‘Galapagos’ by Kurt Vonnegut – A Tale For Our Times

By Bernie Bell

I’m reading ‘Galapagos’ by Kurt Vonnegut again – first read over 40 years ago.  At times when madness surrounds me – I turn to Mr Vonnegut – his sanity and humanity.

The story tells of how humanity’s big brains lead us to destruction, and how we re-build in a completely different way.

Reading this when I’m not getting to meet and talk with people means that it’s particularly good to engage with a thinking, humorous, good-humoured, wonderfully sane person.

His outlook didn’t help to make life easier for him, but for the reader it’s very, very good to come across his view of the world – humans – life.

I do think it’s a story for our time, and of where our big brains have taken us and are taking us, unless we back-peddle like mad and re-think – re-assess – re-adjust.

I won’t go on and on about it – I‘ll just advise folk to read it – and think.

If you’d like to get a clearer idea of  the content…….


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5 replies »

  1. Bernie. Vonnegut is my favourite author from years ago.Have read many of his books. His fascination with writing about time is specially interesting. I love his intelligent humour. Must look on the shelf and see what I still have by him. Thanks for jogging my memory.

    • Mornin’ Mr. Angus

      ‘The Sirens of Titan’ is another favourite of mine, with its take on the ‘meaning’ of Stonehenge. And I quote……..

      “It was through this viewer that he got his first reply from Tralfamadore. The reply was written on Earth in huge stones on a plain in what is now England. The ruins of the reply still stand, and are known as Stonehenge. The meaning of Stonehenge in Tralfamadorian, when viewed from above is: “Replacement part being rushed with all possible speed.”

      I like the idea – Stonehenge being a message in Tralfamadorian – and not even an ‘important’ message.

      Re. Kilgore Trout – did you see this one? https://theorkneynews.scot/2018/09/21/its-not-wise-to-judge-a-book-by-looking-at-its-cover/


  2. Aaaaaand….. ‘Galapagos’ was first published in 1985, before Smartphones or Google existed – Mandarax?

    I’ve started to read ‘A Tale Of Two Cities’ by Charles Dickens which famously begins….

    “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.”


  3. We are in a train looking through a porthole, watching time go by, Tralfamadorians are sitting on the roof.

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