Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Just finished Kurt Vonnegut's "Player Piano". It was written in 1952 and is extremely dated in it's references to technology, but was fun anyway. It is about a United States that is run by machinery, by-and-large and by people with high IQs who think that the vast human wasteland that remains is happy with housing, income and nothing to do. I would recommend it to anyone who can overlook references to vacuum tubes and mechanical means and the lack of references to microchips. After all, it was 1952. Human interaction is quite dated as well, but overlook that, dear reader.

Vonnegut was inspired to write it when he was working for GE. That should interest my brother, Mark. He also says he took the plot from Brave New World which in turn was taken from We. It was also his first novel. I think it is also dead-on with its premise of what human nature comes to.

I read Slaughterhouse Five by Vonnegut about twenty years ago while travelling shotgun around Yellowstone Park. It was the summer I was wearing a wig due to my being in chemotherapy and was not especially thrilled with anything. I barely checked out the beauty of our great national park. For that I feel deeply guilty, but anyway . . .

I must read that one again, sometime, because that is Vonnegut's biggie and I barely remember the plot at all. All I remember is that I couldn't put it down. Sigh. Cooked brains is all the excuse I can give.


Mark said...

As a matter of fact, Vonnegut worked for GE in Schenectady, NY. Anyone who has lived in Schenectady will recognize many elements of the town that appear in Player Piano, including the Elm Club, Scotia, the Scotia bridge, and the main plant with numbered buildings.

Linda Aukschun said...

Wow, Mark! Is he legendary?