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Simply put, If you love or merely like Kurt Vonnegut you will feel the same about Hocus Pocus. The narration is also excellent for this audio book.
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"The truth can be very funny in an awful way, especially as it relates to greed and hypocrisy."
- Kurt Vonnegut, Hocus Pocus
Having read Timequake prior to reading Hocus Pocus (these are his last two novels), I was glad I reveresed the order. While I wasn't blown away by 'Hocus Pocus', it was moderately better than 'Timequake'. Hocus Pocus was a bit wide at the hips. Vonnegut was covering a lot of ground with this novel. He was looking at issues of race, war, economics, politicis, education, money, culure, prison reform, ptsd, marriage, death, intimacy, and more. There were a lot of little punches by Vonnegut, but none were knockouts.
Two of the idiocycracies in this book: 1) no swearing. Vonnegut's narrator, aka the 'Preacher' is an teacher, warden, and former Vietnam War officer, who is known as the "Preacher" because he doesn't ever swear, so Vonnegut mutes his language. 2) No numbers written as numbers. So, instead of writing "one friend", Vonnegut's narrator writes "1 friend". It all seems a bit forced and contorted for Vonnegut. I prefer my KV unplugged a bit more.
A couple of my favorite Vonnegut quotes from this novel:
-- "Another flaw in the human character is that everybody wants to build and nobody wants to do maintenance."
-- "[M]an was the weather now. Man was the tornadoes, man was the hailstones, man was the floods."
-- "I think any form of government, not just Capitalism, is whatever the people who have all our money, drunk or sober, sane or insane, decide to do today."
-- "Just because some of us can read and write and do a little math, that doesn’t mean we deserve to conquer the Universe."
-- "It’s misleading for people to read about great successes, since even for middle-class and upper-class white people, in my experience, failure is the norm. It is unfair to youngsters particularly to leave them wholly unprepared for monster screw-ups and starring roles in Keystone Kop comedies and much, much worse."
5 of 8 people found this review helpful