Galapagos


By Kurt Vonnegut

 I think that everyone’s reading is influenced early on by the people in our lives.  Parents, teachers, friends, they all tend to point us in certain directions for our reading.  My influencing factors pointed me in directions other than Vonnegut. But I’ve heard his name come up frequently over the past few years, so it seemed to be about time to give him a shot.  I’ve certainly been missing something special.

Based on my usual criteria, if I even have usual criteria, Galapagos should have been a 3-star rating.  There was very little action or character development, and no real climax, but there was something exceptionally special about how the story was told.  The best way I can describe my experience is comparing it to putting a puzzle together; you know what the picture is, it’s right there in front of you, but the fun or the challenge is figuring out how all of the pieces fit together.

Vonnegut’s big brain has explored the big picture of change and adaptation.  I loved the way he highlighted how insignificant many of humanity’s “accomplishments” really are: in a million years no one will know or care about the 45th President of the United States, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony or Kurt Vonnegut, for that matter.  We are just tiny specks on the massive timeline.  Life will continue in one way or another and our mistakes and inaction can be just as significant as our “accomplishments.”

I “read” the audiobook of Galapagos and found Jonathan Davis’ narration to be a perfect match for the story.  He kept me captivated with his matter-of-fact tone and sarcastic inflection.  Davis became Leon Trout.

While post-apocalyptic in scope, it is not your typical post-apocalyptic story in nature…then again, I don’t think that there is anything typical about Kurt Vonnegut.

I love it when I find an author like this!


*7 Stars

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