Vonnegut Book Club: Timequake

"I don't want my final book to be a piece of crap. At the end of his life, Mark Twain was writing mostly crap." So wrote Kurt Vonnegut in a 1995 letter, as he grappled with "a premise I'm too fogbound to exploit properly." That premise: the whole world is forced to relive its past ten years of life...and then the really hard stuff starts.

By 1997, Vonnegut had found the way to do that premise. He did it by blowing it up, putting himself into it, and reimagining what a novel could be. Timequake became Vonnegut's final novel. It also might be his most fascinating.

Join the Kurt Vonneguys Alex Schmidt and Michael Swaim as they deconstruct Vonnegut's most-deconstructed novel. It's a whirl of science fiction brilliance, artistic futility, and a "natural" disaster that gets even stranger after it's over. And guess what: there's beer!

Plot Time (00:01:00)

Kurt Blurt (00:26:30)

Recurring Characters Update (01:15:20)

Kurt Cameo (01:16:50)


Vonne-Amendments (01:23:00)

VonneWHAT (01:28:10)

The Meat (01:59:40)

VonneGRADES (02:11:20)

Related Reading (02:15:15)

Related Reading:

The Old Man and the Sea (Ernest Hemingway)

Lincoln in the Bardo (George Saunders)

Mike Birbiglia: My Girlfriend's Boyfriend (Netflix)

Born Standing Up (Steve Martin)

Our Town (Thornton Wilder)

Death of a Salesman (Arthur Miller)

The Crucible (Arthur Miller)

The Glass Menagerie (Tennessee Williams)

A Streetcar Named Desire (Tennessee Williams)

Long Day's Journey Into Night (Eugene O'Neill)