Galápagos by Kurt Vonnegut


Vonnegut was in his early sixties and his career, still successful, drawing toward a kind of bitter summation when Galapagos (1985) was published. His early work with its unequivocal statement of absurdity and hopelessness was now almost four decades behind when he completed this meditation on Darwinism, fate and the essential irrelevance of the human condition.Humanity has in the millions of years after inevitable holocaust and exile transmogrif...

Details Galápagos

GenreFiction, Science Fiction, Classics, Humor

Reviews Galápagos

  • Henry Avila
    The serene Galapagos Islands, named after the famous giant turtles, discovered there, almost 600 miles west of impoverished Ecuador, ( in a remote part of the vast Pacific) the small nation, that owns them, was made famous by scientist Charles Darwin, when the " HMS Beagle," a British Royal Navy, surveying ship, visited these bleak, isles, encompassing 21, in number, not counting more than 100, minuscule peaks, breaking the surface, of the someti...
  • Lyn
    Kurt Vonnegut, Isaac Asimov, Theodore Sturgeon and St. Peter sit in a bar in the Great Hereafter discussing, among other things, Vonnegut’s 1985 novel Galapagos.Isaac: [Looking at Peter] What are you laughing about?Peter: You know. [laughing]Isaac: It’s still funny, after all these centuries, that me, a self described atheist and humanist, finds himself here in the Great Hereafter?Peter: Yep, still funny.Theodore: Well, it’s like Kurt’s b...
  • Cecily
    Rewritten after rereading in July 2012.This darkly humorous satire starts with a world financial crisis in 1986 (hopefully that’s where the similarity with current times ends), leading to WW3 – though it’s not really about either: it’s fundamentally about adaptation. A million years in the future, the only “humans” left on Earth are the descendants of a small but diverse group of survivors of a Galapagos islands cruise, and they are m...
  • J.L. Sutton
    When I finish novels by Haruki Murakami or Kurt Vonnegut, I'm not always sure what I've read. That was definitely the case with Vonnegut's Galapagos. It was thought-provoking and I laughed a number of times. Did I understand it, though? For Vonnegut, nothing is serious. At the same time, these not serious parts are what most of us view as supremely important. When Vonnegut writes about the solution to overpopulation, for instance, it is really fu...
  • Ahmad Sharabiani
    Galápagos, Kurt Vonnegut Galápagos is the eleventh novel written by American author Kurt Vonnegut. The novel questions the merit of the human brain from an evolutionary perspective. The title is both a reference to the islands on which part of the story plays out, and a tribute to Charles Darwin on whose theory Vonnegut relies to reach his own conclusions. It was first published in 1985 by Delacorte Press.Main characters:Leon Trout, dead narrat...
  • Darwin8u
    "In this era of big brains, anything which can be done will be done -- so hunker down."-- Kurt Vonnegut, GalápagosTrying to stay a couple books ahead of my son as I re-read Vonnegut. I haven't read much since those years between 13 and 18 when I seemed to burn through Vonnegut books again and again. He was one of those few writers I ever read twice (Dickens, Shakespeare, and Hugo are a few others). So, now as an adult I am approaching these book...
  • Kevin Ansbro
    "When all was said and done, the creatures of the Galápagos Islands were a pretty listless bunch compared with rhinos and hippos and lions and elephants and so on." Leon Trotsky Trout is as dead as a dodo, but is nevertheless the incorporeal narrator of a story that is told a million years into our future.Trout recounts a sequence of evolutionary events that begin in 1986, as a bunch of bipedal misfits gather in Ecuador for 'The Nature Cruise of...
  • Dan Schwent
    One million years in the future, a man recounts humanity's origins in the Galapagos islands.This was the third Kurt Vonnegut book I've read and my third favorite. Actually, it reminds me of one of Grandpa Simpson's rambling stories that circles back on itself, only with novel-y bits like themes and messages and such.Galapagos is part satire, part cautionary tale. There's a shipwreck on Galapagos and it turns out those people are the only ones who...
  • Vit Babenco
    Galápagos is Kurt Vonnegut’s satirical tribute to Charles Darwin. The narrator of the tale is a ghost existing for a million years and witnessing everything from the beginning to the end.“Nothing could be less inviting than the first appearance. A broken field of black basaltic lava, thrown into the most rugged waves, and crossed by great fissures, is everywhere covered by stunted, sun-burnt brushwood, which shows little signs of life. The d...
  • Apatt
    “Just about every adult human being back then had a brain weighing about three kilograms! There was no end to the evil schemes that a thought machine that oversized couldn’t imagine and execute.”No “so it goes”, but “and so on” does make the occasional appearances. This quote represents what appears to be the basic theme of Galápagos. The “big brain” is humanity’s downfall. Though I believe Vonnegut means something more subtl...
  • Anthony Vacca
    Absolutely adored the central conceit of this novel: In the midst of the death of the human species, a pocket of "humanity" manages to trundle on for at least another million years into the future, but the caveat being that these far-flung descendants are forever marooned on an ashy isle of the Galapagos where they have devolved into furry small-brained creatures with flippers--and the species and the planet couldn't be better off for it! The con...
  • Jason
    FINALLY. A Vonnegut book I didn’t like. I didn’t think it were possible!Narrated by the million-year-old ghost of Kilgore Trout’s son (Trout being the obscure science fiction writer whom Vonnegut fans will undoubtedly recall from such books as Breakfast of Champions and Slaughterhouse-Five), Galápagos tells the story of the end of human civilization as we currently know it. Which is, incidentally, a million years before Trout’s telling o...
  • PirateSteve
    Mr. Vonnegut puts to use a hyper imagination with Galapagos. This book is about big brains. Big brains, like big boobies, regularly get in peoples way. Fortunately, I have neither. They are in peoples way when riding a crowded bus, or crowded elevators or when actively engaged in a sport. And evolution. This book is about big brains, boobies and evolution. That's about all a person needs to know before reading Galapagos... after all, it's not lik...
  • Amanda
    As a fan of sarcasm, cynicism, pessimism, and nihilism (yup, I'm fun at parties), as well as an absurdist plot, I'm a smitten-kitten when it comes to Vonnegut. However, I'm not in love with Galapagos. In deep like? Yes, but, for me, the gold standard when it comes to Vonnegut is Cat's Cradle, followed by Mother Night. I did, however, like Galapagos better than Slaughterhouse-Five.Galapagos is set one million years after 1986, when the world as we...
  • Caro the L. of the H.
    It was a complicated relationship, with this book. I love Vonnegut, so I was more than enthusiastic to start yet another book by him. And as I started reading it, I got stuck right away... It took me a MONTH and a couple of days to finish it. Which is unusual for me, with Vonnegut.My main problem with it - knowing from the start that all the characters were doomed and what sort of fate awaited them (and the whole humanity too, btw) wasn't good. T...
  • Stuart
    Galapagos: Our biggest problem is our oversized brainsOriginally posted at Fantasy LiteratureThis year I read or reread my favorite Kurt Vonnegut books after a two-decade gap: The Sirens of Titan (1959), Mother Night (1961), Cat’s Cradle (1963), and Slaughterhouse-Five (1969). In these works, his trademark cynicism and resignation towards humanity’s recurrent vanity and folly was mitigated by his gallows humor and simple, unadorned prose. It...
  • Melki
    I hadn't read anything by Vonnegut since 1990. No real reason for the lapse, just life, I guess. But boy, am I glad he's back in my life again.Like most of THE MAN'S books, this one is about everything and nothing.The ghost of Leon Trotsky Trout (sprung from the loins of Kilgore Trout) spins a salty yarn from one million years in the future, telling us all about the mating rituals of humans and blue footed boobies in the year 1986. Seems that onc...
  • Люда Дмитрук
    А можна поставити десять зірочок? Це мій другий роман Воннеґута і це любов! Його філософський сарказм вводив мене в захоплений транс. Ідеальна книга!
  • Ryan
    Kurt Vonnegut explains that the greatest achievement of The Origin of Species is that it has done "more to stabilize people’s volatile opinions of how to identify success or failure than any other tome." The thinking is that so long as we continue to survive challenges, we will have improved over those that came before.We often associate survival with success, merit and quality, and Vonnegut goes out of his way to undermine this notion in one o...
  • Algernon
    [7/10] The ship, a fragment detached from the earth,went on lonely and swift like a small planet. I love to come across Joseph Conrad quotes, and the one above is eminently appropriate as a one line review of Galapagos . The whole Earth is reduced in this novel to a single vessel, a modern Noah's Ark carrying the last survivors of the human race to the haven of the Galapagos Islands. By placing the action of the novel in 1986, only one year into ...
  • Marie
    This riotously funny book is classic Vonnegut. It is satirical, cynical, yet somehow cautiously optimistic in the end, but maybe for a race of people that has evolved more in line with nature. On the Jon Stewart show, Kurt Vonnegut once remarked, “We are terrible animals and our planet’s immune system is trying to rid itself of us and probably should.” Within this novel, Vonnegut rids the world of the human race as we know it and is able to...
  • Andreas
    It will be interesting to see what becomes of the legacy of Kurt Vonnegut now that he is dead. Many great authors don't receive the recognition they deserve until after they have taken the giant step to the other side, but Vonnegut's Slaughter House Five was being taught in high schools across America while the author was still alive so I guess it can be said that he was a legend in his own time. Maybe his appeal will diminish with age, but I kin...
  • Kim
    I've read a few of Vonnegut's novels now, and I can't get enough. I love his writing style, his dark humor, and his incredible imagination. He has this way of making his bizarre visions of the future seem perfectly plausible, and makes me worry for our future and laugh at the same time.Galapagos is told from the point of view of a person a million years after 1986. He relates the story of events in 1986 that led to the remnants of all of humanity...
  • Daniel Clausen
    This is either the best or the worst travel book ever written. I was traveling through central Europe while I read this book. And as I read, I kept thinking that perhaps I was on my own "Nature Cruise of the Century." I thought that perhaps my own version of James Wait was around every corner. Now, let my oversized brain ruin a simple book review, let me finish by saying that there were no currency crises, wars, drunken captains, or con artists (...
  • Liz Janet
    "In the era of big brains, life stories could end up any which way. Look at mine.” This is my favourite of Kurt Vonnegut’s books. It is a story told through the eyes of Leon Trotsky Trout, son of one of Vonnegut’s recurring characters, Kilgore Trout. Leon has been watching over humanity for around a million years as a ghost, and by watching over I mean he just sits there and watches them, not in any divine form. Galapagos takes quite a big ...
  • Meike
    When will evolution correct its mistake and shrink our excessively big brains? - because obviously, what we do with our intelligence ultimately goes against the interest of the planet and consequently, against our own best interest. The speculative future evolutionary stages of mankind and how they might come about, that's what lies at the heart of this satiric dystopia.The book is a typical Vonnegut: It's funny, but the humor serves to amplify t...
  • Celia
    "One million years ago, back in 1986 A.D., Guayaquil was the chief seaport of the little South American democracy of Ecuador". This is the opening line of the science fiction book entitled Galapagos, by Kurt Vonnegut. Now (year 1,001,986), civilization is existent in one place only: Galapagos. The narrator, Leon Trotsky Trout, who has been a ghost for those one million years, relates to the reader the events that occurred resulting in this new ci...
  • Chris
    "Galapagos" is, as far as I can tell, when Kurt Vonnegut decided to become "Kurt Vonnegut." This book feels like an imperfect parody of Vonnegut's style. It's not _bad_, per se, it's just not very good. Narrated from 1 million years in the future, by Kilgore Trout's son, this book has flashes of real resonance, like when Leon Trout speaks of his time in Vietnam. All in all, however, the entire thing feels misanthropic in a way that definitely wou...
  • Anna Vovchenko
    Не те, щоб я не знала майже всього опусу Воннегута приблизно напам'ять, але в такі часи, як тепер, завжди підтримує нагадування, що хтось на цій планеті ставиться - власне, вже ставився - до людства так само скептично, як ти. Власне, за це й люблю, за це...
  • Joshua Nomen-Mutatio
    I just really, really regret not ever reading Vonnegut as a teenager. Would've been the perfect time. It's still good now, but I feel a bit like I have to time-travel while reading it in order to appreciate it more. I've also been told that this is not exactly the best Vonnegut to start with, especially as a full-grown adult with pretentious literary sensibility and high intellectual expectations. Still, I enjoyed it quite a bit. I like the wildl...