This one plods You wind up not caring about any of the characters or their inane conversations, and with the occasional flashes of the visiting Shah just a comic distraction from the grey environment Yeah, we get the tedious points about hierarchy, corporate grind, computer control, etc Yeah, we understand that this is an early Vonnegut production Yeah, there are some passages of superior writing in descriptions of physical surrounding and faces But Slaughterhouse Five it ain t Nowhere near it And reading it on Kindle, I couldn t wait for it to end. A Funny, Savage Appraisal Of A Totally Automated American Society Of The Future San Francisco ChronicleKurt Vonneguts First Novel Spins The Chilling Tale Of Engineer Paul Proteus, Who Must Find A Way To Live In A World Dominated By A Supercomputer And Run Completely By Machines Pauls Rebellion Is Vintage Vonnegutwildly Funny, Deadly Serious, And Terrifyingly Close To RealityPraise For Player PianoAn Exuberant, Crackling Style Vonnegut Is A Black Humorist, Fantasist And Satirist, A Man Disposed To Deep And Comic Reflection On The Human Dilemma Life His Black Logic Gives Us Something To Laugh About And Much To Fear The New York Times Book Review This book has not aged well Even when it was fresh it would still have been as derivative as it is today Unless you re doing a course on Vonnegut I would advise giving this a miss and simply re read 1984, The Aerodrome or Brave New World.Perhaps I came to this at the wrong time, having just been reading Christopher Hitchens who does an excellent job of dissecting this kind of narrative in a positive way Once you ve read Hitchens analysis of the pattern addressed here, the patterns become all too obvious, and Vonnegut offers little beyond the basic pattern.It certainly reveals the prejudices of its author, but today it is most interesting for having spawned many successors, ignorant or intentional, who address much the same issue of automation depriving workers of a purpose Nothing here would surprise Thomas Hardy though, just substitute farm workers for factory workers, and industrialisation for automation and you re done The only novelty here is the downbeat failure meaninglessness of the revolution You can force a positive spin on this if you work at it, but it takes an effort.For a modern work, Alan Moore s first Halo Jones book says as much in a lot fewer words.For the same kind of mid life crisis character as the protagonist, there are hundreds of books that deliver something realistic, believable and meaningful If this had been Vonnegut s only work, he d be forgotten by now. I read this book written in 1952 in the 1960s and thought it was OK.However, I reread it last month because of how relevant the theme is to today s world The theme of the book rates 5 stars The plot and writing rate 3 stars Why is the theme from 70 years ago so today Because it deals with what happens when almost all of the people in the US world no longer make anything because machines robots make everything This leads to a small group robotics engineers and software engineers as the only people with jobs Further, in the name of efficiency there is centralized planning so so each non working person receives the identical housing and appliances This leads to segregated neighborhoods for the managers, the factories and the others who actually have make work jobs for very low pay The book describes how soul crushing life is for the others and a revolt lead by the elite. Vonnegut s first novel is a great one imaginative, engaging, and thought provoking The story is set in the United States, post World War III, and automation from machines has put the majority of Americans out of work There are two types of people those with a high IQ, who are eligible to become managers and engineers, and those with a low IQ, who are eligible for the Army or a Reconstruction and Reclamation program Each group lives and works in separate areas, and there is very little overlap between the two classes of people.The main character, Doctor Paul Proteus, is a manager at a factory that gradually becomes aware of the unfair situation for the people on the other side of the river We follow him through his awakening, and it is interesting to see all of the terrible things he must go through that truly test his mettle and integrity.Overall, I found this to be a great book, and was fairly surprised at how strong it was since it was Vonnegut s first novel I would recommend this to anyone familiar with his works.