Kurt Vonnegut Best Books | What are Kurt Vonnegut most famous works?

Kurt Vonnegut was an American writer. He was born on 11th November 1922 in Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S. He was the youngest child of Kurt Vonnegut Sr. and Edith. His ascendants were German immigrants who settled in the United States in the mid-19th century. Kurt’s father and grandfather were architects. They designed some famous buildings like Das Deutsche Haus, The Bell Telephone Company’s Indiana headquarters, and the Fletcher Trust Building. His mother was born in one of the wealthiest families in Indianapolis, the Liebers. Today we will show you the best books by Kurt Vonnegut.

In 50 years’ career in Vonnegut, he published fourteen novels, three short story collections, five plays, and five works of non-fiction. His other collections were published after his death. Vonnegut used to write in genres of satire, Gallows humor/Black humor, and science fiction. His most famous work is the darkly satirical novel “Slaughterhouse-Five” (1969).

Kurt Vonnegut Best Books Collections

Here are some Kurt Vonnegut best books that bookworms shouldn’t miss at all:

  1. Slaughterhouse-Five

Slaughterhouse-Five is one of the best books by Kurt Vonnegut. This book was first published in 1969. The book centers around dark comedy, satire, science fiction, war novel, metafiction, and postmodernism. Billy Pilgrim, the protagonist of the story, who is an American soldier. Vonnegut portrays Billy’s experiences as an American soldier and chaplain’s assistant during World War II and post-war years. Focusing on the firebombing of Dresden, the book describes Billy’s unimaginable journey during the war. Since the story is told in a non-chronological setting, other parts of Billy’s life are displayed throughout the book. The book is a beautiful example of one of the most stable anti-war novels of all time.

Sale
Slaughterhouse-Five: A Novel (Modern Library 100 Best Novels)
Delta; Vonnegut, Kurt (Author); English (Publication Language); 288 Pages - 01/12/1999 (Publication Date) - Dial Press Trade Paperback (Publisher)
$17.00 −$9.21 $7.79

Last update on 2020-10-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


  1. The Sirens of Titan

Published in 1959, The Sirens of Titan is a comic science fiction novel. It explores topics like free will, omniscience, and the overall purpose of human history. The story mostly centers around a Martian invasion of Earth. Malachi Constant, the protagonist of the story, is the richest man on Earth. But he doesn’t seem to be happy to dominate only one planet; he wants more. So he starts for Mars for an interplanetary war and from there, to Mercury. But somehow everything seems to be against his favor, and he is sent pinballing through the solar system. William Niles Rumfoord, a space explorer, is responsible for the turn of events that has befallen Malachi. This book will take the readers to a wild ride through space and time.

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The Sirens of Titan
Kurt Vonnegut (Author); English (Publication Language); 08/04/2015 (Publication Date) - Audible Studios on Brilliance Audio (Publisher)
$14.99 −$3.31 $11.68

Last update on 2020-10-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


  1. Cat’s Cradle

Cat’s Cradle is a satirical postmodern novel and is one of the best books by Kurt Vonnegut. It was first published in 1963 by Henry Holt and Company, New York. Set in the mid-20th century, this book satirizes the disputes related to science, technology, religion, and the arms race. Readers can trace the black humor in several parts of the book. John, a midget and protagonist of the story, describes the catastrophic fate of his planet. “Ice-nine”, a lethal chemical weapon, is capable of freezing the entire planet. It was invented by Dr. Felix Hoenikker, one of the founding fathers of the atomic bomb. His three children start searching for the weapon. It leads them to a crazy dictator in the Caribbean and drives them into madness. Dr. Felix’s death wish turns into our nightmare when “ice-nine” shows its true form.

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Cat's Cradle: A Novel
Satirical commentary on modern man and his madness; Apocalyptic tale of this planetaTMs ultimate fate, it features a midget as the protagonist
$17.00 −$2.71 $14.29

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  1. Breakfast of Champions

Breakfast of Champions was Kurt Vonnegut’s seventh novel and was first published in 1973. Set in the fictional town of Midland City, Ohio, the story revolves around two characters. Kilgore Trout is a widely published but mostly unknown science fiction author. Dwayne Hoover is a wealthy but mentally unstable businessman who holds much influence in Midland City. They both meet at a local arts festival where Trout has been invited to deliver a speech. When Hoover demands a message from him, Trout hands him over a copy of his novel. After reading the novel, Hoover gets this message that he is the only person in this universe with free will. The rest of the people are just machines. With this belief, Hoover goes on a violent rampage beating several people, including his son and lover.

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Breakfast of Champions: A Novel
Great product!; Vonnegut, Kurt (Author); English (Publication Language); 303 Pages - 05/11/1999 (Publication Date) - Dial Press Trade Paperback (Publisher)
$17.00 −$7.71 $9.29

Last update on 2020-10-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


  1. A Man Without a Country

Published on 15th September 2005, A Man Without a Country is one of the best books by Kurt Vonnegut. It is a collection of essays that deals with the common issues of Americans during the period of George W. Bush. The essays focus on topics ranging from the importance of humor to problems with modern technology. This book discusses Vonnegut’s opinions on the differences between men and women. Some of the essays also explain his views about political issues in contemporary American society meticulously. And all these opinions are from a humanistic point of view. This book was a New York Times Bestseller and a Booksense Notable Book. It was his last work that got published before his death.

A Man Without a Country
Memoir; Kurt Vonnegut; A Man Without a Country; Vonnegut, Kurt (Author); English (Publication Language)
$16.99

Last update on 2020-10-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


  1. Player Piano

Player Piano is one of Kurt Vonnegut’s best books and his first novel. Published in 1952 by Charles Scribner’s Sons, the book belongs to the genre of science fiction. Set in the near future, the story takes place in a post-world war III society. Society is fully mechanized where there is no need for human laborers. This widespread of machinery create conflicts between the wealthy upper class and poor lower-class people. The upper-class, the engineers, and managers keep the society running. On the other hand, machines have replaced the skills and purpose of lower-class people. The book describes the issues of a fictitious American society using irony and sentimentality.

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Player Piano: A Novel
Dial Press; Vonnegut, Kurt (Author); English (Publication Language); 352 Pages - 01/12/1999 (Publication Date) - The Dial Press (Publisher)
$17.00 −$3.01 $13.99

Last update on 2020-10-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


  1. Mother Night

Mother Night was first published in 1962 by Fawcett Publications owned Gold Medal Books. The title of the book was taken from “Faust”, a tragic play by Johann Goethe. The novel is a fictional autobiography of the protagonist Howard W. Campbell Jr. Campbell is an American but moved to Germany in 1923v when he was 11 years old. Later he became a renowned playwright and Nazi propagandist. But that is not his actual identity; he was an American spy during World War II. Campbell narrates the story himself through the use of dark humor and metafiction. But now he is awaiting trial in an Israeli prison for war crimes. But is he really guilty?

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Mother Night
Dial Press; Vonnegut, Kurt (Author); English (Publication Language); 268 Pages - 05/11/1999 (Publication Date) - Dial Press Trade Paperback (Publisher)
$17.00 −$2.71 $14.29

Last update on 2020-10-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


  1. God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater

One of Kurt Vonnegut best books God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater was published in 1965. The story revolves around Eliot Rosewater, a millionaire who abandons New York City after developing a social conscience. Eliot is a World War II veteran and a volunteer firefighter. He develops a sense of social conscience and visits various small towns throughout America. He then comes to Rosewater and establishes the Rosewater Foundation to help the poor. Due to multiple reasons, Eliot becomes mentally sick and stays in a mental hospital for a year. A cunning lawyer, Norman Mushari, wants to prove him crazy. Eliot’s distant cousin wants a portion of his wealth which will also enable the lawyer to get a commission. When his father, lawyer, and Kilgore Trout visit him, he wills his wealth to fifty-seven children.

Sale
God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater: A Novel
Dial Press; Vonnegut, Kurt (Author); English (Publication Language); 288 Pages - 09/08/1998 (Publication Date) - Dial Press Trade Paperback (Publisher)
$17.00 −$4.01 $12.99

Last update on 2020-10-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


  1. Bluebeard

Published in 1987, Bluebeard is a first-person narrative novel by Kurt Vonnegut. The book tells the story of the late years of Rabo Karabekian, a fictional abstract expressionist painter. It is a fictional autobiography where the author combines broad humor and bitter irony. Rabo is now 71 years old, and he wants to stay alone in his Long Island estate. He has a secret locked up inside his potato barn, but no one knows what it is. Then one day, Rabo meets a generous widow who makes him tell his life story. In this novel, Vonnegut tells the readers the plain truth about how man’s careless fancy can create or demolish what he loves. The novel bears a rough resemblance to the French folktale “Bluebeard”, written by Charles Perrault.

Bluebeard: A Novel (Delta Fiction)
Dial Press; Vonnegut, Kurt (Author); English (Publication Language); 336 Pages - 09/08/1998 (Publication Date) - Dial Press Trade Paperback (Publisher)
$16.61

Last update on 2020-10-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


  1. Jailbird

Jailbird is also one of the best books of Kurt Vonnegut that was published in 1979 by the Delacorte Press. The book is regarded as the “Watergate novel” of Kurt Vonnegut. The story is narrated by Walter F. Starbuck, the protagonist. He is recently released from a minimum-security prison in Georgia where he served for his small part in the Watergate Scandal. This novel centers around Starbuck’s memoir that reveal his present situation after getting being from prison. The author has beautifully portrayed the history of the American labor movement through Starbuck. And alongside this, there are McCarthyism, the Nixon administration, and the Watergate scandal. In this novel, readers will find Kilgore Trout as a character in prison, not as the fictional author.

Sale
Jailbird: A Novel
Dial Press; Vonnegut, Kurt (Author); English (Publication Language); 320 Pages - 01/12/1999 (Publication Date) - Dial Press Trade Paperback (Publisher)
$17.00 −$3.71 $13.29

Last update on 2020-10-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Kurt Vonnegut’s vocal criticism was reflected in several of his works. He would discuss important social themes like wealth, the absence of it, and how it is unevenly distributed in society. His writings sometimes raised chaos in the then American society. But nothing had stopped him from mentioning the social issues in his writings. At the age of 84, Vonnegut died from a brain injury on 11th April 2007, in Manhattan, New York.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. When and where was Kurt Vonnegut born?

Kurt Vonnegut Jr. was born on 11th November 1922, in Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S. He was the youngest of three children of Kurt Vonnegut Sr. and his wife, Edith. Vonnegut’s father and grandfather were famous architects, and his mother came from a wealthy Lieber family.

  1. Where was Kurt Vonnegut educated?

In 1936, Vonnegut enrolled at Shortridge High School in Indianapolis. He used to play clarinet in the school band a became a co-editor of the school newspaper. After graduating from Shortridge, he enrolled at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. He wanted to study the humanities or architecture, but his father and brother made him major in biochemistry.

  1. What are some of the notable works of Kurt Vonnegut?

In his 50 years of career, Kurt Vonnegut published fourteen novels, three short story collections, five plays, and five works of non-fiction. The rest were published after his death. Some of the notable works of Vonnegut are listed below:

  • Player Piano (1952)
  • Mother Night (1959)
  • Slaughterhouse-Five (1969)
  • Breakfast of Champions (1973)
  • Bluebeard (1987)
  • Canary in a Cat House (1961)
  • Armageddon in Retrospect (2008)
  • Complete Stories (2017)
  • The First Christmas Morning (1962)
  • Stones, Time and Elements (A Human Requiem) (1987)
  • Palm Sunday (1981)
  • A Man Without a Country (2005)
  • If This Isn’t Nice, What Is?: Advice to the Young (2013)
  1. Which awards did Kurt Vonnegut get for his writings?

Kurt Vonnegut won several awards and nominations for his masterpieces, such as –

  • International Fantasy Award nomination – 1953
  • Winters Guild of America Award – 1960
  • Hugo Award for Best Novel finalist – 1960, 1964, 1970
  • Nebula Award nomination – Slaughterhouse-Five – 1970
  • Drama Desk Award for Outstanding New Play – 1971
  • Seiun Award winner for the foreign novel – 1973
  • Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation winner – 1973
  • John W. Campbell Award second-place – 1986
  • Audie Award for Short Stories?Collections – 2009
  • Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame from the Science Fiction Museum – 2015
  • Hall of Fame award for Harrison Bergeron from the Libertarian Futurist Society – 2019
  1. Who is the wife of Kurt Vonnegut?

Kurt Vonnegut married Jane Marie Cox in 1945, but they got divorced in 1971. He got married again in 1979, to Jill Krementz, a famous American photographer and author. Vonnegut has three biological and four adopted children.

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