Galapagos

  • by Kurt Vonnegut
  • Narrated by Jonathan Davis
  • 8 hrs and 1 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Galapagos takes the listener back one million years to AD 1986. A simple vacation cruise suddenly becomes an evolutionary journey. Thanks to an apocalypse, a small group of survivors stranded on the Galapagos Islands are about to become the progenitors of a brave, new, totally different human race.
Kurt Vonnegut, America's master satirist, looks at our world and shows us all that is sadly, madly awry - and all that is worth saving.
As an added bonus, when you purchase our Audible Modern Vanguard production of Kurt Vonnegut's book, you'll also receive an exclusive Jim Atlas interview. This interview – where James Atlas interviews Gay Talese about the life and work of Kurt Vonnegut – begins as soon as the audiobook ends.

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What the Critics Say

"Beautiful...provocative, arresting reading." (USA Today)
"Vonnegut is a post-modern Mark Twain.... Galapagos is a madcap genealogical adventure." (The New York Times Book Review)
"The best Vonnegut novel yet!" (John Irving)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

The survival of the human race is a total bore!

"In this era of big brains, anything which can be done will be done -- so hunker down."
-- Kurt Vonnegut, Galápagos

Trying to stay a couple books ahead of my son as I re-read Vonnegut. I haven't read much since those years between 13 and 18 when I seemed to burn through Vonnegut books again and again. He was one of those few writers I ever read twice (Dickens, Shakespeare, and Hugo are a few others). So, now as an adult I am approaching these books again.

God I love this man. I love his hopeful, resigned cynicism about the modern era. He writes as an outsider, but also as a friend -- if that makes any sense. This novel is so brilliant in its simplicity. Kilgore Trout's son Leon Trotsky Trout narrates a tale that covers one million years. He is a ghost, destined to watch humanity crash and be reborn on the Island of Galápagos. That is the basic arc. The almost end of man, and his rebirth. Using evolution as a key, Vonnegut shows that like the Irish Elk, with its large, heavy, awkward, and almost unadaptive giant antlers, man is burdened with a giant brain that seems to cause endless trouble for our species.

“Given a choice between a brain like you and the antlers of an Irish elk,” she told her own central nervous system, “I'd take the antlers of the Irish elk.”.

So, the accidents of genetics and the isolation of some famous islands West of Ecuador allow for our species to be reborn.

“What was it going to do with a bigger brain? Compose Beethoven's Ninth Symphony?”
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- Darwin8u "I write for myself, for my own pleasure. And I want to be left alone to do it. - Salinger ^(;,;)^"

Daunting and Enlightening

Where does Galapagos rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Number two, right after The Alchemist.


Who was your favorite character and why?

My favorite character would have to be The Captain because for all his faults, vanity and ignorance he seemed the most real.


Have you listened to any of Jonathan Davis’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No. But I loved his voice and he, like Jeremy Irons, seems to embody each and every character as though they existed inside him.


Who was the most memorable character of Galapagos and why?

Most memorable character...hmmm. Ok, I'd said it is Mary. She is consistent and steadfast in her faith of humanity. Right up to the end she risks it all to save what she believes will improve the minds of future generations...but thanks to Vonnegut's wry sense of humor...I won't be a spoiler.


Any additional comments?

Vonnegut's style is both depressing and playful but more than anything he cuts through to the truth many have not and will not face.

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- k/b_c

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-11-2009
  • Publisher: Audible Studios