from my bookshelf: welcome to the monkey house by kurt vonnegut


welcome to the monkey house is an anthology of short stories by kurt vonnegut; each is unique from the next, but all of the pieces are linked by his trademark dark humor and satiric tone. this diverse collection reveals vonnegut’s expansive creative range in writing style and character development.


“H.L Mencken once said something to the effect that ‘Nobody ever went broke overestimating the vulgarity of the American people,’ and fortunes now being made out of the vulgarization of the Cape surely bear this out.”

“And to offset his good looks, the H-G men required that he wear at all times a red rubber ball for a nose, keep his eyebrows shaved off, and cover his even white teeth with black caps at snaggle-tooth random.”

“‘When I meet somebody nice in real life, I feel as though I were in some kind of big bottle, as though I couldn’t touch that person no matter how hard I tried.'”

“Now he recognized the eerie calm–an old wartime friend–that left only the cold machinery of his wits and senses alive. It was the narcotic of generalship. It was the essence of war.”

“He didn’t smile, and neither did I, and neither did his wife, whose name was Clarice. But Clarice did give a little sigh that sounded like the whistle on a freight train far, far away on a wet morning.”

“Last night, I tried once more to follow the oblique instructions on the scrap of paper. I took the professor’s dice, and then, with the last, nightmarish sentence flitting through my mind, I rolled fifty consecutive sevens. Good-by.”

“So my wife poured bubble-bath powder all over me, and she turned on the cold water faucet of the bathtub, and she went to bed in the guest room.”

“‘Now I understand you poor fish,’ I said. ‘You couldn’t get along without fear. That’s the only skill you’ve got–how to scare yourselves and other people into doing things. That’s the only fun you’ve got, watching people jump for fear of what you’ll do to their bodies or take away from their bodies.'”

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