We are what we pretend to be: the first and last works

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ISBN:
9780306822780
9781593157432
9781593157449
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Grouped Work ID64d5169c-a9e8-a266-d41c-2d3e3bc5330b
Grouping Titlewe are what we pretend to be the first and last works
Grouping Authorkurt vonnegut
Grouping Categorybook
Grouping LanguageEnglish (eng)
Last Grouping Update2022-08-10 05:22:59AM
Last Indexed2022-08-10 05:43:52AM

Solr Fields

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Southeast Regional
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Adult Fiction
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Eva H. Perry Regional - Adult Fiction
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Wake Forest Community - Adult Fiction
West Regional - Adult Fiction
display_description

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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Books
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id
64d5169c-a9e8-a266-d41c-2d3e3bc5330b
isbn
9780306822780
9781593157432
9781593157449
last_indexed
2022-08-10T09:43:52.995Z
lexile_score
-1
literary_form
Fiction
literary_form_full
Fiction
local_callnumber_catalog
VONNEGUT
owning_library_catalog
Wake County Public Libraries
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Cary Regional
Eva H. Perry Regional
Holly Springs Community
North Regional
Oberlin Regional
Southeast Regional
Wake Forest Community
West Regional
primary_isbn
9780306822780
publishDate
2012
publisher
Vanguard Press
recordtype
grouped_work
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

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ils:670910BookBooksEnglishVanguard Press[2012]xiii, 161 pages ; 22 cm
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