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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (5,346 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Kurt Vonnegut Narrator: Rip Torn Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2008 ISBN: 9781429592130
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First published on the anniversary of Kurt Vonnegut's death, "Armageddon in Retrospect" is a collection of twelve new and unpublished writings on war and peace. Imbued with Vonnegut's trademark rueful humour, the pieces range from a visceral nonfiction recollection of the destruction of Dresden during World War II - a piece that is as timely today as it was then - to a painfully funny short story about three privates and their fantasies of the perfect first meal upon returning home from war, to a darker, more poignant story about the impossibility of shielding our children from the temptations of violence. Also included in this title are Vonnegut's last speech as well as an assortment of his artwork, with an introduction by the author's son, Mark Vonnegut. "Armageddon in Retrospect" says as much about the times in which we live as it does about the genius of the writer.

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rachael Gilkey | 2/18/2014

    " I read almost everything Kurt Vonnegut wrote when I was in high school, which means it has been many, many years since I picked him up. I loved him then, and I still do love him, although this collection starts out very promising in typical weirdo funny Vonnegut style with the printing of his address to the graduating class of a university in Indiana, but then gets somewhat serious and may take you by surprise. a seemingly uncharacteristic seriousness, which is maybe why these were not published until after he passed. Vonnegut is no doubt one of our great American writers. this collection is essential for anyone who has loved him to read in order to see the writer more clearly, though I would encourage a Vonnegut beginner to start elsewhere. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laura | 2/17/2014

    " A fost plina de surprize. Te face sa o citesti pe nerasuflate. Desi razboiul e tema principala a celor 12 povestiri (de fapt nu chiar a tuturor), e atat de multa ironie si satira ca uiti de fundal. Importanti sunt oamenii: nemti, americani, rusi, toti pot fi buni sau rai, nationalitatea nu conteaza. M-a impresionat cu cata tristete spune ca Dresda e cel mai frumos oras din lume si a fost distrus. Cred ca unele imagini povestite nu o sa le uit usor: cea cu copilul incapatanat sa ii placa razboiul, cea cu mama indragostita de mantia calului, modul cum se incheie insasi povestirea cu acelasi nume: "Retrospectiva asupra Armaghedonului". "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Casey | 2/9/2014

    " I'm a Vonnegut fan anyway but this is very haunting as his war experience was always there in his writing and these are all or mostly war related short stories. The picture on the back is so sweet. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mark | 2/5/2014

    " Read it -- if only for 'Wailing Shall Be In All Streets'. Amazing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ben Kopetti | 2/4/2014

    " Vonnegut at his absolute best. This is probably his most personal book and came out after his death. Essays, letters and short stories about war. As a former POW, he had a perspective unmatched by most. Through his unique voice, he's able to talk about the travesty of war without weighing the reader down. Just awesome. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Trey Hoffman | 1/28/2014

    " A series of short stories mostly set in Dresden Germany in WWII. All stories were very well written and the Dresden stories had strengths (my favorite probably is the desk maker story) and weaknesses. Probably my favorite stories were those not surrounding WWII. The unicorn trap was genius. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Emaggard | 1/19/2014

    " Kurt Vonnegut has such a concise and clear way of talking about the world. He calls it like he sees it. He's one of those people you could listen talk for hours and never be bored. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mo | 1/19/2014

    " Too many of the stories have the same sort of ring to them. But still, good ol' Vonnegut! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rebecca Johnson | 1/10/2014

    " Not the best Vonnegut book, probably his earliest... But it was enjoyable. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sadie | 1/9/2014

    " Although I am not a big fan of short stories, I love Vonnegut--great choice, Melissa! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Christopher Roberts | 1/5/2014

    " The title story is a gem that keeps this collection of seeming like just a cheap attempt to wring some more money out of Vonnegut fans. It is one of the best short stories that he has ever written. The rest of the collection is pleasant but forgettable. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Robert | 12/27/2013

    " Perhaps 4.5! If you look up hilarious, satirical writing on the internet (or for you old-timers, in a reference book), you will find Kurt Vonnegut in all his glory. Delightful. I put it down once, so that I could go to sleep. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sam Arnold | 12/22/2013

    " This is a collection of classic writings by Kurt Vonnegut. The short story nature of the book means that I did not enjoy this book as much as some of his others. This is down to personal preference though. The writing is as excellent as previous Vonnegut. A must if you like this author. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cheryl Mccorcle | 12/5/2013

    " I like the idea of a collection of his work, including fiction and non. His eclectic style comes out in all 12 pieces, showcasing his talent in such varying ways. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mark Stevens | 2/3/2013

    " In an introduction I once read to slaughter house five Vonnegut talks about his many fits and starts if stories about the fire bombing of Dresden. As best as I can tell these are they. they're good not his best, but they made me appreciate Slaughter House Five better. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Zak | 9/10/2012

    " As with all Vonnegut, this was great. Unpublished writings/short stories/letters that deal with war and peace (particularly his time spent as a prisoner of war at Dresdan during WWII). Witty, comical, tragic, and pure Kurt Vonnegut. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lorena | 6/24/2012

    " I am a huge Vonnegut fan. This book was published after his death by his son. It is a collection of short stories, essays and speaches he wrote. I really liked the speaches. However his war short stories are not my favorite. I was just so happy to have something new of his to read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jon Shaw | 3/30/2012

    " Most of the stories are very similar, in that all of them concern soldiers at war and very often in POW camps, but still, there are some gems in there. Just don't read the whole book at once. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Priyanka Desai | 11/22/2011

    " You can really tell Vonnegut was getting a little senile by the time these essays were published. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kyria | 10/23/2011

    " Collection of previously unpublished short stories, all relating in some way to war. There were a couple of stand-out stories that I really liked, but definitely not an over-all favorite of mine for a Vonnegut book. However, you do get a lot of insight into his days as a POW in Dresden. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amy | 5/20/2011

    " There are some great stories/essays in this book. The last one falls a little short, but overall this collection works. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Beth | 4/18/2011

    " A selection of stories, sketches, ideas, and drawings introduced by Vonnegut's son. Off beat humor, thoughtful protest, and a pleasure as always. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Priyanka | 3/22/2011

    " You can really tell Vonnegut was getting a little senile by the time these essays were published. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kevin | 3/8/2011

    " A collection of short stories, primarily on the subject of war. A touch repetitive, but interesting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kaworu | 3/6/2011

    " Vonnegut continues to do what he does best from beyond the grave - poke fun at the tragedy of the human condition. Wonder why these works remained unpublished until after his death. We shall see "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sara | 3/4/2011

    " Not usually a fan of Vonnegut's work, I devoured this little thing in under a day and enjoyed every minute of it. WONDERFUL. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Devowasright | 2/18/2011

    " i don't ever want to be more than a few feet from one of kurt vonnegut's books. i keep randomly finding titles i didn't know were out there, and this is proof that there is good in the universe. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 MJ | 2/15/2011

    " A fine collection of posthumous writings, themed around Kurt's wartime experiences in Dresden. There are some truly essential stories here, among them 'Just You & Me, Sammy' and the wonderfully crafty 'The Commandant's Desk.' "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Daniel | 2/11/2011

    " Collection of Vonnegut short stories. Not his best work, but pretty good and insightful, as always "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Tom | 1/27/2011

    " Pretty standard late-era/posthumous Vonnegut stuff. In other words, I wouldn't have finished it if I weren't a KV devotee, although there were some pretty funny lines. I liked the title story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Robin | 1/26/2011

    " Mostly amusing anti-war stories. The best is the actual letter to his father discussing his POW adventures. "

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About the Author
Author Kurt Vonnegut

Kurt Vonnegut (1922–2007) was a master of contemporary American literature. His black humor, satiric voice, and incomparable imagination first captured America’s attention in The Sirens of Titan in 1959 and established him as “a true artist” with Cat’s Cradle in 1963.

About the Narrator

Rip Torn is an Academy Award®–nominated and Emmy Award–winning television and film actor. After graduating from Texas A&M University, he moved to New York and studied at the Actors Studio under Lee Strasberg. He has been in many movies and television shows, and is probably best known for his role on The Larry Sanders Show.