Armageddon in Retrospect by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

Armageddon in Retrospect

To be published on the first anniversary of Kurt Vonnegut's death, Armageddon in Retrospect is a collection of twelve new and unpublished writings on war and peace, imbued with Vonnegut's trademark rueful humor.

Details Armageddon in Retrospect

TitleArmageddon in Retrospect
Release DateApr 1st, 2008
PublisherG. P. Putnam's Sons
GenreFiction, Short Stories, Writing, Essays

Reviews Armageddon in Retrospect

  • Jason Koivu
    War is a funny thing. That's what Vonnegut would have us believe. He is right. He also realizes that there is nothing funny about war. It's a conflicting juxtaposition and yet it is true. Armageddon in Retrospect sat in the to-be-read pile for a good long while. I haven't read much Vonnegut since school, when probably about 9 out of 10 Vonnegut readers read his work, but I do enjoy reading him. Nonetheless, I dreaded this. The title alone told me...
  • Bruce
    I often wonder how readers who did not come of age in the sixties view Kurt Vonnegut. I did, and he was iconic. How many times since then I have reread Cat's Cradle and Slaughterhouse-Five with the same enjoyment I did when they were first published. Vonnegut's novels are deceptive; one has the feeling that one is reading something light, flippant, and ultimately insubstantial only to find the plots and characters remain with one for years afterw...
  • Jim
    There's a great introduction by Vonnegut's son & the book is read by Rip Torn, a favorite actor of mine. It's pretty interesting. The point of 'Sirens', as put forth by David in #18, seems to have been echoed by Vonnegut's son in a completely unrelated chat between the two shortly before Kurt's death. It's worth reading, if only for the intro.The first story was a speech he gave in 2007 & that seems to have set the tone. The stories so far are OK...
  • cory
    Quoting the author:"And now please note that I have raised my right hand. And that means that I'm not kidding, that whatever I say next I believe to be true. So here it goes: The most spiritually splendid American phenomenon of my lifetime wasn't our contribution to the defeat of the Nazis, in which I played such a large part, or Ronald Reagan's overthrow of Godless Communism, in Russia at least.The most spiritually splendid American phenomenon o...
  • John
    Vonnegut’s harrowing essay on the Dresden bombing, “Wailing Shall Be in All Streets,” is the highlight and centerpiece of this collection, and one of the best works of anti-war art I’ve read—something like the literary equivalent of Francisco Goya’s ‘Disasters of War’ series. This previously unpublished work is undated, but has the immediacy and urgency of an open wound. Dresden was the last major German city to escape bombing bec...
  • shakespeareandspice
    Never trust my rating on a Vonnegut. I love this man.
  • Kara Babcock
    After two somewhat disappointing books, I finally picked up a book I’ve had since at least my birthday. My experience with Kurt Vonnegut remains slimmer than I’d like, with most of it locked away in adolescent memories now slipping beyond the horizon of my mind. So it feels a little odd to be reading Armageddon in Retrospect, theoretically his last work (unless his estate publishes more unpublished tidbits), already. But I did, and I don’t ...
  • Steven Burt
    I finished "Armageddon in Retrospect" a few weeks ago. It was really good. I often wonder about works published posthumously, particularly when the works had been kicking around for a while before the author died.Did the author want them to be published? Is there a reason they weren't published while they were alive? I graduated from Law School just over one year ago, and it seems that in every different area of law there is a seminal case, the f...
  • Jonathan
    I love this book because it offers so much - it's a buffet of essays, artistic sketches and short stories by a writer who managed to stay relevant and fresh into his late 80's. Some may be skeptical of the quality of work because the book was collected and published posthumously, but there's no need to fear that this is just another paycheck for the publisher. Most of the contents stand up with the rest of Vonnegut's work, which is to say, he pai...
  • Jorge Rosas
    It took me a while to finish this book, at a point I even abandoned it, as a collection of tales is hard to evaluate what’s coming next, the first half was slow and a little bit boring but the second half improved lot, with the last shot story been the one that gives the book its title. Most of them are about the absurdity of war and how horrible and pointless it is, although recognizing that some dictators really deserve to be taken down. Some...
  • TheBookWarren
    4.75 Stars - There is a stillness to the way KV writes. A stillness that lingers, fades.. only to then return right when you least suspect it. It’s this stillness that grabs me most of all. The sheer versatility of it, when broken down, especially in a collection such as these, is quite staggering and can be razor sharp or feather soft, for it is a weapon the author uses with deft touch, but always fatal in its aim of reader seduction.Not only ...
  • Corey Pung
    Somehow, over the years, people have started using the phrase “bleeding-heart liberal” as if it were a bad thing. In Armageddon in Retrospect, a posthumous collection of essays and stories, Kurt Vonnegut Jr. comes off as a bleeding-heart liberal in the best sense of the term.There’s a distinction to be made between the bleeding-heart liberal and the hardline leftist. Both are useful and valuable in their own way. For an example of the more ...
  • MJ Nicholls
    A fine collection of posthumous writings, themed around Kurt's wartime experiences in Dresden. There are some truly essential stories here, among them 'Just You & Me, Sammy' and the wonderfully crafty 'The Commandant's Desk.' A fine collection of posthumous writings, themed around Kurt's wartime experiences in Dresden. There are some truly essential stories here, among them 'Just You & Me, Sammy' and the wonderfully crafty 'The Commandant's Des...
  • Noa
    Overall review: This book has restored my faith in Kurt Vonnegut. After reading Slaughterhouse Five and not loving it as much as I had hoped, I thought his work was just not for me. However, this collection of short stories truly showed off his talent in sardonic humor and his ability to tell poignant and insightful war stories. The artfully written stories were thoughtful, absurd, heartbreaking, entertaining, and devastating - all while giving a...
  • reem
    An amusing collection of essays on war and peace by the ever intelligent ever witty Vonnegut. I liked them well enough to give the entire book 3 stars but did I think it was his best work? Probably not. I never usually give him a lot of stars because his writing always seems lacking to me despite his unabashed brilliance. Though there's something curious about the way he tells a story that lures me back in, always, and I've yet to go a year witho...
  • Katie
    I remembered Vonnegut being funny and clever. I didn't remember his satires being so humanitarian and dare I say sweet? Very few other people show such clear vision of their societies' absurdities, and even fewer can use humor to make such vision bearable for so many readers. Perhaps it's because these stories draw from his wartime experiences, and who (now) could see the bombing of Dresden, for example, as anything but ludicrous? This book start...
  • Ana (very.literary)
    4.4/5This is a fantastic compilation of stories about war, written in Vonnegut's classic sardonic humor. They were published after his death, put together by his son, who wrote the introduction. Some of the stories were heartbreaking, others whimsical. All were insightful. The stories were organized so that the lighter stories alternated with the heavier ones. The stories are fairly short but influential and full of deeper meaning. They were ente...
  • Gerry
    This collection of unpublished Vonnegut short stories demonstrates why they were never published when he was alive: they aren't very good. The only interesting item in Armageddon in Retrospect is a reproduction of the letter he wrote to his family after being freed as a POW in WWII, where he was forced carry the dead to bonfires following the bombing of Dresden. The letter hints at the writer he'd become: a dry humorist with a seemingly unpolishe...
  • Bess Kurzeja
    Love Vonnegut’s included illustrations. Bought this book used at a dilapidated antique store in a small kayaking town in Colorado. Folded into the pages I found the following items: -1 partially finished Flat Stanley (only pants)- US Airways ticket from Philadelphia to Denver- 3 sudoku squares, with answers taped to back- bookmark from Tattered Cover Book Store - pink post it reading “TOM. Book for you. Also please pick up mail Sat. Thank you...
  • Mina
    This was my introduction to Vonnegut. I think I fell in love with his writing.
  • Grace
    it’s a no from me dog.
  • Stephie Williams
    This is a small book. It is a collection of short pieces by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. on war. They range from nonfiction (letters and addresses) to fiction (inventive and non-inventive). His son has written an introduction to these previously unpublished works.My favorite was of three prisoners of war cleaning up Dresden’s streets after its fire bombing. What made it the best was that the prisoners under the lose supervision of their guard kept diarie...
  • Kristen
    This collection of short stories on the topic of war was written throughout his career and released after his death. The stories vary widely in quality from absolutely hilarious, heartbreakingly sad, to rather mediocre (the majority of them.) Although the short stories are the bulk of the book but what makes this a must have for any Vonnegut fan is his nonfiction account of the bombing of Dresden, addressed in far more detail than any of his writ...
  • Simon
    Armageddon In Retrospect by Kurt Vonnegut I read this in about 48 hours in Prague and was perfect to be read whilst sitting on our window ledge overlooking the Old Town Square and opposite the Astronomical Clock.This is the Second Book Kurt has put out since he died, why let death get in the way of a good career.It was also the second book of our trip to be set at least in part in Czechoslovakia as it is one of the places Kurt writes about in thi...
  • Ed
    I have always admired Kurt Vonnegut and liked his writing. I'm not sure about this collection of essays, speeches, short stories and what-all.For one thing, I acquired the audio version and listened to it while driving. I think I might have appreciated the work more if I had read it rather than listened to it. Rip Torn, whose acting I admire, narrated and was almost laughable but not in a good way, especially when doing accents and dialects.The v...
  • Andy
    This was kind of disappointing. The stories were generally good, though a lot of them were kind of same-y, about his time in the army, in a wrapper of fiction. But the book kicks off with a commencement speech he was to deliver, but died before he did. It was just depressing. He was angry, disheveled, and not funny. He was just angry, without seeing any way things could be better.I don't know if the stories were old, and just unpublished, or writ...
  • Eric
    About halfway through this short collection, I was fairly unimpressed. Not that it was bad, unpublishable tripe that made it only because of Vonnegut's name, but because it just seemed unnecessary, and I felt it had all been said by him already. But I kept reading and am glad I did, because the second half of the book is much stronger. My favorites were 'The Unicorn Trap', 'Just You and Me, Sammy' and the title story, 'Armaggedon in Retrospect.' ...
  • Jimmy
    Rip Torn was the reader in this audiotape. I thought he was great in the movie Cross Creek, but here he was just plain reading weird. And not a funny weird, more of an insulting one. I thought the fiction pieces were unpublished for a reason. The nonfiction was excellent. Vonnegut tries too hard to be Mark Twain. Maybe he should just come out and shout, "Hey, Everybody, look I'm just like Mark Twain!"
  • Peter Amos
    I love anthologies. There’s a certain economy to the idea. I get many stories for the price of a few. I pay only for one cover, one pass through the conveyor belt, one trip on a flatbed truck. I started buying anthologies years ago, but I’ve recently gained a deeper appreciation for anthologies of shorter work – essays, criticism, short stories.Collected short stories are cool. Collected essays, as well. But they’re snapshots in time. Mar...
  • Patrick Peterson
    14 Oct. 2017Just finished listening to this and was super impressed with the writing and many of the observations and sense of life.I had read his "Slaughterhouse Five" back when I was in college in the 70s and remember liking it very much, but feeling disturbed and not quite understanding what he was trying to get across. I read it after having seen the movie that had come out just before. The movie was also good, and fairly strange, like the bo...