We are what we pretend to be: The First and Last Works

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Grouped Work ID 18bf4662-39d2-3464-3e0f-0f410c5dab6c
Grouping Title we are what we pretend to be the first and last works
Grouping Author vonnegut kurt
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2019-06-26 14:06:53PM
Last Indexed 2019-06-26 07:42:27AM

Solr Details

accelerated_reader_point_value 0
accelerated_reader_reading_level 0
author Vonnegut, Kurt
author_display Kurt Vonnegut
available_at_catalog Southeast Regional, West Regional
collection_catalog Adult Fiction
detailed_location_catalog Southeast Regional - Adult Fiction, West Regional - Adult Fiction

Called "our finest black-humorist" by The Atlantic Monthly, Kurt Vonnegut was one of the most influential writers of the 20th century. Now his first and last works come together for the first time in print, in a collection aptly titled after his famous phrase, We Are What We Pretend To Be.
Written to be sold under the pseudonym of "Mark Harvey," Basic Training was never published in Vonnegut's lifetime. It appears to have been written in the late 1940s and is therefore Vonnegut's first ever novella. It is a bitter, profoundly disenchanted story that satirizes the military, authoritarianism, gender relationships, parenthood and most of the assumed mid-century myths of the family. Haley Brandon, the adolescent protagonist, comes to the farm of his relative, the old crazy who insists upon being called The General, to learn to be a straight-shooting American. Haley's only means of survival will lead him to unflagging defiance of the General's deranged (but oh so American, oh so military) values. This story and its thirtyish author were no friends of the milieu to which the slick magazines' advertisers were pitching their products.
When Vonnegut passed away in 2007, he left his last novel unfinished. Entitled If God Were Alive Today, this last work is a brutal satire on societal ignorance and carefree denial of the world's major problems. Protagonist Gil Berman is a middle-aged college lecturer and self-declared stand-up comedian who enjoys cracking jokes in front of a college audience while societal dependence on fossil fuels has led to the apocalypse. Described by Vonnegut as, "the stand-up comedian on Doomsday," Gil is a character formed from Vonnegut's own rich experiences living in a reality Vonnegut himself considered inevitable.

Along with the two works of fiction, Vonnegut's daughter, Nanette shares reminiscences about her father and commentary on these two works—both exclusive to this edition.

In this fiction collection, published in print for the first time, exist Vonnegut's grand themes: trust no one, trust nothing; and the only constants are absurdity and resignation, which themselves cannot protect us from the void but might divert.
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format_category_catalog Books, eBook
id 18bf4662-39d2-3464-3e0f-0f410c5dab6c
isbn 9781593157432, 9781593157449
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last_indexed 2019-06-26T11:42:27.044Z
lexile_score -1
literary_form Fiction
literary_form_full Fiction
local_callnumber_catalog VONNEGUT
owning_library_catalog Wake County Public Libraries
owning_location_catalog Southeast Regional, West Regional
primary_isbn 9781593157432
publishDate 2012
record_details ils:670910|Book|Books||English|Vanguard Press,|[2012]|xiii, 161 pages ; 22 cm, overdrive:d4e38cf4-10d4-4761-9aec-8d40ac91579c|eBook|eBook||English|Vanguard Press|2012|
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ils:670910 5036345 Checked out Checked out false false true false false true
ils:670910 5036340 On Shelf On Shelf false true true false false true
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overdrive:d4e38cf4-10d4-4761-9aec-8d40ac91579c -1 Available Online Available Online false true true false false false
subject_facet College teachers -- Fiction, Farm life -- Fiction
title_display We are what we pretend to be : the first and last works
title_full We Are What We Pretend to Be The First and Last Works, We are what we pretend to be : the first and last works / Kurt Vonnegut
title_short We are what we pretend to be :
title_sub The First and Last Works
topic_facet College teachers, Farm life, Fiction, Literature