While Mortals Sleep

While Mortals Sleep

Unpublished Short Fiction

Book - 2011
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Foreword by Dave Eggers

Smart, whimsical, and often scathing, the fiction of Kurt Vonnegut influenced a generation of American writers--including Dave Eggers, author of this volume's Foreword. In these previously unpublished gems, Vonnegut's originality infuses a unique landscape of factories, trailers, and bars--and characters who pit their dreams and fears against a cruel and sometimes comically indifferent world.

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, commanding an army of bulldozers, graders, and asphalt spreaders, 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 then a miracle. A hog farmer's widow receives cryptic, unsolicited letters from a man in Schenectady about "the indefinable sweet aches of the spirit." But what will she find when she goes to meet him in the flesh?

These beautifully rendered works are a testament to Vonnegut's unique blend of observation and imagination. Like a present left behind by a departed loved one, While Mortals Sleep bestows upon us a shimmering Kurt Vonnegut gift: a poignant reflection of our world as it is and as it could be.
Publisher: New York : Delacorte Press, c2011.
ISBN: 9780385343732
Characteristics: xii, 253 p. :,ill. ;,22 cm.


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Nov 05, 2018

While Mortals Sleep is a wonderful novel full of Vonnegut's short stories and early work. It is a good way to get a fundamental understanding of Vonnegut's popular themes as well as his uncommon writing style. If you are a reader who has trouble sitting for copious amounts of time waiting for the chapter to end, this is a good collection for you.

Dec 03, 2015

This was mt first encounter with Kurt Vonnegut and although I have been told they are not his best stories, I found them to be amazing. I can't wait to try his other work.

Nov 28, 2011

A great collection for the Vonnegut fan, but not a reflection of his best work. For those unfamiliar with his work don't start here. Otherwise this is an interesting glimpse into the development of Vonnegut's talent.

LRucchetto Nov 21, 2011

I would agree with Raiiner. However, there is a great deal to be said for the amount of reflection that each of these stories almost demands from the reader. Overall, quite enjoyable.

Jul 26, 2011

Since these were all published post-mortum, I'm not particularly surprised as how they turned out. Still, awesome stories, just not as amazing as "Welcome to the Monkey House".

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Jan 15, 2014

eliley thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over


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