Reader reviews for The Sirens of Titan

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Absolutely spell-binding and thought-provoking.
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The novel presents a very entertaining tale that offers quirky and insightful angles into different aspects of human culture. Sirens of Titan might not be quite as sharp as some of Vonnegut's later work, but there's a lot to like here, and many surprising events for a novel that explains its basic plot structure right in the beginning. Each section of the book also has an unique atmosphere and style - starting from a bit chaotic and ending in contemplative, while exploring everything else in between. Considering that, the plot holds together remarkably well too, and is easy to follow.
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After reading this I wonder how influential it was on Dougla Adams...
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I originally read this as a two part story, published as being written by Kilgore Trout, in a monthly science fiction anthology. The name of the journal escapes me, but it may have been Isaac Asimov's Fantasy and Science Fiction. Sadly, I no longer have my copy.Vonnegut predates Rowling in creating literary references in their work, then supplying the missing books. A good read in it's own right, it also dovetails into Vonnegut's version of reality.
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My favourite Vonnegut book by far. I have a quote from this tattooed on me. I even prefer this to 'Cat's Cradle.'
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I couldn't quite get into this one. I read it soon after Mother Night, which I liked a great deal, but it seemed very inferior. The first quarter of the novel I found exceedingly dull. I thought it took twenty or thirty pages too long to get going. Thereafter things pick up and the Martian section is probably the best part of the book. Everything after that is decent but... lacking any real heart. Vonnegut's views and the points he puts across are good but there seemed, to me, too little invested in the characters to really draw me in.Mother Night by comparison moved at a much swifter pace and also made me care a bit more about the characters involved. It's not like Mother Night is War and Peace in terms of characterization but it just had that little bit extra that really pulled me in. Still, Vonnegut's humanity shines through in the end - "It took us that long to realise that a purpose of human life, no matter who is controlling it, is to love whoever is around to be loved.". It's just a shame that The Sirens of Titan makes good points whilst feeling sadly empty. As a result, I didn't enjoy it as much as I was hoping to.
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I only read this because someone recommended it to me. This was my first Vonnegut book, and, simply put, I didn't like it. That's what the 1-star rating says when I mouse over it, and so that's what I have rated it.

I'm not a big fan of sci-fi in general, but religious satire sci-fi? No thanks.

Do yourself a favor and read the last few lines of the book. Yeah, that's the end. A joke on a statement said in one of the first chapters.

Ha. Ha.

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The Sirens of Titan, Kurt Vonnegut’s second book, is one that I first read a long time ago, and have not re-read since, Like the majority of his work it tends to get labelled “science fiction”, a label he himself hated, arguing that the themes he was trying to talk about transcended the idea of genre. His books do tend to be wider-read than much SF, and deservedly so.Sirens is about Winston Niles Rumford, a rich eccentric in the 22nd century who – like Billy Pilgrim to come – becomes unstuck in time, existing as a wave in space-time who periodically appears in particular locations and dispenses knowledge gleaned from his time travel. Along the way he colonises another planet, engineers a suicidal interplanetary war, and establishes a new religion – the Church of God the Utterly Indifferent – all in the name of trying to make humanity better itself, cheerfully abusing and sacrificing the book’s principle protagonist, Malachi Constant, along the way. Ultimately though, Rumford’s manipulations prove futile in the face of a realisation of a greater, and yet more arbitrary, manipulation of the entire human race. (And even knowing that revelation in advance, it still made me laugh when it turned up – it’s clear to see why Douglas Adams cited Vonnegut as a major influence when he came to write The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide…)Vonnegut looks at religion, love, fate, beauty, and the great questions of why we’re here, and what our purpose in life is. On one level, the book’s conclusions are somewhat nihilistic, but even in the pointlessness that marks the book’s ending Vonnegut is alluding to something quintessentially more human with the potential to become something more. Malachi’s final moments have a bittersweet quality of redemption to them that suits the tone of the entire book. Beauty is where we find it and what we make of it. For a book written so early in his career, it’s amazingly well-formed. Vonnegut’s position as one of America’s finest authors is well earned.
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Another step in my Kurt Vonnegut odyssey. And another home run.Again, I could vaguely remember some characters and snippets of the plot. But nothing near enough to have any idea of what was going to happen on the next page.Very good read. And yet another Vonnegut take on an alternative religion.
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