Master of post-modern satire, Kurt Vonnegut patterns trajectories of sex, spite, crime and power in this kaleidoscopic novel
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Published: 07 May 2015
Eugene Debs Hartke, ex-Vietnam vet, ex-college professor, current inmate of Tarkington State Reformatory, awaits his trial and probable death from TB. How did he get there? Via numerous absurd twists of fate which he now narrates on scraps of paper found about the place. Killer of men, romancer of women, compulsive list-maker, Eugene is just one more victim of the world's hocus pocus.
After you have read one of Kurt Vonnegut's gleefully pessimistic novels, his words go on colouring your world for a long time afterwards... not to read him would be to miss out on lessons that need to be learned about the age we live in.
It is all done with voice. Vonnegut is a master of the first-person, manic-depressive stand-up.
Although it is set in the near future, Hocus Pocus is the most topical, realistic Vonnegut novel to date, and shows the struggle of an artist a little impatient with allegory and more than a little impatient with his own country.
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Kurt Vonnegut was born in Indianapolis in 1922 and studied biochemistry at Cornell University. During WWII, as a prisoner of war in Germany, he witnessed the destruction of Dresden by Allied bombers, an ...