Unstuck in Time

Unstuck in Time

A Journey Through Kurt Vonnegut's Life and Novels

Book - 2011
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Random House, Inc.
In Unstuck in Time, Gregory Sumner guides us, with insight and passion, through a biography of fifteen of Kurt Vonnegut’s best known works, his fourteen novels starting with Player Piano (1952) all the way to an epilogue on his last book, A Man Without a Country (2005), to illustrate the quintessential American writer’s profound engagement with the "American Dream" in its various forms. Sumner gives us a poignant portrait of Vonnegut and his resistance to celebrating the traditional values associated with the American Dream: grandiose ambition, unbridled material success, rugged individualism, and "winners" over "losers." Instead of a celebration of these values, we read and share Vonnegut’s outrage, his brokenhearted empathy for those who struggle under the ethos of survival-of-the-fittest in the frontier mentality—something he once memorably described as "an impossibly tough-minded experiment in loneliness." Heroic and tragic, Vonnegut’s novels reflect the pain of his own life’s experiences, relieved by small acts of kindness, friendship, and love that exemplify another way of living, another sort of human utopia, an alternative American Dream, and the reason we always return to his books.

Baker & Taylor
A meditation on the life and work of the iconic literary figure analyzes 15 of his best-known novels to illustrate Vonnegut's engagement with the "American Dream" in its various incarnations as well as his outrage at the ethos of "survival of the fittest" mentalities. By the author of Dwight Macdonald and the Politics Circle.

Book News
Drawing on novelist Kurt Vonnegut's correspondence with him, author Sumner (history, U. of Detroit Mercy) weaves together discussion of 15 of Vonnegut's novels with details on Vonnegut's life and the historical, cultural, and political context of the period in which he wrote each novel. An introduction overviews Vonnegut's career, looking especially at his devotion to an alternative version of the American Dream, and his place as an instant icon in the youth counterculture of the 1960s and 1970s. A prologue describes his early years, education, and time in the military. This is followed by chronological chapters discussing the novels, Player Piano (1952) through A Man Without a Country (2005). Each chapter opens with a full-page b&w photo of Vonnegut through the years. Annotation ©2012 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Publisher: New York : Seven Stories Press, c2011
Edition: Seven Stories Press 1st ed
ISBN: 9781609803490
Branch Call Number: 813.54 V896Z, Su66u
Characteristics: ix, 355 p. : ill. ; 24 cm
Alternative Title: Kurt Vonnegut's life and novels


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