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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Sucker's Portfolio by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Genre: Short Stories

This book contains seven of Vonnegut's unpublished short stories.  At the end, there is the beginning of an unfinished SciFi novel.

Episode One: Between Timid and Timbuktu
This is the story of a man who has become convinced that near death experiences are the secret to time travel.

Episode Two: Rome
A community theater group puts on a play casting a naive young girl as a streetwalker.  Her father is a notorious criminal.  Will the show go on?

Episode Three: Eden by the River
A boy and girl, alone in the forest, struggle to share their feelings with each other.

Episode Four: Sucker's Portfolio
A financial adviser tries to keep a young man from wasting his inheritance.  What is he spending his money on?

Episode Five: Miss Snow, You're Fired
Eddie's new secretary is the most beautiful girl at the General Forge and Foundry factory.  So why does he fire her?

Episode Six:  Paris, France
Three couples have very different experiences on a trip to Paris.

Episode Seven: The Last Tasmanian
A stream of consciousness essay written on the occasion of the five hundredth anniversary of Columbus's 1492 voyage of discovery.  Vonnegut meanders through history, ecology, religion, race, the treatment of indigenous peoples, slavery, television, and philosophy.

Appendix: Robotville and Mr. Caslow
The beginning to what would have been a very interesting SciFi story.

I really enjoyed this book.  Every story was a unique  gem of creativity.  Surprise endings and irony lurked in every tale.  For me, the book was an interesting read that was finished way too soon. 

Sucker's Punch

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