The Very Last

It is with both sadness and relief that I write about the last book from the Vonnegut Marathon.

Timequake by Kurt Vonnegut

Grade: A-

In Timequake, a hiccup in the expansion of the universe sets time back by ten years. Everyone on Earth has to relive those ten years and they have to do it exactly the same way. When the time loop finally ends, people are caught off guard, not realizing that they are once again in control of their bodies. Mayhem ensues as drivers, unused to steering, crash their vehicles. Walkers, unused to controlling their feet, stumble and fall. The only person who knows what’s happening is science-fiction writer Kilgore Trout. Will he take this opportunity to be a hero?

Timequake is not as much a novel as it is a memoir and not as much a memoir as it is a set of interesting ideas. If you’re looking for a solid plot, you will not find it here. If you’re a fan of Vonnegut and you want to sit back and listen to the old man talk, then here is your chance.

You see, Vonnegut understood exactly why writing was so important.

Still and all, why bother? Here’s my answer: Many people need desperately to receive this message: “I feel and think much as you do, care about many of the things you care about, although most people don’t care about them. You are not alone.”

That message was ever present in Timequake, just not in form you’d expect for a novel, and that’s why Timequake is worth reading, even though it’s not a great story. Not many authors can write a bad novel that I’d willingly read more than once. I’m going to miss him!

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