Kurt Vonnegut Books In Order

Kurt Vonnegut, an American writer known for his unique blend of satire, black comedy, and science fiction, is regarded as one of the most influential authors of the 20th century. Born on November 11, 1922, in Indianapolis, Indiana, Vonnegut’s experiences, particularly as a World War II veteran and a prisoner of war, significantly shaped his perspective and became central themes in his work.

Vonnegut’s early life was marked by the Great Depression, which profoundly affected his family and left a lasting impact on his worldview. He attended Cornell University but left to enlist in the U.S. Army during World War II. His experience in the war, especially the bombing of Dresden, which he witnessed as a prisoner of war, deeply influenced his writing. This event, in particular, became the backdrop for his most famous work, “Slaughterhouse-Five,” published in 1969.

Before “Slaughterhouse-Five” brought him widespread acclaim, Vonnegut worked various jobs, including as a public relations writer for General Electric, which informed his views on technology and society. His first novel, “Player Piano” (1952), set the tone for his career with its critique of corporate culture and mechanization.

Vonnegut’s writing style is noted for its directness, imaginative plots, and the use of science fiction to explore fundamental human issues. His novels often mix dark humor with philosophical inquiries into the nature of existence, free will, and morality. His work is characterized by a distinctive voice that often breaks the fourth wall and includes autobiographical elements.

Beyond “Slaughterhouse-Five,” Vonnegut’s other notable works include “Cat’s Cradle” (1963), “God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater” (1965), and “Breakfast of Champions” (1973). Each of these works showcases his ability to blend cynicism, humor, and poignant insights into the human condition.

Vonnegut’s influence extends beyond literature into the realms of culture and philosophy. His works have been celebrated for their unorthodox approach to storytelling and their ability to address complex themes with clarity and humor.

Kurt Vonnegut passed away on April 11, 2007, leaving behind a legacy as one of the great American writers of his time. His novels continue to be celebrated for their originality, insight, and the unique lens through which they view the world.

Publication Order of Delta Fiction Books


Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Player Piano /Utopia 14(1952)
The Sirens of Titan(1959)
Cat’s Cradle(1960)
Mother Night(1961)
God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater(1965)
Between Time and Timbuktu(1972)
Breakfast of Champions(1973)
Slapstick, or Lonesome No More!(1976)
Deadeye Dick(1982)
Hocus Pocus(1990)

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

with Richard Lingeman

The Big Trip Up Yonder(1954)
2 B R 0 2 B(1968)
Who Am I This Time? For Romeos and Juliets(1970)
God Bless You, Dr. Kevorkian(1999)
The Honor of a Newsboy(2009)
Hall of Mirrors(2009)
A Song for Selma(2009)
Hello, Red(2009)
The Good Explainer(2009)
King and Queen of the Universe(2009)
Little Drops of Water(2009)
The Nice Little People(2009)
Ed Luby’s Key Club(2009)
Shout about It from the Housetops(2009)
Basic Training(2012)
Vonnegut by the Dozen: Twelve Pieces by Kurt Vonnegut(2013)
Slice of Life(2016)

Publication Order of Short Story Collections

Canary in a Cat House(1961)
Welcome to the Monkey House(1968)
Bagombo Snuff Box(1999)
Armageddon in Retrospect(2008)
Look at the Birdie(2009)
While Mortals Sleep(2011)
Sucker’s Portfolio(2012)

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Wampeters, Foma and Granfalloons(1974)
Palm Sunday(1981)
Like Shaking Hands with God(1999)
Kurt Vonnegut on Mark Twain, Lincoln, Imperialist Wars and the Weather(2004)
A Man Without a Country(2005)
We Are What We Pretend To Be(2012)
If This Isn’t Nice What Is?(2013)
Pity the Reader(2019)

Publication Order of Biographies & Memoirs

Fates Worse Than Death(1982)
Love, Kurt: The Vonnegut Love Letters, 1941-1945(2020)

Publication Order of Plays

with Christopher Sergel

Happy Birthday, Wanda June(1970)
Welcome to the Monkey House(With: Christopher Sergel)(1970)

Publication Order of Children’s Books

Sun, Moon, Star(1980)

Publication Order of Slaughter-House Five Books

with Ryan North

Slaughterhouse-Five, or the Children’s Crusade(2020)

Publication Order of Comic Tales of Fantasy Books

with Peter Haining

The Flying Sorcerers(1997)
The Wizards of Odd(By: Peter Haining)(1997)
Wizards of Odd(1997)
Ob??dni rycerze(By: Peter Haining)(1998)

Publication Order of The Last Interview Books

by Jorge Borges, Jacques Derrida, David Bowie, Lou Reed

Learning to Live Finally: The Last Interview(By: Jacques Derrida)(2005)

Publication Order of Amy Tan Short Story Collections

Big City Cool: Short Stories About Urban Youth(With: Walter Dean Myers,Judith Ortiz Cofer,Amy Tan,Neal Shusterman,Cherylene Lee,M. Jerry Weiss,Helen S. Weiss,Elennora Tate,Eugenia Collier,Paul Many,Michael Rosovsky)(2002)

Publication Order of Anthologies

Connoisseur’s Science Fiction(1964)
ABC of Science Fiction(1968)
Best SF Vol 7(1971)
Autumn Light: Illuminations of Age(1978)
The Arbor House Treasury of Modern Science Fiction(1980)
The Golden Age of Science Fiction(1981)
Space Odyssey(1983)
A World of Fiction(1983)
Great Tales of Fantasy and Science Fiction(1985)
Great Science Fiction of the 20th Century(1987)
The Ultimate Frankenstein(1991)
First Fiction: An Anthology of the First Published Stories by Famous Writers(1994)
Cybersex: Aliens, Neurosex and Cyborgasms(1996)
The Flying Sorcerers(1997)
Wizards of Odd(1997)
The Playboy Book of Science Fiction(1998)
Writers on Writing(2001)
Big City Cool: Short Stories About Urban Youth(2002)
Louder than Bombs: Interviews from The Progressive Magazine(2004)
Favorite Science Fiction Stories, Volume 2(2010)
The Best American Mystery Stories 2010(2010)
Slaughterhouse-Five: Critical Insights(2010)
Science Fiction Collection 002(2011)
The Fourth Science Fiction Megapack(2012)
The Big Book of Classic Horror, Fantasy & Science Fiction(2013)
Lieu: Science Fiction Short Stories(2015)
Grave Predictions(2016)
The Ultimate Short Story Bundle(2020)

Kurt Vonnegut’s Writing Style

Kurt Vonnegut’s literary style and thematic explorations were shaped by a diverse array of influences, spanning from pulp fiction to classical literature, reflecting a tapestry of eclectic reading that enriched his unique narrative voice.

In his younger years, Vonnegut immersed himself in a variety of genres, including pulp fiction, science fiction, fantasy, and action-adventure, all of which contributed to the imaginative and often fantastical elements in his writing. However, he also delved into the classics, finding inspiration in the plays of Aristophanes, whose works similarly combined humor with sharp critiques of contemporary society. This blend of the popular and the profound would become a hallmark of Vonnegut’s own writing.

Vonnegut’s work shares a kinship with that of Mark Twain, particularly in their pessimistic outlooks on humanity and skeptical views on religion. Both writers had personal and ancestral ties to “the enemy” in major wars of their times, which influenced their perspectives and writings. Furthermore, Vonnegut admired Ambrose Bierce, considering “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” a pinnacle of American short stories, indicative of Vonnegut’s appreciation for storytelling that combined realism with surprise endings.

George Orwell’s work, especially his focus on the plight of the poor and his socialist leanings, deeply resonated with Vonnegut. Orwell’s “Nineteen Eighty-Four” and Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World” heavily influenced Vonnegut’s debut novel, “Player Piano.” Similarly, Norbert Wiener’s “Cybernetics” provided a foundation for Vonnegut’s exploration of human-machine interactions.

Robert Louis Stevenson’s thoughtfully composed stories were another source of inspiration for Vonnegut, as was the playwright George Bernard Shaw, whose socialist ideologies and impactful plays left a mark on Vonnegut’s approach to literature.

Within his family, Vonnegut credited his mother, Edith, as a significant influence, particularly her aspirations and studies in writing, which helped shape his perception of literature as a pursuit.

Vonnegut’s early decision to emulate Henry David Thoreau’s style, characterized by a childlike perspective, allowed him to convey complex ideas with clarity and simplicity. This approach, along with influences from H.G. Wells, shaped Vonnegut’s ability to discuss serious themes through a seemingly modest and straightforward narrative voice.

These myriad influences culminated in Vonnegut’s distinctive literary style, marked by its ability to blend humor, social criticism, and imaginative storytelling, making his work both profoundly impactful and broadly accessible.

If you like Kurt Vonnegut then you might like the following authors too…
Hunter S Thompson
Ernest Hemmingway

Leave a Comment