36. “Galapagos,” Kurt Vonnegut

Told by Leon Trotsky Trout, a million-odd year-old-ghost, this is the story about the near-end of humanity, evolution, and the danger of our great big brains (which always seem to be up to no good). This is standard Vonnegut fare: a first person omniscient narrator, jumbled timeline, paranoia about technical advances, and a loving critique of humanity.

A couple quotes:

And I pity him, because I can still remember what I was like when I was sixteen. It was hell to be that excited. Then as now, orgasms give no relief. Ten minutes after an orgasm, guess what? Nothing would do but that you have another one. And there was homework besides!

Which reminds me of an “Arrested Development” quote:

GOB: I’d give anything to be eight.
GEORGE MICHAEL: I’m thirteen.
GOB: No, I wasn’t crazy about thirteen: the acne. The self-conciousness. The erections.

Back to “Galapagos”:

That was another thing people used to be able to do, which they can’t do anymore: enjoy in their heads events which hadn’t happened yet and which might never occur. My mother was good at that. Someday my father [Kilgore Trout] would stop writing science fiction, and write something a whole lot of people wanted to read instead. And we would get a new house in a beautiful city, and nice clothes, and so on. She used to make me wonder why G-d had ever gone to the trouble of creating reality.

Page count: 295
Page total: 17,211

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