Book: The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut
Date Read: January 3 to January 19, 2019
Rating: 5 (of 5) stars
A recurring theme in my bookish habits is trying to work on getting my “to read” list under control. Late in 2018, I discovered The Unread Shelf Project, and decided that I would participate this year. The premise of the project is a reading challenge that will help you work through the books you already have on your shelf. For January, you were to choose ANY book off your unread shelf. This was my choice, a book that I have had for quite some time, but never quite got around to reading.
Although I cannot recall offhand if I have written about him before, I absolutely love Kurt Vonnegut. While he often writes on the edges of science fiction and fantasy, there is a theme of humanity throughout his work. He takes on big themes like the nature of humans and the meaning of life on Earth, and answers them with a bit of absurdity. While some might consider this flippant, I find it fitting. The Sirens of Titan follows a few different characters on their journey through time and space, their meetings and interactions seemingly at random, but also predestined. Each detail, even those that seem unimportant, stringing together for the ultimate goal of all humanity… which you will have to read the book for yourself to find out. While I do not presume to know what Vonnegut’s “point” or exact moral in this novel is supposed to be, I think it is that “the point” does not matter. We are here, so we may as well make the most of it.
One of the interesting things I find in Vonnegut’s work is that once you have read a variety of it, you start to see the places where it fits together. There were some definite elements in this novel that I remember from other pieces of his work. It creates for me a picture of an alternate universe, where things are very much like the one I live in, but slightly off. Even though many of the stories and situations in his work do not seem to fit together, I can see them all taking place in the same world, which is not a far cry from our own.
Boris’s thoughts: “I hate it when you get all philosophical. 1 paw.”