Book Reviews of Hocus Pocus

Hocus Pocus
Hocus Pocus
Author: Kurt Vonnegut
ISBN-13: 9780099877103
ISBN-10: 0099877104
Publication Date: 1991
Pages: 268
Rating:
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 3

3.7 stars, based on 3 ratings
Publisher: Vintage
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

18 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Hocus Pocus on
Helpful Score: 3
I had to read this for American Lit. last semester, and enjoyed it very much. It is easy to read but at the same time you have to pay attention to what is going on. The way the novel is pieced together is different, and it makes it all the more interesting. I highly recommend this book, and I can't wait to read more of his books, and I also want to try reading his son's books also.
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Helpful Score: 2
Social inequalities with a humorous twist!
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Helpful Score: 2
This book begins with an Editor's Note: 'The author of this book did not have access to writing paper of uniform size and quality. He wrote in a library housing some eight hundred thousand volumes of interest to no one else. Most had never been read and probably never would be read, so there was nothing to stop him from tearing out their blank endpapers for stationery. This he did not do. Why he did not do this is not known. Whatever the reason, he wrote this book in pencil on everything from brown wrapping paper to the backs of business cards. The unconventional lines separating passages within chapters indicate where one scrap ended and the next began. The shorter the passage, the smaller the scrap....'
OK, now you've got the idea! This is NOT the average novel. I'm not entirely sure that Kurt Vonnegut inhabits exactly the same world the rest of us do, and he surely doesn't look at the world from the same direction.
reviewed Hocus Pocus on + 47 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This book is classic Vonnegut sarcastic humor. I loved it! Dark, intellectual and witty. The main character is a vietnam vet, who also teaches at a university for learning challenged students of wealthy elite parents. There is plenty of infidelity. There is a prison, inmates. Social commentary. Read it-you will laugh.
reviewed Hocus Pocus on + 101 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Hilarious, wonderful Vonnegut...you are sure to enjoy!
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Helpful Score: 1
I love Vonnegut's sharp-toothed satire on americans and humans in general. I highly recommend that you check him out!
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Helpful Score: 1
A Vonnegut classic, comedy, satire, social commentary, very easy to read and engaging
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I love Kurt Vonnegut!!

"Sharp-toothed satire...absurd humor." - San Francisco Chronicle

I highly recommend Hocus Pocus and all Vonnegut books for that matter!!
reviewed Hocus Pocus on + 4 more book reviews
Classic Vonnegut. Great read.
reviewed Hocus Pocus on + 333 more book reviews
"Irresistable...Hocus Pocus is vintage Vonnegut, witty, startling, satiic...Off the wall brilliance. Vonnegut is a true original. Hocus Pocus is not only Poignant and provocative, it is outrageous and very funny indeed. If Luck and Time are the two prime movers of the Universe, we are lucky in our time to have a Kurt Vonnegut to prod us, scold us, astonish us, unnerve us, entertain us and make us laugh..."

From the Cleveland Plain Dealer
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His usual romp, this time about the life of a teacher and how he affects his surroundings.
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Difficult to read not in chronological order, but entertaining once you get the format down.
reviewed Hocus Pocus on
Eugene Debs Hartke -- Vietnam Vet and career officer, teacher, philanderer, and now... prisoner. "Hocus Pocus" tells his story in small snatches of thoughts he scribbles on whatever comes to hand. He's accused of masterminding the largest mass prison breakout in US history. (As a side project to these notes, he's assembling two lists: all the women he's loved and all the people he's killed.)

This is classic Vonnegut. His black humor is in full force as Hartke comments on war, love, politics, the prison system, insanity, education, misinformation, and the "ruling class" in America.

For longtime Vonnegut readers, we even get to revisit a story by his fictional alter-ego, Kilgore Trout. Hartke finds deep meaning in "The Protocols of the Elders of Tralfamadore" which he finds in a copy of "Black Garter" magazine.

Maybe the last sentence of the book sums up its viewpoint best: "Just because some of us can read and write and do a little math, that doesn't mean we deserve to conquer the Universe."
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Not Vonnegut's best work, but awesome nonetheless.
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From Publishers Weekly
While awaiting trial for an initially unspecified crime, Vietnam vet and college professor Eugene Debs Hartke realizes that he has killed exactly as many people as he has had sex with, a coincidence that causes him to doubt his atheism. According to PW , "The cumulative power of the novel is considerable, revealing Vonnegut at his fanciful and playful best."
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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"I see no harm in telling young people to prepare for failure rather than success, since failure is the main thing that is going to happen to them," writes main character Eugene Debs Hartke. And not just personal failure, but large-scale continental collapse. The American economy is dominated by Japan, colleges are turned into prisons, and Swedes are mining US forests with Mexican labor. Another Vonnegut hand-slap to America for failing to live up to his expectations for it. But he's a brilliant writer and, again in this book, someone you suspect is deeply concerned about others.
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While awaiting trial for an initially unspecified crime, Vietnam vet and college professor Eugene Debs Hartke realizes that he has killed exactly as many people as he has had sex with, a coincidence that causes him to doubt his atheism. According to PW , "The cumulative power of the novel is considerable, revealing Vonnegut at his fanciful and playful best."
reviewed Hocus Pocus on + 4 more book reviews
Joseph Heller and Playboy magazine liked it.