Kurt Vonnegut's black humor, satiric voice, and incomparable imagination first captured America's attention in The Sirens of Titan in 1959 and established him as "a true artist" (The New York Times) with Cat's Cradle in 1963. He was, as Graham Greene declared, "one of the best living American writers." Mr. Vonnegut passed away in April 2007.
Listeners are in for a treat as a masterful cast animates many of Vonnegut's finest short pieces. Vonnegut colors his oft-wondrous works with memorable characters, fantastic realities, pitch-perfect dialogue and heapings of satire and humor-a tall order for any audio actor. But this group of narrators are veterans of screen and stage, each with a unique voice as malleable as clay. It's hard to find fault with this production. Occasionally, Tucci and Irwin oversoften their voices, and listeners may find themselves reaching for the volume. Otherwise, there are very few blemishes. Baker is outstanding in "All the King's Horses" and "The Hyannis Port Story." Strathairn shines on "Tom Edison's Shaggy Dog" and "The Lie." Tucci handles with ease the predominantly male pieces "Go Back to Your Precious Wife and Son" and "Manned Missiles." Irwin inhabits every character. The robust Roberts is both commanding and wry. Given the fertile material and the collective talent of the cast, listeners should expect nothing less than excellence here. They won't be disappointed. Available in paperback from Dell. (June) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
First published in 1968, this collection of Vonnegut's early short stories includes such eclectic modern classics as "Harrison Bergeron," "Who Am I This Time?" "EPICAC," and the title story. This audio is narrated by five moderately well-known actors-Dylan Baker, Bill Irwin, Tony Roberts, David Strathairn, and Maria Tucci-with the result an interesting mix of contrasting styles. Some of the performances enhance Vonnegut's texts, but others fall flat. It's unlikely many listeners will be satisfied with every reading, but the uniformly high quality of the stories ensures that this collection will be in demand. Recommended.-R. Kent Rasmussen, Thousand Oaks, CA Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
"[Kurt Vonnegut] strips the flesh from bone and makes you laugh while he does it. . . . There are twenty-five stories here, and each hits a nerve ending."--The Charlotte Observer