Kurt Vonnegut’s Galapagos

It took me almost two months but I more or less managed to read Kurt Vonnegut‘s novel Galapagos.

I borrowed it at the (very good) local public library just after the writer’s death, when they put a series of books as suggested readings. A couple of them were in the original english edition, i.e. not translated into italian.

GalapagosI picked Galapagos, which is one of those I haven’t still read and, to tell the truth, I read almost entirely in the bathroom, one or two chapters at a time. I usually read during travelling but I didn’t do it that much and when I did there were overdue jobs to do like updating my website. Last year I tried to read Bret Easton Ellis’ Lunar Park but got only so far as one third or half of the book.

Speaking about Galapagos with a friend who hasn’t yet read it but who loved Slaughterhouse 5 last year (and then bought it as a gift to a parent), we concurred about Vonnegut’s breaking of most of the “rules” of storytelling and yet keeping the reader glued and entertained with his witty, sarcastic mix of fiction and opinions. In Galapagos, as in Slaughterhouse 5 he doesn’t follow a linear structure, often goes astray, and frequently puts spoilers telling in advance what will happen or who will die or live, as if trying to put on paper all he can in as few pages as possible. Still, his books are not so short and this technique magically pays off thanks to his ability to depict the tragicomic and also the beauty of nature and human life in its various forms. Even if, as in Galapagos, they take unforeseen turns.