Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Welcome to the Monkey House by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (10)
Welcome to the Monkey House is a collection of short stories, much like his other collection, Bagombo Snuff Box. It does a nice job of showing how Vonnegut and his writing matured over the years, and how he became one of the preeminent satirist and humanists in literature. His ability to build a world where humanity's, society's, and government's faults are highlighted with humor is unparalleled.
Some of the more memorable stories include:
The namesake, "Welcome to the Monkey House," where people are forbidden to reproduce and are required by law to take a drug that numbs them from the waist down and a group that struggles to free society from this law.
"Report on the Barnhouse Effect," which is the story of one man who has learned to control an unseen "force" that turns him into a human weapon and his fight against government control.
"EPICAC," the story of a computer that learns to love.
"Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow," which tells the story of a family that can never die.
And much, much more. With 25 stories spread over 300 pages, Vonnegut lays bare all of society's ills with his trademark humor. If you're looking to get into Vonnegut, Welcome to the Monkey House isn't a bad place to start.