Kurt Vonnegut, ‘The Sirens of Titan’

A well written, entertaining piece about the misery of knowing the future and the constraints that having an almost godlike power would confer upon an individual. A more usually gothic trope transplanted into a futuristic setting. Ultimately unsatisfying in it’s lack of meaty discussion, but the character of Malachi Constant is interesting, although perhaps some of the empathic nature of a main character is lost when he is brainwashed and becomes someone else entirely. The reader (and the character) are warned that the character will change, but a mindscrub is hardly a subtle way to achieve it. Likewise, the fate of Malachi’s son is almost entirely ridiculous. A good novel if not taken too seriously, but being #18 in the SF masterworks series is a little much, especially when this pits it against the likes of ‘Stand on Zanzibar’ and ‘Rendezvous with Rama’. Having read a chapter or two of ‘Slaughterhouse 5’ it seems that Vonnegut’s style is somewhat light-hearted, so perhaps this novel should be considered in the light of the authors work as a whole, rather than as a genre novel.

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~ by Snake Oil on August 3, 2009.

 
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