Monday, June 4, 2012

Book Review: "Timequake" by Kurt Vonnegut

Kurt Vonnegut is one of America's finest authors, with memorable satirical works such as Slaughterhouse-Five. Unfortunately, Timequake is not a novel that could follow his legacy in such a memorable way. Timequake is one of those novels that could have been, but wasn't, and it missed the mark by a massive amount. While it is portrayed as being a work of fiction, it would be better categorized as an autobiography. An autobiography with scattered memories.

The concept of the novel was excellent. In the year 2001, a timequake occurs and causes everyone to relive the years of 1991 to 2001 over again. The twist is that you have to relive them just as you did before. This means you are not able to fix your mistakes, you simply just relive what you did. For those who previously made mistakes, this would be a living hell for them.

This is what the premise of the novel is SUPPOSED to be about. It turns out to simply be about Kurt Vonnegut's many adventures and an idea about such a novel. He mentions how his alter ego, Kilgore Trout, went through such a series of events and came up with such a work. He mentions that there were two novels, and one of them was from this alter ego of his. He puts the novel on Trout and uses this book to talk about experiences, people, previous novels, and what the white stuff is in bird feces. Oh, and he makes the few mentions about a timequake occurring and pushing people back ten years.

I have been an enthusiast for collecting and reading novels since my sophomore year of high school. I have been collecting and reading books in general for even longer. I have NEVER been more lead on with the plot than I was with Timequake. It was a complete waste of time. One of the cardinal rules that was broken was that it was stated that the plot was going to be about one thing and how it was a novel, but then I get something else.

If I was a college instructor, I would give F's on three occasions: The first was if the paper was never turned in. The second was if the paper had absolutely nothing to do with the topic or featured information that was so bizarre that it made absolutely no sense. The third was if the grammar was beyond atrocious that it affected the paper. The third could always be fixed with some extra help at a writing center. The second is what this novel falls under. Supposed to be about one thing, but turned out to be about something else. Kind of like asking for a pasta dish, but getting a rice dish instead. Sometimes plot twists are good, but this isn't one of them.

I highly suggest skipping Timequake. There are plenty of other exciting works that exist that are either well known or are waiting to be discovered. This is just Kurt Vonnegut writing about memories or his in a jumbled format, switching from fiction to nonfiction, and giving little support to the original concept. Writers have their bad works, too, and this just happens to be Vonnegut's.

Verdict: 0/10

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