Kurt Vonnegut's Timequake
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Kurt Vonnegut's Timequake

of 4.

I say in lectures in 1996 that fifty percent or more of American marriages go bust because most of us no longer have extended families. When you marry somebody now, all you get is one person.
I say that when couples fight, it isn't about money or sex or power. What they're really saying is, "You're not enough people!"
Sigmund Freud said he didn't know what women wanted. I know what women want. They want a whole lot of people to talk to.
-Kurt Vonnegut, Timequake

Kurt Vonnegut is seventy-two years old and finds the book he's been working on for so long is no good. That book is Timequake One. Timequake, the one we see, is the best bits rehashed and put back together.
There's no one left alive in Vonnegut's family. They've all died by now and he's the only one left. Maybe he's lived too long.
Kilgore Trout is living in a shelter and throwing away every short story he writes as he writes them when the timequake hits.
In 2001, one year past the millenium, the universe starts to shrink. It shrinks back to 1991 and begins to expand again. The world lives the same life again over those ten years until the point of the timequake comes again. Free will returns, but no one remembers how to use it. Kilgore Trout realizes this, and must then save the world.
Kurt Vonnegut is talking with Kilgore Trout at a clambake in 2001 after the end of the timequake.
This is the books plot. This has nothing to do with what the book's about. From reading the bookjacket, it would seem that Vonnegut has started a work that criticizes and analyzes the new state of Capitalism in Russia. However, upon reading, the book is a summing up of Vonnegut's life. The timequake is memory. We relive every mistake and memory every second we're alive. Maybe this is the punishment levied upon the survivors.
Vonnegut makes references to his others works often in this book. He labels this volume as the last novel he will write. Anyway, the references to the other books are necessary for this story, but a prior reading of his other works does not seem necessary. However, Slaughterhouse Five or the Children's Crusade is referred to often, even if not in name, and provides an example of who Kilgore Trout is. This reviewer suggests that you read that before Timequake and that you definitely read Timequake.

Email: Nick Fenris
last updated 1/12/98
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