Before the Golden Age of magazines drew to a close half a century ago, a young PR man at General Electric sold his first short story to one of the doomed publications. By the time he'd sold his third, he decided to quit GE and join the likes of Hemingway and Fitzgerald and Faulkner, and try to make a living at fifteen hundred dollars a pop. With ...
Before the Golden Age of magazines drew to a close half a century ago, a young PR man at General Electric sold his first short story to one of the doomed publications. By the time he'd sold his third, he decided to quit GE and join the likes of Hemingway and Fitzgerald and Faulkner, and try to make a living at fifteen hundred dollars a pop. With four major magazines running five stories each week and smaller ones scouting as well, it was a seller's market, and Kurt Vonnegut was published regularly by The Saturday Evening Post, Collier's, Argosy and others. For this unusual collection, Vonnegut has selected twenty-four of his favourite stories never published before in book form and has written a new preface for the occasion. Vonnegut scholar Peter Reed, who unearthed the old publications, contributes an introduction. Now readers can relive the genesis of a master. Stories such as 'Any Reasonable Offer', 'The Powder Blue Dragon', 'Hal Irwin's Magic Lamp' and 'Lovers Anonymous' bring us to the beginning of a literary voice that is sure to last forever. Bagombo Snuff Box, the missing pieces of the master's oeuvre, is a ready made classic for Vonnegut fans new and old.
New in very good dust jacket. Tight binding with clean text. New. D/j has shelwear. Glued binding. Paper over boards. With dust jacket. 295 p. Audience: General/trade. "For this unusual collection, Vonnegut has selected twenty-three of his favorite stories never published before in book form and has written an introduction and coda for the occasion. Vonnegut scholar Peter Reed, who unearthed the old publications, contributes a preface
Publishers Weekly, 1999-10-04 In an amiable and lengthy introduction read by the author, Vonnegut sounds downright aged, undeniably wise and a bit wistful, conjuring up the time of his early writing career when he wrote these previously uncollected short stories for magazines such as the Saturday Evening Post and Argosy. Sparks of his youthful, mischievous humor soon break through, as he describes his time working first as a PR man for General Electric, then as a journeyman magazine writer. "Thanasphere," a SF outing about an astronaut who hears the voices of dead spirits in space, mocks Cold War-era scientists who were "amazed at nothing." Likewise, "To Be or Not to Be," with its future-view of enforced population control, shows Utopian ideals gone awry. Read in sensitive tones by Marshall (an actor who has narrated parts for animated series on TV), the stories' sly moods seem to build on their own. Based on the 1999 Putnam hardcover. (Sept.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Publishers Weekly, 1999-08-16 Any new book by Vonnegut, especially since he has vowed to retire from literature, will be welcomed by his fans. But as the author himself says in his introduction, these 23 apprenticeship stories "were expected to be among the living about as long as individual lightning bugs," and they will be of most interest to completists and scholars. Vonnegut's best short stories from the '50s were collected in Welcome to the Monkey House. Those in this collection for the most part work humbly with formulas dear to mid-century middlebrow magazines like Colliers. Included are tales like "The No-Talent Kid" and "The Boy Who Hated Girls," both featuring a genial bandmaster named George Helmholtz, who has to deal with misfit high school boys while dreaming of owning a seven-foot-tall drum. In "Thanasphere," Vonnegut tries out a sci-fi themeÄa man is sent into space in a rocket and discovers that space is full of the voices of the dead. In a short, ironic piece, "Der Arme Dolmetscher," a soldier who recites a line from Heine's "Die Lorelei" that he has learned by rote is assumed to "talk Kraut" by a bungling officer. Pressed into service as a translator, he acquires just enough of the language to help his detachment surrender in the Battle of the Bulge. The title story concerns a man who visits his ex-wife and feeds her a cock-and-bull story about being an adventurer. In "Runaways," two teenagers realize that love is not enough to get married on, gently deflating the myth of the then-incipient youth culture long before the Summer of Love. Vonnegut's afterword, "Coda to My Career as a Writer for Periodicals," comments in his trademark style about his midwestern origins and the vagaries of writing for magazines. BOMC featured alternate. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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