High School at the time). Here, though, is something completely new to me, and short fiction as well, but as I liked Welcome to the Monkey House I figured I would like these as well. And, for the most part, they have a good deal of Stuff I Read - While Mortals Sleep by Kurt Vonnegut Review So I would consider myself a fan of Vonnegut, due mostly to a busy summer when I read through a number of his books. I have been curious to see how many of those books would hold up now that I'm older (I was in High School at the time). Here, though, is something completely new to me, and short fiction as well, but as I liked Welcome to the Monkey House I figured I would like these as well. And, for the most part, they have a good deal of his charm and craft. It doesn't really surprise me that these went unpublished, though, as many of them are missing just a little something that would make them more complicated, more interesting. That's not to say that the stories aren't good. Many of them are, but there definitely is the feeling that these stories are a bit more dated than a lot of his other stuff. They read as very much products of the time they were written in, and while they aren't bad, they do have some issues because of the casual misogyny at work in America around the time of the Second World War. There is definitely the feeling that Vonnegut is not being against women, but that his values were such that he did believe that the roles of men and women were rather set. At least, that's how many of these stories read. Which made them just a bit harder to like. For their time they are progressive, and many of them have messages that are still applicable today, but for some of them the art gets a little warped because of the times. Like watching old television shows, you just see how things were at the time and how things that even were progressive weren't doing that great of a job with some things. So while I would probably say that these stories are, on average, better than much of what was coming out back then, they fall short of the standards of today, and I'm rather in the camp that things even produced in the past have to do better than crap. All that said, the stories are pretty cute, and the characters are interesting and in true Vonnegut fashion. There's a lot going on in some of the stories, but the foreword wasn't lying when it called many of these stories more moral in nature. And that makes them a bit more brittle, a bit thinner. I enjoyed reading many of them, but overall I didn't feel that I would really go out of my way to recommend them. Which, to me, is about a 6/10.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Paul Cockeram

    Dave Eggars shares some rare insight in his introduction to these previously unpublished stories. He points out how these early works were written by a young Vonnegut with a new family and all the resulting worries about money, stability, and career. (One character even toils as an engineer for the phone company while writing on the side, like Vonnegut himself.) Most of the conflicts concern the value of money versus art, or passion, or love—the intangibles Vonnegut spent his life uplifting, in Dave Eggars shares some rare insight in his introduction to these previously unpublished stories. He points out how these early works were written by a young Vonnegut with a new family and all the resulting worries about money, stability, and career. (One character even toils as an engineer for the phone company while writing on the side, like Vonnegut himself.) Most of the conflicts concern the value of money versus art, or passion, or love—the intangibles Vonnegut spent his life uplifting, in his perpetual effort to remind humanity of what really matters. The wise, mature Vonnegut lurks everywhere in the background, popping up regularly between the lines, though none of these stories matches Welcome to the Monkey House, nor reaches the grace and wisdom of his novels. As Eggars points out, they're stories of their time—an early twentieth century when short fiction was like sitcoms, therefore formulaic and heavy on surprise twists. Vonnegut's sensibility and skill come through in the moral spin he works into these resolutions, which never feel quite forced even though the twists are easy to see coming. Vonnegut once wrote that his stories have no minor characters, for he believed that every player is the main character of his or her own tale—we just happen to follow some characters around longer than others. This idea is evident in “Ruth,” where every character is given at least a little attention, and some surprising characters suddenly take center stage. But the story pulls everything together in a final twist of a line, true to its time, even though along the way it gives readers a glimpse of what would turn into Vonnegut's famously incisive observational wit (in a train station, for example, the voice announcing the trains' destinations “seemed intent on shattering any illusions passengers might have of their destinations' being better than what they were leaving. San Francisco was droned as cheerlessly as Troy”). Delights like these await fans of Vonnegut, for whom alone this book was always intended.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ant Flude

    Some of these stories were right proper five stars good, some were four star yolo swag stories and some were three and maybe two stars depending on how preachy and heavy -handed Vonnegut gets in the final few pages (HEY EVERYONE MONEY CHANGES PEOPLE DOESN'T IT LOL). At times, and I'm thinking particularly about the penultimate story "Money Talks" here, Vonnegut feels more like a sleepy old grandpa than he does a writer, waking up from his drug-induced coma every now and then to remind us of what Some of these stories were right proper five stars good, some were four star yolo swag stories and some were three and maybe two stars depending on how preachy and heavy -handed Vonnegut gets in the final few pages (HEY EVERYONE MONEY CHANGES PEOPLE DOESN'T IT LOL). At times, and I'm thinking particularly about the penultimate story "Money Talks" here, Vonnegut feels more like a sleepy old grandpa than he does a writer, waking up from his drug-induced coma every now and then to remind us of what he thinks of as right and wrong, his opinions on money, and when to put the bins out. Ok we get it; go back to sleep now, grandpa. At other times tho, and this is the real justification for the four stars, Vonnegut is Vonnegut and the writing flows like a good morning piss. He is witty; he is funny; he is beautiful; at times his writing is as real as Justin Timberlake's obvious empathy for the señorita as he sings the line "señorita I feel for you (feel for you)", and the collection is worth picking up for these moments alone. The stories themselves are sound in the most part. The first few are fantastic, particularly Julia and The Epizootic, but by the end Vonnegut just seems to be repeating himself. It's almost as if he was trying to nail the themes in these short stories by approaching them in different ways and then someone came along after he died and published all of them regardless of whether they were on the same thing or not just to make money. But I'm sure no-one would ever do that

  20. 5 out of 5

    Hanneleele

    I first took up this book in a bookstore a couple of years ago - it might have been newly out - read a story or two and sort-of became my bookstore-reading book, the one I looked at when I went to the store to pass some time and didn't have any other interests. Now I finally read it (I can scratch it out of my to-read list after all that time!)and I wasn't disappointed. When I looked briefly into the comments section, most people seemed to compare "While mortals sleep" with Kurt Vonnegut's other I first took up this book in a bookstore a couple of years ago - it might have been newly out - read a story or two and sort-of became my bookstore-reading book, the one I looked at when I went to the store to pass some time and didn't have any other interests. Now I finally read it (I can scratch it out of my to-read list after all that time!)and I wasn't disappointed. When I looked briefly into the comments section, most people seemed to compare "While mortals sleep" with Kurt Vonnegut's other books - I did not do it. I have read some of Vonnegut's novels ("Galápagos", "Armageddon in retrospect", "Breakfast of Champions") and really enjoyed them, but somehow this book didn't connect in my mind with them at all. Maybe I read them too long ago or the style is different, but I think it may be a good thing too. Three years ago I read almost all short story collections I found in my home - about ten, I think - for a school assignment. Many of them I liked well enough but they left no lasting impression. This one I would have loved. No matter what it's like compared with Vonnegut's masterpieces, the stories were funny and witty and had unexpected endings and very much humanity and life in them. I found something delightful in every one of them. That's what matters in the end, I believe.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Romy

    I'd never read any of Vonnegut's short stories before (nor, for that matter, have I read many of his novels), but this seemed like as good a place as any to start. After reading Slaughterhouse Five and Cat's Cradle I have come to know Vonnegut as a darkly satirical writer, but this collection shows a lighter side of his work. While all the tales have something to teach you, they are overall still optimistic - admittedly it was a sigh of relief after reading a collection of Richard Yates's storie I'd never read any of Vonnegut's short stories before (nor, for that matter, have I read many of his novels), but this seemed like as good a place as any to start. After reading Slaughterhouse Five and Cat's Cradle I have come to know Vonnegut as a darkly satirical writer, but this collection shows a lighter side of his work. While all the tales have something to teach you, they are overall still optimistic - admittedly it was a sigh of relief after reading a collection of Richard Yates's stories, as good as that was. My favorite stories include one about a typist who falls in love with a serial killer, and one about a man who is in love with the refrigerator-cum-robot he travels around the country with. But this lighter, humorous aspect is also what keeps me from giving this five out of five; there's no raw emotion to draw you into the story, and the moral undertones keep you at bay because you're so aware that you're being taught something. Nevertheless, the story themselves are funny, imaginative, and have piqued my interest in the rest of his writing.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jenny (Reading Envy)

    There are authors so important that you mourn their passing, and honestly I thought we'd already seen all we'd see from Vonnegut. My visceral reaction to seeing this volume at the library led me to bringing it home, although I have to admit I skimmed a few of the stories I didn't connect with as much because I had to return it! New books should have *longer* checkout periods, not shorter. :) These are unpublished short fictions from earlier in Vonnegut's life, so they are different from most shor There are authors so important that you mourn their passing, and honestly I thought we'd already seen all we'd see from Vonnegut. My visceral reaction to seeing this volume at the library led me to bringing it home, although I have to admit I skimmed a few of the stories I didn't connect with as much because I had to return it! New books should have *longer* checkout periods, not shorter. :) These are unpublished short fictions from earlier in Vonnegut's life, so they are different from most short stories published these days - there isn't a sense of a twist or unnecessary quirkiness, just solid characters with interesting little vignettes. I liked While Mortals Sleep and the one about the guy who has a dancing singing fridge named Jenny. My only question is, did Vonnegut want these published? If so, why didn't he? What would he have changed in that final edit? I guess we'll never know. Eggers may have answered these questions in his introduction, but it was longer than some of the stories, so I didn't bother. (Just being honest!)

  23. 4 out of 5

    Chickens McShiterson

    Full disclosure: I am biased with Kurt. However... There is little more satisfying than a well-written short story. In his collection Bagombo Snuff Box, Vonnegut outlined the necessary elements of a successful short story. This early collection sees him simultaneously obey and break the rules he later set forth, with gleeful abandon and his usual irreverence. Most of the stories in Where Mortals Sleep are of a fairly straightforward fare and highlight a burgeoning genius of the literary world. Mu Full disclosure: I am biased with Kurt. However... There is little more satisfying than a well-written short story. In his collection Bagombo Snuff Box, Vonnegut outlined the necessary elements of a successful short story. This early collection sees him simultaneously obey and break the rules he later set forth, with gleeful abandon and his usual irreverence. Most of the stories in Where Mortals Sleep are of a fairly straightforward fare and highlight a burgeoning genius of the literary world. Much like his other collections of short stories and novels, this stuff is indispensable...to me, at least. "Jenny"- B+ "The Epizootic"- B- "Hundred Dollar Kisses"- A "Guardian of the Person"- B- "With His Hand on the Throttle"- A "Girl Pool"- A+ "Ruth"- B "While Mortals Sleep" A- "Out, Brief Candle"- A "Tango"- A "Bomar"- A+ "The Man Without No Kiddleys"- B- "Mr. Z"- A- "$10,000 a Year, Easy"- A "Money Talks"- B "The Humbugs"- B+

  24. 4 out of 5

    Bookmarks Magazine

    While most reviewers considered these stories, written to meet the expectations of a bygone era, quaint and nostalgic if nonetheless still relevant to our times, a few found their emphasis on plot twists and explicit morals passé. All, however, agreed that Vonnegut’s dry and unassuming tone, unadorned prose, and unique vision of life are evident even at this early stage in his career. For most, this was reason enough to pay tribute to and recommend this posthumous collection. Vonnegut’s enduring While most reviewers considered these stories, written to meet the expectations of a bygone era, quaint and nostalgic if nonetheless still relevant to our times, a few found their emphasis on plot twists and explicit morals passé. All, however, agreed that Vonnegut’s dry and unassuming tone, unadorned prose, and unique vision of life are evident even at this early stage in his career. For most, this was reason enough to pay tribute to and recommend this posthumous collection. Vonnegut’s enduring themes lend these tales a timeless quality. “Predictive of Vonnegut’s great future” (Los Angeles Times), While Mortals Sleep presents an American master polishing his already considerable skills, and Vonnegut’s fans will be grateful to hear his distinct voice once again. This is an excerpt from a review published in Bookmarks magazine.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Кремена Михайлова

    Би трябвало тези истории (в такъв стил) да ми харесат доста, но не зная защо не „влязох” добре в тях, плъзгах се по повърхността на страниците. Взела съм си и друг сборник на Вонегът, защото ми харесва какви неща от живота го интересуват. „Бе престанал да зачита не само Коледа, но и правителството, брака, бизнеса, патриотизма и всяка друга важна институция, която може да ви дойде на ум. Единствените идеали, които го чух да споменава, бяха стегнатите изречения, правилния правопис и експедитивност Би трябвало тези истории (в такъв стил) да ми харесат доста, но не зная защо не „влязох” добре в тях, плъзгах се по повърхността на страниците. Взела съм си и друг сборник на Вонегът, защото ми харесва какви неща от живота го интересуват. „Бе престанал да зачита не само Коледа, но и правителството, брака, бизнеса, патриотизма и всяка друга важна институция, която може да ви дойде на ум. Единствените идеали, които го чух да споменава, бяха стегнатите изречения, правилния правопис и експедитивността в отразяването на глупостта на човечеството.” „Всеки участник окичва фасадата на къщата си с всякакви цветни лампички и побеждава онзи, чийто електромер се върти най-бързо. Това ѝ е всичко и на Коледата.” „Човек, който не е бил изложен постоянно на любов и не си е изградил по този начин определен имунитет против нея – рече, се излага едва ли е на смъртна опасност при първия си допир с нея.”

  26. 5 out of 5

    Davide Nole

    Vonnegut e i racconti (almeno in questa raccolta) non vanno affatto d'accordo. Ci sono chiari riferimenti ai temi che vengono sviluppati nei romanzi, e alcuni racconti sono piacevoli, ricchi di humor che fa riflettere, come caratteristico dell'autore, ma il fatto che limiti lo spazio del suo pensiero nuoce gravemente a tutto quello che è l'aspetto totale della filosofia del caro Kurt. Degni di nota nella raccolta sono "Jenny" e "Hundred-dollar kisses": il primo in stile totalmente consono all'auto Vonnegut e i racconti (almeno in questa raccolta) non vanno affatto d'accordo. Ci sono chiari riferimenti ai temi che vengono sviluppati nei romanzi, e alcuni racconti sono piacevoli, ricchi di humor che fa riflettere, come caratteristico dell'autore, ma il fatto che limiti lo spazio del suo pensiero nuoce gravemente a tutto quello che è l'aspetto totale della filosofia del caro Kurt. Degni di nota nella raccolta sono "Jenny" e "Hundred-dollar kisses": il primo in stile totalmente consono all'autore è la storia di un frigorifero-donna che fa innamorare un uomo e il secondo è forse il Vonnegut meno surreale che mi sia capitato di leggere, ma comunque una storia piacevole (anche se priva di carne).

  27. 4 out of 5

    Lil' Grogan

    3.5 stars. I felt an odd sense of dread when reading more than two of these stories in a row. The sameness of the themes throughout the stories and strong moralistic tone got overbearing. However, the thrill of his stringing together of words, his touch with humour and dialogue; and the tension between and within players drew me into the stories. Of course, part of the thrill was simply a younger, unpublished Vonnegut. Standouts for me: While Mortals Sleep, With His Hand on the Throttle and The 3.5 stars. I felt an odd sense of dread when reading more than two of these stories in a row. The sameness of the themes throughout the stories and strong moralistic tone got overbearing. However, the thrill of his stringing together of words, his touch with humour and dialogue; and the tension between and within players drew me into the stories. Of course, part of the thrill was simply a younger, unpublished Vonnegut. Standouts for me: While Mortals Sleep, With His Hand on the Throttle and The Humbugs.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    If this doesn't give hope to struggling writers, I don't know what would. Sure these seem like simple, maybe boring, stories, but they show KV in his creative development! It is the beginning of an autobiography of sorts of KV as a writer. This isn't Welcome to the Monkey House, nor were these stories intended to be. These are the stories of a man publishing to get published, all the while practicing and perfecting his incredible gifts of wit, insight, and storytelling. A must-read for all KV fa If this doesn't give hope to struggling writers, I don't know what would. Sure these seem like simple, maybe boring, stories, but they show KV in his creative development! It is the beginning of an autobiography of sorts of KV as a writer. This isn't Welcome to the Monkey House, nor were these stories intended to be. These are the stories of a man publishing to get published, all the while practicing and perfecting his incredible gifts of wit, insight, and storytelling. A must-read for all KV fans.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Martin Hernandez

    Aunque a Kurt VONNEGUT lo asocio más con la ciencia ficción, esta colección de escritos (publicados póstumamente) realmente no se tratan de eso, sino son una profunda e interesante serie de reflexiones sobre la humanidad, presentadas de una manera irónica, a través de una serie de personajes fallidos, que tratan de resolver sus vidas, con resultados mixtos. "Jenny", "La Persona al Mando", "Ruth" y "Fuera, Vela Efímera", son particularmente efectivas.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Martin Boyle

    The best of short stories, Vonnegut packs unusual (if not improbable) story lines with unlikely characters into a few very compelling pages. No matter how impossible the story, how strange the character, the story comes alive. Fantasy, for a few delightful minutes becomes real, the boundaries of credulity are pushed to extremes. While Mortals Sleep has 16 well told tales. Unexpected stories, each one is compelling, unusual, unreal and, for the reading, entirely compelling, eminently believable.

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