04 May 2009

The Sirens of Titan

This morning i finished The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. I actually don't think i've read any Vonnegut before. Unfortunately this one is not on the 1001 List. oh well.

The Sirens of Titan is a long setup for a punchline at the end. it's not bad. It reminded me of LOST and Watchmen due to a character who can see various points in time all at once, as well as weird character connections and doing massive amounts of harm to individuals for "the greater good". It's a philosophical work as well and deals with the nature of self and memory and God. The time displaced character is Rumfoord. He's a very rich man who decided to take a rocket to Mars and flys into a chronic-synclastic infundibulum. Don't worry about that though, it's just the setup. That makes Rumfoord able to see the future and materialize on various planets at different times.

Rumfoord tells his wife, Beatrice, and the richest man alive, Malachi Constant, that they're going to go to Mars, and Titan (one of Saturn's moons), and have a child together and fall in love. They both then go about attempting to avoid this destiny.

If you're a big sci-fi fan I'd recommend it. it is definitely a product of the 50's though; Constant's random mysoginistic statements in the first portion of the novel really bugged me but after he goes to Mars that stops. I give it a 4; it's hurt by the fact that i really really didn't care about any of the characters. They aren't really likable.

CB's review and A Dribble of Ink's.

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for the link. I think I liked it a bit more than you in some ways and less in others. It's not one of Vonnegut's better novels. Please read Slaughterhouse Five before you pass judgement. That's his best work, hands down. And it's probably on the 1001 list.

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  2. Several other books of Vonnegut's are on the list. I know offhand that Slaughterhouse 5 and Cat's Cradle are.

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