Before the Golden Age of magazines drew to a close half a century ago--soon to be beaten at the entertainment game by the new little boxes with moving images that were finding their way into the homes of more and more Americans--a young PR man at General Electric sold his first short story to one of the doomed publications. By the time he'd sold his third, he decided to quit GE and join the likes of Hemingway and Fitzgerald and Faulkner, and try to make a living at fifteen hundred dollars a pop. With four major magazines running five stories each week and smaller ones scouting as well, it was a seller's market, and Kurt Vonnegut was delighted - and comfortable - being published regularly by The Saturday Evening Post, Collier's, Argosy, and others.
For this unusual collection, Vonnegut has selected twenty-four of his favorite stories never published before in book form and has written a new preface for the occasion. Vonnegut scholar Peter Reed, who unearthed the old publications, contributes an introduction.
Now readers can relive the genesis of a master. Stories such as "Any Reasonable Offer," "The Powder Blue Dragon," "Hal Irwin's Magic Lamp," and "Lovers Anonymous" bring us to the beginning of a literary voice that is sure to last forever. Bagombo Snuff Box, the missing pieces of the master's oeuvre, is a ready-made classic for Vonnegut fans new and old.
At noon, Wednesday, July 26th, windowpanes in the small mountain towns of Sevier County, Tennessee, were rattled by the shock and faint thunder of a distant explosion rolling down the northwest slopes of the Great Smokies. The explosion came from the general direction of the closely guarded Air Force experimental station in the forest ten miles northwest of Elkmont.
Said the Air Force Office of Public Information, "No comment."
That evening, amateur astronomers in Omaha, Nebraska, and Glenwood, Iowa, reported independently that a speck had crossed the face of the full moon at 9:57 p.m. There was a flurry of excitement on the news wires. Astronomers at the major North American observatories denied that they had seen it.
In Boston, on the morning of Thursday, July 27th, an enterprising newsman sought out Dr. Bernard Groszinger, youthful rocket consultant for the Air Force. "Is it possible that what crossed the moon was a spaceship?" the newsman ...
If you liked Bagombo Snuff Box, try these:
From the author of the international sensation Fight Club, a powerful (and hilarious) novel about love and strife between mothers and sons, the addictive power of sex, the terrors of aging, the ugly truth about historical theme parks, and much else. (Excerpt contains explicit content).
In a series of short stories, George Saunders explores consumerism gone haywire in a country and era somewhat like our own.
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