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

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Grouping Information

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 Update2020-09-19 07:30:42AM
Last Indexed2020-09-19 07:43:47AM
Novelist Primary ISBNnone

Solr Details

authorVonnegut, Kurt
author_displayVonnegut, Kurt
available_at_catalogEva H. Perry Regional
Middle Creek Community
Southeast Regional
West Regional
collection_catalogAdult Fiction
detailed_location_catalogEva H. Perry Regional - Adult Fiction
Middlecreek Community - Adult Fiction
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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owning_library_catalogWake County Public Libraries
owning_location_catalogEva H. Perry Regional
Middle Creek Community
Southeast Regional
West Regional
Bib IdFormatFormat CategoryEditionLanguagePublisherPublication DatePhysical Description
ils:670910BookBooksEnglishVanguard Press, [2012]xiii, 161 pages ; 22 cm
overdrive:d4e38cf4-10d4-4761-9aec-8d40ac91579ceBookeBookEnglishVanguard Press2012
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ils:6709105036337On ShelfOn Shelffalsetruetruefalsefalsetrue
ils:6709105036338On ShelfOn Shelffalsetruetruefalsefalsetrue
ils:6709105036345On ShelfOn Shelffalsetruetruefalsefalsetrue
ils:6709105036340On ShelfOn Shelffalsetruetruefalsefalsetrue
overdrive:d4e38cf4-10d4-4761-9aec-8d40ac91579c-1Available OnlineAvailable Onlinefalsetruetruefalsefalsefalse
subject_facetCollege teachers -- Fiction
Farm life -- Fiction
title_displayWe are what we pretend to be : the first and last works
title_fullWe 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_shortWe are what we pretend to be
title_subthe first and last works
topic_facetCollege teachers
Farm life