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Download While Mortals Sleep: Unpublished Short Fiction Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample While Mortals Sleep: Unpublished Short Fiction Audiobook, by Kurt Vonnegut Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.64 out of 53.64 out of 53.64 out of 53.64 out of 53.64 out of 5 3.64 (14 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Kurt Vonnegut Narrator: Norman Dietz Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2013 ISBN: 9781449867799
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These previously unpublished, beautifully rendered works of fiction are a testament to Kurt Vonnegut’s unique blend of observation and imagination. Here are stories of men and machines, art and artifice, and how ideals of fortune, fame, and love take curious twists in ordinary lives.

An ambitious builder of roads fritters away his free time with miniature trains—until the women in his life crash his fantasy land. Trapped in a stenography pool, a young dreamer receives a call from a robber on the run, who presents her with a strange proposition. A crusty newspaperman is forced onto a committee to judge Christmas displays, a job that leads him to a suspiciously ostentatious ex-con—and a miracle. Featuring a foreword by Dave Eggers, While Mortals Sleep is a poignant reflection of our world as it is and as it could be.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Immensely readable and thoroughly entertaining.”

    Washington Post

  • “Taut, concise...The stories set themselves up with neat swiftness, proceed at a clip, and shut down with equal speed, [showing Vonnegut] honing his skills in structure and satire.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “A lovely reminder of the mischievous moral voice we lost when we lost Kurt Vonnegut.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “Each story has points of interest that make for rewarding reading...Professional storyteller Norman Dietz’s masterly narration adds emotional depth.” 

    Library Journal (audio review)

  • “These stories were all good when they were written decades ago, but many strike me as great now. Never has the voice of Kurt Vonnegut, humanist and humorist, been more relevant.”

    Seattle Times

  • “While these early stories show an author still testing the boundaries of his craft and obsessions, Vonnegut’s acute moral sense and knack for compelling prose are very much on display.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Narrator Norman Dietz, appropriately, seems to be channeling a bit of Mark Twain into some of the stories’ narrators, and he has command of a broad range of American regional accents. He deftly evokes the ordinariness of so many of the characters, letting their words and actions drive them away from stereotype.”


  • “Tightly and crisply written.”


  • A New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Darin | 5/13/2011

    " I don't know what to write here. Short stories by Kurt Vonnegut. what else could a person want? duh. "

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

    " Sometimes the unpublished stuff should remain unpublished. No matter who wrote it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pat | 5/6/2011

    " Great old Vonnegutt stuff. Introduction by Dave Eggers is funny. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brendan | 5/4/2011

    " Perhaps five of these stories are great, notably "While Mortals Sleep" and "Ruth". Aside from that there's a reason why much of this went unpublished. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jkgovert | 5/4/2011

    " A great book of short stories - I like anything this man writes! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Eriyna | 4/21/2011

    " Loved pretty much all the short stories (one or two duds). My favorite was "Humbug" which I recommend to all people everywhere, about two artists whose wives try to figure out which of them is the better painter. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Julie | 4/20/2011

    " Couldn't finish it. Guess I'm not cut out for Vonnegut!

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Laura | 4/13/2011

    " These stories are early Vonnegut that were unpublished. Some I liked, some not so much. There is supposed to be another book of stories coming out from later in his life. I would give those a shot. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karleen | 4/6/2011

    " Vintage!!! Ahhh it reminded me of welcome to the monkey house. Such good stories and I can't help but love his writing about Indiana, upstate NY and life on the cape. It make me melt thinking about him and his stories and what they mean to me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tracey | 4/3/2011

    " Saw on New Books shelf at library - big fan of author "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jen | 3/21/2011

    " This book, a collection of short stories, was okay. Some of the stories were more interesting than others. I expected more from Vonnegut, somehow. It wasn't a bad book, and it's a fairly easy read, but it's not a must-read. "

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

    " Some really good ones, some OK ones, and some not so good. I liked While Mortals Sleep, Jenny and the one about the widow receiving love letters (can't remember the name of the story itself right now) the best. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mum | 3/19/2011

    " Some funny and some touching stories in the collection. I especially liked the The Man with no kiddleys. Actually I think I will change that rating from 3 stars to 4. :) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 John | 3/15/2011

    " 3 stars because it's Kurt Vonnegut and how much more of his writing are we going to get. No more because these aren't the greatest short stories and they remind us that Kurt is gone. "

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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

Norman Dietz is a writer, voice-over artist, and audiobook narrator. He has won numerous Earphones Awards and was named one of the fifty “Best Voices of the Century” by AudioFile magazine. He and his late wife, Sandra, transformed an abandoned ice-cream parlor into a playhouse, which served “the world’s best hot fudge sundaes” before and after performances. The founder of Theatre in the Works, he lives in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.