|Published (Last):||20 July 2016|
|PDF File Size:||12.7 Mb|
|ePub File Size:||2.4 Mb|
|Price:||Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]|
Angela Plant The most accurate review of this particular novel! Thank you! Apr 19, PM Shelves: strongly-recommended , science-fiction , pooh-dante This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Well, what are you waiting for? There are two obvious themes. One is how the irresponsible use of science to construct ever more deadly weapons is probably going to end up destroying the whole world. The other is a wonderfully crazy take on religion. I love General Jack T. His three damaged children get hold of the secret, and exploit it for their own petty ends. Plain, charmless Angela sells it to the Americans in exchange for a playboy husband; Newt, the midget, gives it to the Soviets for a dirty weekend on Cape Cod with a tiny Russian dancer; and, fatally, humorless Franklin sells it to "Papa" Monzano, who makes him a Major General in the largely imaginary army of San Lorenzo, a bankrupt state, I believe, loosely based on Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
After that, things just proceed by themselves; nothing works in San Lorenzo, so why would you be able to successfully guard a doomsday device? And, sure enough, it gets used completely by accident. The second theme is presented through Bokononism, a kind of Caribbean version of Christianity, and surely the best fictional religion ever devised. Officially, the religion is outlawed; in practice, everyone is a Bokononist, which makes their lives rich and meaningful.
Everything about the religion turns out to be a lie, and there is even a technical term, foma, for the lies that make up its substance. None the less, Vonnegut succeeds admirably in showing what a good religion it is. The scene where Dr.
Schlichter von Koenigswald reads the Bokonist last rites to the dying Papa Monzano is funny, but also moving. I love the line "Nice going, God! So, what is the connection between the two themes? He introduces Bokononism, and recounts its creation myth, which is absurd even by the standards of this magic realist genre. Finally, he comments, in one of his better-known quotes: "Anyone unable to understand how a useful religion can be founded on lies will not understand this book either".
People during the Cold War were, with good reason, scared shitless that the world was going to end soon in a nuclear holocaust. We came terrifyingly close during the Cuba Missile Crisis. There were many books and movies intended to help people relate to what was going on.
Can someone point me to a new Vonnegut, who knows how to make us laugh at global warming and the financial meltdown?
Kocia Kolyska, Wroclaw
Podziemia Dworu Polskiego - Kocia Kołyska
Kocia Kolyska, Wroclaw