The sirens of titan: A Novel

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In Vonnegut's tale of the near future, a cold and malevolent universe is all that humanity can ever know.
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Grouped Work ID 5674a84a-be2c-d1d4-9750-e92b72606808
Grouping Title sirens of titan
Grouping Author vonnegut kurt
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2019-06-24 08:01:46AM
Last Indexed 2019-06-24 08:03:01AM

Solr Details

accelerated_reader_point_value 0
accelerated_reader_reading_level 0
author Vonnegut, Kurt.
author_display Kurt Vonnegut
collection_catalog Fiction
detailed_location_catalog Green Hills - Adult Fiction

The Sirens of Titan (1959), Vonnegut's second novel, was on the Hugo final ballot along with Robert Heinlein's Starship Troopers and lost in what Harlan Ellison called a monumental injustice. Malachi Constant is a feckless but ultimately good-hearted millionaire who, in this incondensable interplanetary Candide (lacking perhaps Voltaire's utter bitterness), searches the solar system for the ultimate meaning of existence.

Constant is aided by another tycoon, Winston Rumfoord, who, with the help of aliens, has discovered the fundamental meaning of life. With the help of Salo—an alien robot overseeing the alien race, the Tralmafordians (who also feature in Slaughterhouse-Five)—Constant attempts to find some cosmic sense and order in the face of universal malevolence. Constant and Rumfoord deal with the metaphysics of "chrono-synclastic infundibula" and the interference of the Tralmafadorians. The novel is pervaded by a goofy, episodic charm which barely shields the readers (or the characters) from the fact of what seems to be a large and indifferent universe.

All of Vonnegut's themes and obsessions, further developed or recycled in later work, are evident here in a novel slightly more hopeful than most of his canon. It is suggested that ultimately Constant learns only that it is impossible to learn, that fate (and the Tralmafadorians) are impenetrable. On the basis of this novel, Vonnegut was wholly claimed by the science fiction community (as the Hugo nomination demonstrated) but he did not reciprocate, feeling from the outset that to be identified as a science fiction writer would limit his audience and trivialize his themes. His recurring character, the hack science fiction writer Kilgore Trout (prominent in Slaughterhouse-Five) was for Vonnegut a worst case version of the writer he did not wish to become.

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isbn 9780307423375, 9780385333498, 9780795311994
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lexile_score 980
literary_form Fiction
literary_form_full Fiction
local_callnumber_catalog Fiction Vonnegu
owning_library_catalog Nashville Public Library
owning_location_catalog Green Hills, Green Hills Kids
primary_isbn 9780385333498
publishDate 1998, 2002, 2007
record_details ils:CARL0000150888|Book|Books||English|Delta Trade Paperbacks,|[1998], c1959.|326 p. ; 21 cm., overdrive:5dfb7fdc-a7e8-47a3-b720-e5b78ac13408|eBook|eBook||English|RosettaBooks|2002|, overdrive:7851d8ed-c9d4-4a1b-a335-70b2f34d0d9b|eBook|eBook||English|Random House Publishing Group|2007|
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title_display The sirens of titan
title_full The Sirens of Titan, The Sirens of Titan A Novel, The sirens of titan / Kurt Vonnegut
title_short The sirens of titan
title_sub A Novel
topic_facet Classic Literature, Fiction, Literature, Mystery, Science Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy