Cracked Book Club: Kurt Vonnegut’s Little-Known First Novel

The Cracked Podcast #149 October 31, 2016

You’re probably familiar with Kurt Vonnegut’s required reading, or rather the Kurt Vonnegut books your high school English teacher required you to read. ‘Slaughterhouse-Five,’ ‘Cat’s Cradle,’ and maybe ‘Breakfast of Champions’ were rays of satirical sunlight in your curriculum between long stretches of Jane Austen and Herman Melville (both great authors, but booooooring). But what about his other 12 novels and the dozens of short stories and other works you’re not familiar with?

The Cracked Podcast is going to mix it up this week with an introduction to our new Vonnegut book club, a brand new podcast with Alex Schmidt and Michael Swaim, the Kurt Vonneguys. Once a month, Alex and Michael will work through the Vonnegut library, dissecting the recurring themes and characters, highlighting some amazing Kurt-isms and providing a general overview of Kurt’s work as the connective tissue to modern sci-fi.

In this week’s episode, Alex and Michael cover Vonnegut’s overlooked first novel, ‘Player Piano,’ a satirical ‘1984’-esque warning about the horrors of automation. When you’re through, you can check out episode two of Kurt Vonneguys here (, where they look at Vonnegut’s masterwork, ‘The Sirens of Titan.’ And if you’re interested in following future episodes of Kurt Vonneguys, be sure to subscribe here (

Recommended Reading:

“The Silver Corridor” and “‘Repent, Harlequin!’ Said The Ticktockman” — Harlan Ellison :

“Knox” — Harlan Ellison :

“The Veldt” — Ray Bradbury:

” The Caves Of Steel “  — Isaac Asimov :

This episode is brought to you by Indochino and MVMT Watches.

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