Reader reviews for The Sirens of Titan

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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An excellent Vonnegut book. If you are a fan of his writing or of anything good then I highly recommend it. It is a histerical look into the future that include the classic aliens from Tralfalmadore. It is an interesting look at human nature whether they live on Earth, Mars, Titan, or a space traveling man and his dog that control the future. It is very enjoyable.
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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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Okay, I've modified my original [two-star:] rating of this book. I actually rated it when I hadn't completely finished it, but hey! When I did finish it, I liked it more than I thought I would. I just don't think I'm a Vonnegut person. I've tried reading Slaughterhouse Five and Cat's Cradle, but with no luck. This was when I was a bit younger, so I'll have another go at it. I really enjoyed the sardonic and biting societal commentaries Vonnegut made, but the sci-fi/high tech/futuristic aspect didn't interest me. However, as a classic author....I feel like I should give him another chance!
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This is my favorite Vonnegut book, and I say this with the feeling of going against the grain for some reason. So many have held up Cat's Cradle and Slaughterhouse Five as his best. They have their shining moments, to be sure, but Sirens has a special place in my heart for its sci-fi answer to humanity on Earth, it's witty humor and colorful style. It could also be that it was the first Vonnegut book I've ever read, as well.
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Very funny without obviously trying to be so. Still one of Vonneguts best books
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A great exploration of religion and militarism, done with classic Vonnegut humor. As ever, I'm in awe of the author's ability to infuse his frequently bleak tales with such wit and humanity.
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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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The concepts behind it could have been interesting. I wanted to like Vonnegut because people kept telling me he was brilliant. I just... wasn't that interested. I didn't care about the characters, and I wasn't even sure there was a story. Perhaps it's just that I'm much more of a characters person than anything else.
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It's epic and will blow your mind. If you seek the meaning of life read this book and be enlightened.
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