With the success of Slaughterhouse-Five (1969), Kurt Vonnegut cemented his reputation as America’s funniest and most original satirist. This third volume of the definitive edition of his fiction collects four novels written in the 1970s and ’80s, when Vonnegut was at the height of his storytelling powers. Slapstick (1976) takes the form of the post-apocalyptic memoirs of Wilbur Daffodil-11 Swain, architect of a brilliant scheme to rid mankind of loneliness. Jailbird (1979) is a political fable of our time, the biography of a good man who becomes embroiled in several of the worst political scandals of the American Century. Deadeye Dick (1982) depicts a talentless playwright’s struggle to atone for the crimes of his youth, and the sins of his country. Galápagos (1985), a favorite of the author’s among his books, tells the story of how and why a million years ago—during the global ecological disaster of 1986—humankind embarked on an unlikely evolution. The volume is rounded out with an assortment of Vonnegut rarities: speeches, essays, and commentary from the period that touch upon the themes, incidents, and particulars of the novels.
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