A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Violence & Scariness
A strangulation, battle massacres (not described).
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A prostitute; a reference to how babies are made, and to an erection.
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"F--k" used once, but since this book was published in 1959, that's exactly how they write it.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
References to drinking, drugs, and cigarettes.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this book was originally written for adults in 1959. There are mild sexual references, a bit of language, and some references to drinking, smoking, and drugs -- much less than you'd find in any young adult novel today.
Is It Any Good?
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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Our Editors Recommend
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