The Sirens of Titan

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Language:
English
Lexile measure:
980L
Description

The Sirens of Titan (1959), Vonnegut’s second novel, was on the Hugo final ballot along with Robert Heinlein’s Starship Troopers and lost in what Harlan Ellison called a monumental injustice. Malachi Constant is a feckless but ultimately good-hearted millionaire who, in this incondensable interplanetary Candide (lacking perhaps Voltaire’s utter bitterness), searches the solar system for the ultimate meaning of existence.

Constant is aided by another tycoon, Winston Rumfoord, who, with the help of aliens, has discovered the fundamental meaning of life. With the help of Salo - an alien robot overseeing the alien race, the Tralmafordians (who also feature in Slaughterhouse-Five) - Constant attempts to find some cosmic sense and order in the face of universal malevolence. Constant and Rumfoord deal with the metaphysics of “chrono-synclastic infundibula” and the interference of the Tralmafadorians. The novel is pervaded by a goofy, episodic charm which barely shields the readers (or the characters) from the fact of what seems to be a large and indifferent universe.

ll of Vonnegut’s themes and obsessions, further developed or recycled in later work, are evident here in a novel slightly more hopeful than most of his canon. It is suggested that ultimately Constant learns only that it is impossible to learn, that fate (and the Tralmafadorians) are impenetrable. On the basis of this novel, Vonnegut was wholly claimed by the science fiction community (as the Hugo nomination demonstrated) but he did not reciprocate, feeling from the outset that to be identified as a science fiction writer would limit his audience and trivialize his themes. His recurring character, the hack science fiction writer Kilgore Trout (prominent in Slaughterhouse-Five) was for Vonnegut a worst case version of the writer he did not wish to become.

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ISBN:
9780795311994
9780307423375
Lexile measure:
980L
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Grouping Information

Grouped Work IDdab68b99-87f6-ee9a-3be4-d1d75f606fe2
Grouping Titlesirens of titan
Grouping Authorkurt vonnegut
Grouping Categorybook
Grouping LanguageEnglish (eng)
Last Grouping Update2022-10-04 04:40:42AM
Last Indexed2022-10-04 05:04:48AM

Solr Fields

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Vonnegut, Kurt
author_display
Vonnegut, Kurt
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display_description

The Sirens of Titan (1959), Vonnegut's second novel, was on the Hugo final ballot along with Robert Heinlein's Starship Troopers and lost in what Harlan Ellison called a monumental injustice. Malachi Constant is a feckless but ultimately good-hearted millionaire who, in this incondensable interplanetary Candide (lacking perhaps Voltaire's utter bitterness), searches the solar system for the ultimate meaning of existence.

Constant is aided by another tycoon, Winston Rumfoord, who, with the help of aliens, has discovered the fundamental meaning of life. With the help of Salo—an alien robot overseeing the alien race, the Tralmafordians (who also feature in Slaughterhouse-Five)—Constant attempts to find some cosmic sense and order in the face of universal malevolence. Constant and Rumfoord deal with the metaphysics of "chrono-synclastic infundibula" and the interference of the Tralmafadorians. The novel is pervaded by a goofy, episodic charm which barely shields the readers (or the characters) from the fact of what seems to be a large and indifferent universe.

All of Vonnegut's themes and obsessions, further developed or recycled in later work, are evident here in a novel slightly more hopeful than most of his canon. It is suggested that ultimately Constant learns only that it is impossible to learn, that fate (and the Tralmafadorians) are impenetrable. On the basis of this novel, Vonnegut was wholly claimed by the science fiction community (as the Hugo nomination demonstrated) but he did not reciprocate, feeling from the outset that to be identified as a science fiction writer would limit his audience and trivialize his themes. His recurring character, the hack science fiction writer Kilgore Trout (prominent in Slaughterhouse-Five) was for Vonnegut a worst case version of the writer he did not wish to become.

format_addison
eBook
format_category_addison
eBook
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dab68b99-87f6-ee9a-3be4-d1d75f606fe2
isbn
9780307423375
9780795311994
last_indexed
2022-10-04T10:04:48.928Z
lexile_score
980
literary_form
Fiction
literary_form_full
Fiction
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Online OverDrive
owning_library_addison
Addison Public Library Online
owning_location_addison
Online OverDrive Collection
primary_isbn
9780795311994
publishDate
2002
2007
publisher
Random House Publishing Group
RosettaBooks
recordtype
grouped_work
title_display
The Sirens of Titan
title_full
The Sirens of Titan
The Sirens of Titan A Novel
title_short
The Sirens of Titan
topic_facet
Classic Literature
Fiction
Literature
Mystery
Science Fiction
Science Fiction & Fantasy

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