Welcome to the Monkey House

By Kurt Vonnegut,

Book cover of Welcome to the Monkey House

Book description


'Vonnegut is George Orwell, Dr Caligari and Flash Gordon compounded into one writer...a zany but moral mad scientist' Time

A diabolical government asserts control by eliminating orgasms. A scientist discovers the secret to unlocking…

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Why read it?

3 authors picked Welcome to the Monkey House as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Vonnegut has been one of my favorite authors for a long time, and this might be the first collection I read that wasn’t specifically for young readers. Some of the future-set stories like “Harrison Bergeron” and “Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow” changed how I saw science fiction.

Welcome to the Monkey House introduced me to Vonnegut and to a love of short-story collections as a form, and it holds up remarkably well.

This compilation of short stories influenced my writing as I read this while a teenager. Outlandish and funny, Kurt Vonnegut created a universe and characters that brought science fiction comedy to the mainstream. He literally knocked the socks off of establishment literature. In addition, he has been more than prophetic of today’s global foray into absurdity in one particular story, "Harrison Bergeron," which I would put on par with George Orwell’s 1984.

Talk about standing the test of time. Good grief, I could lead with any number of Vonnegut books but this one gets the vote because I’m a true believer in the art of the short story. And maybe it’s because I’m a songwriter first -- I love telling a story in a short amount of time. Vonnegut was a master at that. And if you’re looking for absurdity, the classic tale, “Harrison Bergeron,” knocks it out of the park. Here’s the thing, though, about great absurdity: it’s always got an element of truth to it. Like satire, it needs to…

From David's list on absurdity.

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