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Galapagos, Kurt Vonnegut, Dell, 1988, ISBN 0-440-12779-3, $6.50, 295pp.

The only fiction that we read on the Galapagos Islands, this strange little novel by Kurt Vonnegut (hmm, that’s probably an oxymoronic statement) contains quite a bit about the natural history and make-up of the place than one might expect. A science fiction story about 1986 and the events that caused the end of the human race, except for an accidental experimental colony on Santa Rosalie (not an actual island in the chain, as far as I could tell), the story is part tragedy, part comedy–a post-modern expose on humans and human nature, with special emphasis on the benefits of natural selection. Vonnegut is not for everyone, but if you can stand his laconic wit, this is the most unique book that you can find about the Galapagos.

[Finished March 1997]


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