I am back in business! Book blogging business, I mean 🙂 Today’s review is about a book I randomly chose while browsing Bookster’s digital shelves. I knew absolutely nothing about the book nor the writer. Dunno how this happened.
Galápagos in a nutshell
“Galápagos” (1985) tells two interwoven stories: the story of the narrator’s life and the story of a group of people who were shipwrecked on a fictional island – Santa Rosalia. Shortly after the shipwreck, all human beings become infertile due to a disease, except the totally isolated people from Santa Rosalia. And guess what – they become the only surviving humans and the ancestors of the generations to come on Earth.
I must say I have rather mixed feelings about it. On the one hand side I struggled to finish reading it because of the weirdness of the story. But on the other hand side the narration style kept me curious enough to invest the time & energy into reading until the final page. “Galápagos” is like a weird dark Robinson Crusoe type-of-story, a bizarre (and sometimes funny) dystopia.
The brain was a central metaphor of the story, as the narrator blamed “big brains” of humankind for all troubles that are caused: “The only villain in my story: the oversize human brain“. Vonnegut is described as a “social satirist”, and he surely draws attention to certain societal aspects such as fame, family, and technology.
In terms of narration there are two interesting elements I enjoyed. Firstly, the story is narrated from the future (1986 is mentioned as being 1 million years in the past), giving a different temporal perspective. Secondly, the narrator communicates to the writer when a character is going to die soon by putting an asterisk in from of his/her/its name. As reader, I felt as having a special status knowing that I was “announced” about these future happenings.
“Galápagos” is a book I would recommend only if you want to discover Vonnegut or if you enjoy reading satires. Otherwise, I consider there are more entertaining books out there.
‘Till next time … happy reading!
Cover image by Jeremy Koreski