Summary and book reviews of Bagombo Snuff Box by Kurt Vonnegut

Bagombo Snuff Box

Uncollected Short Fiction

by Kurt Vonnegut

Bagombo Snuff Box
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  • First Published:
    Aug 1999, 295 pages
    Paperback:
    Aug 2000, 384 pages

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Book Summary

Twenty-four of Vonnegut's favorite stories - never published before in book form with a new preface for the occasion.

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.

Thanasphere

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.

They lied.

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 ...

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Reviews

Media Reviews

Library Journal

Vonnegut goes back to his roots - the short stories he first wrote for the Saturday Evening Post et al - to pick 24 stories never collected in book form.

Booklist

Vonnegut said that his last book, Timequake (1997), would be his last, but no one as imaginative and in love with language and story can resist the lure of the page, and it's obvious that he had a grand time working on this collection of his vintage stories.

Esquire

.... has fun written all over it...

Reader Reviews

sapphira h

this is a very interesting and great book. if you read it i think you would enjoy it very much

Dover

even the introduction is incredible.

lovetoread

It's Vonnegut. He's fantastic. The stories are fantastic.

Bradley

I'm a big fan of Vonnegut and enjoyed this collection. Having said that though, I think it's obvious that this was the work of a writer in his infancy; and certinly it's nowhere near the standard of his later writings. I'd recomend this to a fellow ...   Read More

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