This is the 6th Vonnegut novel that I have read, and while I plan to continue reading more – this and the previous read (Breakfast of Champions) have left me underwhelmed. Granted, the idea is great – humanity after its own destruction, as explained by a narrator who is related to one of Vonnegut’s most beloved characters, Kilgore Trout and who also happens to be a one-million-year-old ghost. Pretty nifty stuff; still, I found this lacking the polish that Cat’s Cradle and even Slaughterhouse-Five demonstrated. And while Vonnegut displays his characteristic cynicism toward the human race and its “accomplishments,” Galapagos lacks the sharp humor of, say, God Bless You Dr. Kevorkian or A Man Without A Country. Overall, I found the story interesting and mildly entertaining – the Mandarax quotations were always welcome additions to the read, especially when the interpretations formed tended to be ironic. Still, of my list so far, this one is nearer to the bottom. (I can’t help but rank, here: Cat’s Cradle; A Man Without A Country;, God Bless You, Dr. Kevorkian; Slaughterhouse-Five; Galapagos; Breakfast of Champions).
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You don’t start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking it’s good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it. That’s why I say one of the most valuable traits is persistence. Octavia E. Butler
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