Top 5 Kurt Vonnegut Novels

Most people who know me well know that my all-time favorite author is Kurt Vonnegut. I’ve taken many a trip to Half Price Books solely to buy out every copy they had of his books. I’ve almost finished collecting every book he’s written, including an encyclopedia of his characters and made-up words. I even have a tattoo of one of his many famous doodles. In honor of Vonnegut, I’ve compiled this list of his very best novels, number one being his absolute best. I’ve also included a weird scale for each novel, on a scale of one to five; Vonnegut is sometimes a lot to handle. Happy reading!

5. Player Piano

Vonnegut’s first novel takes place in a dystopian world where people’s jobs have been taken over by machines while they were fighting in the world. This novel is almost in the vein of Brave New World or 1984.

Weird rating: 2 out of 5

4. Breakfast of Champions

This novel had me laughing out loud. I believe it was only the second book of his that I had read and I was shocked at the crudeness of it. I was not prepared for the winding plot line, inappropriate doodles, and insane characters.

Weird rating: 5 out of 5

3. Slaughterhouse-Five

The very first Vonnegut I ever encountered. I had heard about this book for many years, but had no idea what it was about. When I began reading, I was afraid it was all going to be a boring war novel, but it was so much more than I could have ever imagined. Aliens, time travel, war. This novel ignited my love for his work.

Weird rating: 3.5 out of 5

2. Cat’s Cradle

This book hit me so hard, I even wrote my senior capstone paper over it. There are so many themes he deals with, including religion, apocalypse, love, science. I’ve read it three times and I’m sure I still haven’t caught everything he’s trying to say. This is definitely one that should not be read lightly.

Weird rating: 2.5 out of 5

1. The Sirens of Titan

And the number one pick is not only my favorite of Vonnegut’s works, but my favorite novel of all time. I have also read this one at least three times and I would still read it again anytime. It made me laugh and cry and question my entire existence. Very weird, very beautiful.

Weird rating: 4 out of 5

5 Reasons It (2017) is Better Than Stephen King’s It (1990)

In honor of the recent remake of Stephen King’s It, here is a list of why this version trumps the original (in my humble opinion). In order to keep everything fair, I am only including the first half of the original, since part two of the remake has not been released yet.

WARNING: SPOILERS AND HORROR IMAGES AHEAD

1. The Production

Yes, I understand it was the ‘90’s. There is a distinct campy quality to the original that will always be near and dear to my heart. However, you just can’t beat a movie that is as well-made as the remake.

(1990)

(2017)

2. The Humor

I have never before seen a movie that made me jump and genuinely laugh all in one scene. The original focuses more on the terror of the kids’ faces, rather than their relationships with each other. A huge element of the story is the coming-of-age element, and Muschietti nailed their interactions with each other. For the first half of the movie, I forgot it was a horror film because he did such a good job building their group dynamic with humor.

3. The Iconic Scene

You know which scene I’m referring to. The pivotal scene that sets the entire movie in motion- the arm-ripping scene. As soon as I heard this version would rated-R, I braced myself for this. Obviously the original couldn’t do it justice, as it was a mini-series on TV. But it cannot even compare to this version. I was completely prepared and could still barely stomach it. Well done, Muschietti.

4. The Clown

Okay. I had nightmares about Tim Curry’s Pennywise as a kid; he terrified me. I obviously got over that fear the second I saw him in a corset and fishnets in the Rocky Horror Picture Show. I experienced Bill Skarsgård’s Pennywise as a 22-year-old woman and was afraid to drive home alone afterward. He plays the character as Stephen King intended: a dark, ancient evil that enjoys taking the form of a clown. Tim Curry’s Pennywise was just a clown to me, it didn’t have the depth that Skarsgård’s does.

(1990)

(2017)

5. The References

All. Of. The. References. As a die-hard fan of the book, this was the final factor that completely won me over. There are so many references to Stephen King’s novel that I’m positive I didn’t catch them all. The “I Heart Derry” balloon. The several mentions of the turtle. The Paul Bunyan statue. The deadlights in Pennywise’s throat. These subtleties were all missing from the original; everything was laid out very clearly without any underlying meanings. It sadly fell flat compared to the remake.

It may seem as though I hate the original and want to steer people away from it, which is not my intention. This movie was a huge part of my childhood and helped shape me into the person I am today. I will always love it and will always remember it as one of my favorites. My only intention is to commend the remake on everything it did to create a more satisfying experience for the fans. I know my opinion is far from a professional one, but I loved this movie, and am very satisfied with the adaptation Muschietti created.