“His best book…
He dares not only to ask the ultimate question about the meaning of life
but to answer it.” – Esquire
Sirens of Titans is not your average science fiction story. Reading through Vonnegut’s novels, it seems that he has an interest in taking the mediums of science fiction and convert the realm of imagination by incorporating the ideals of black humor that any good fiction story would withhold.
The stories main premise is quite elaborate in whole as it progresses since it takes erratic turns in the plot that reveal a new understanding of the purpose of the novel. However: The story begins on Earth, no timeline is set, however there is a great fascination of a delineation of wealth and poor. Right off the bat, you are introduced with the black humor of poor and wealthy, and how they rank in society by the means of events they are able to participate. The event is a materialization of a man named Winston Rumfoord and his dog Kazak, who were once normal individuals, but now where forms of a wave phenomena as a result of passing through a cloud in space called Chrono-Synclastic Infidibula.
This event and Rumfoord are important components of the novel, as set described we are introduced with the main protagonist Malachi Constant. He is a man a filthy amount of wealth, stardom, and power, think of a CEO, Rock star, and President combined. To which, he is invited to the materialization event within the lavish Rumfoord estate to which is the barrier between the mobs of poor people outside, and the wealthy privileged inside. The most privileged, would be the woman who runs the estate, the wife of Winston Rumfoord, Beatrize Rumfoord.
As desires may have it, Winston makes his appearance and beckons to talk with Constant in private to which a brief understanding of the story is pronounced and told not only to the audience, but Constant. To where, we have an understanding of the types of terminology that will be at play along with the involvement of M-Theory type logic on time and space.
The black humor can be overwhelming, it gets to the point where the reader can turn any situation or group into an analogy of some type of issue or problem, especially regarding governance all over the world. The reader has the easy ability to disregard the facts since the story flows so well, especially towards the end. I remember just getting rid of interpreting the characters and just honed in on the juicy details of the imagery and vivid reactions and tellings of the character.
Throughout the novel, we will be behind the backs of all main characters involved, to which you are a traveler of Vonnegut’s painting of the solar system, to which you are a philosopher of the ideals Vonnegut writes for you, to which you are a human being, in which the details of life may unfold and give resonance to how one might handle the question:
What is the meaning to life?