Blue-Footed Reading

I will miss Galápagos. It was a nice-looking book. It had a blue cover featuring a pair of blue-footed boobies. Inside, there was a page with a picture of an iguana. A previous reader had colored it in prettily using two different colored pencils. The world’s next Renoir, no doubt.

As for the story, I was not quite as impressed.

Galápagos by Kurt Vonnegut

Grade: B

Galápagos is about a group of people who sign up for a tour of the Galápagos Islands, made famous by the great Charles Darwin, and who end up as participants in a new era of human evolution. How will a million years in the Galápagos change homo sapiens? His brain will shrink and his hands will turn into flippers and that, says Vonnegut, may be for the best. You can’t make big weapons without a big brain nor can you wield them with flippers.

Vonnegut likes to flaunt his narrative omniscience. He often makes himself, the author, a character in his stories. He changed the formula for this book by making himself a ghost, the ghost of Kilgore Trout’s son. One way in which he showed his omniscience was by putting asterisks before the names of the soon-to-perish. If any of the characters had been likable, maybe that would have meant something, but all it did was ruin any chance of suspense. All in all, not Vonnegut’s best, but it contains some information about the Galápagos. The blue-footed booby is mentioned often (yay!)

I returned the book to the library this evening and replaced it with Bluebeard. We are down to the final three!

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