Parents' Guide to

The Sirens of Titan

By Matt Berman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Great intro to Kurt Vonnegut for teens.

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Many would argue that THE SIRENS OF TITAN was Kurt Vonnegut's greatest work; it is actually that and more. It has all the elements we've come to expect from a Vonnegut novel: biting satire, bizarre imagination, dry comedy, plus rich layering of commentary on philosophy, religion, humanity, and more. But this book adds an emotional depth, a wry warmth and kindness, and a fondness for his characters that is often lacking in his other works.

Vonnegut had a knack for sweetly melancholy humor, and he gives it free play here. Forget that it's science fiction, and forget the strange synopsis -- this story will draw you into a lovely and poignant rumination on the meaning of existence. If you were to cross Mark Twain in his bitter old age with Harper Lee you might get something like this -- biting humor and cynicism crossed with loving wisdom, delivered with the gentlest, most understanding, touch. Though written for adults, this is completely accessible to teens.

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