Ranking Kurt Vonnegut's novels

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May 29, 2012
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I would perhaps put God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater higher. But maybe that's because I just read it a week ago and it's still quite fresh on my mind.
I'm sure many people here know about this, but Vonnegut once rated his own novels:


  • Player Piano B
  • The Sirens of Titan: A
  • Mother Night: A
  • Cat's Cradle: A-plus
  • God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater: A
  • Slaughterhouse-Five: A-plus
  • Welcome to the Monkey House: B-minus
  • Happy Birthday, Wanda June: D
  • Breakfast of Champions: C
  • Slapstick: D
  • Jailbird: A
  • Palm Sunday: C
 

J-Sun

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I'm sure many people here know about this, but Vonnegut once rated his own novels:


  • Player Piano B
  • The Sirens of Titan: A
  • Mother Night: A
  • Cat's Cradle: A-plus
  • God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater: A
  • Slaughterhouse-Five: A-plus
  • Welcome to the Monkey House: B-minus
  • Happy Birthday, Wanda June: D
  • Breakfast of Champions: C
  • Slapstick: D
  • Jailbird: A
  • Palm Sunday: C
I didn't - thanks for that information. That's pretty amazing self-awareness - he graded his children! And got it about right. I might completely change my opinions if I re-read them because it's been a long time but the grades for his first six novels look reasonable. He seems a little harsh on Breakfast. The only others I've read (if memory serves) were Deadeye Dick and Galapagos which he wrote after he gave out grades. I'd probably give Deadeye a C- and Galapagos a D. Maybe that's a little harsh, too, but my point is that they aren't as good as the earlier ones.
 

julirew

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May 14, 2012
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I agree with his harsh rating of "Breakfast of Champions." I remember reading it and being very worried that he was about to commit suicide. I'd had a suicide in the family, and Vonnegut was like family to me.
 

Allegra

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I'd move up God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater and Jailbird up in Nerds_feather's list; and yes, the old man himself's ranking is about right (except Happy Birthday, Wanda June which I haven't read).
 

Fried Egg

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Nov 20, 2006
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I've only read "Sirens of Titan" and "Slaughterhouse 5" and I can only agree that the latter was better than the former.

Not much more useful to add until I get around to reading more of his novels. I have "Cat's Cradle" lined up to read next...
 

Connavar

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Good to know he thought highly of Sirens of Titan its the only Vonnegut book i have ever bought, got it a second hand because his name only and there were no other famous book of his.
 

gully_foyle

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I would have to rank Sirens of Titan no 1. The absurdity is perhaps on a slighltly grander scale than Slaughterhouse 5, but I thin sl5 to be the most significant of his work.
 
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