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Player Piano: A Novel

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Language:
English
Description

"A funny, savage appraisal of a totally automated American society of the future."-- San Francisco Chronicle Kurt Vonnegut's first novel spins the chilling tale of engineer Paul Proteus, who must find a way to live in a world dominated by a supercomputer and run completely by machines. Paul's rebellion is vintage Vonnegut--wildly funny, deadly serious, and terrifyingly close to reality. Praise for Player Piano "An exuberant, crackling style . . . Vonnegut is a black humorist, fantasist and satirist, a man disposed to deep and comic reflection on the human dilemma." -- Life "His black logic . . . gives us something to laugh about and much to fear." -- The New York Times Book Review

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ISBN:
9780795311970
9780307568083
9780385333788
Lexile measure:
930L
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Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID 1da6a6fb-e339-e929-5c2d-16558fde776d
Grouping Title player piano
Grouping Author vonnegut kurt
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2018-11-16 23:10:10PM
Last Indexed 2018-11-16 23:52:33PM

Solr Details

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author Vonnegut, Kurt.
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display_description

Player Piano (1952), Vonnegut's first novel, embeds and foreshadows themes which are to be parsed and dramatized by academians for centuries to come. His future society—a marginal extrapolation, Vonnegut wrote, of the situation he observed as an employee of General Electric in which machines were replacing people increasingly and without any regard for their fate—is mechanistic and cruel, indifferent to human consequence, almost in a state of merriment as human wreckage accumulates. Paul Proteus, the novel's protagonist, is an engineer at Ilium Works and first observes with horror and then struggles to reverse the displacement of human labor by machines.

Ilium Works and Paul's struggles are a deliberately cartoon version of labor's historic and escalating struggle to give dignity and purpose to workers. The novel embodies all of Vonenegut's concerns and what he takes to be the great dilemma of the technologically overpowered century: the spiritual needs of the population in no way serve the economies of technology and post-technology. Vonnegut overlies this grotesque comedy over tragedy, disguising his novel in the trappings of goofiness.

Not published—at Vonnegut's insistence—as science fiction, the novel was nonetheless recognized and praised by the science fiction community which understood it far better than a more general readership, a dilemma which Vonnegut resentfully faced throughout his career. Bernard Wolfe's dystopian Limbo and Player Pianowere published in the same year to roughly similar receptions; two "outsiders" had apotheosized technophobia as forcefully as any writer within the field. Throughout his career, Vonnegut was forced to struggle with his ambivalence about science fiction and his own equivocal relationship with its readers.

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last_indexed 2018-11-17T05:52:33.653Z
lexile_score 930
literary_form Fiction
literary_form_full Fiction
local_callnumber_catalog F Von
local_time_since_added_catalog 2 Months, Month, Quarter, Six Months, Year
owning_library_catalog Nashville Public Library
owning_location_catalog Technical Services
primary_isbn 9780795311970
publishDate 2006, 2009
record_details ils:CARL0000639704|On Order|Unknown|Dial Press trade pbk. ed.|English|Dial Press Trade Paperbacks,|2006, c1952.|341 p. ; 21 cm., overdrive:484254f7-fb8a-4fb6-bb7f-a2591f139e2b|eBook|eBook||English|RosettaBooks||, overdrive:7093a779-064f-4a3d-8bb0-77cce7a67260|eBook|eBook||English|Random House Publishing Group|2009|
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subject_facet Americans -- Conduct of life -- Fiction, Computers -- United States -- Social aspects -- Fiction, Science fiction
title_display Player Piano
title_full Player Piano, Player Piano A Novel, Player piano / Kurt Vonnegut
title_short Player Piano
title_sub A Novel
topic_facet Americans, Classic Literature, Computers, Conduct of life, Fiction, Humor (Fiction), Literature, Mystery, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Social aspects