Top critical review
Only worth it if you're studying Vonnegut
Reviewed in the United States on November 12, 2014
This book has not aged well. Even when it was fresh it would still have been as derivative as it is today. Unless you're doing a course on Vonnegut I would advise giving this a miss and simply re-read 1984, The Aerodrome or Brave New World.
Perhaps I came to this at the wrong time, having just been reading Christopher Hitchens who does an excellent job of dissecting this kind of narrative (in a positive way). Once you've read Hitchens' analysis of the pattern addressed here, the patterns become all too obvious, and Vonnegut offers little beyond the basic pattern.
It certainly reveals the prejudices of its author, but today it is most interesting for having spawned many successors, ignorant or intentional, who address much the same issue of automation depriving workers of a purpose. Nothing here would surprise Thomas Hardy though, just substitute farm workers for factory workers, and industrialisation for automation and you're done. The only novelty here is the downbeat failure/meaninglessness of the revolution. You can force a positive spin on this if you work at it, but it takes an effort.
For a more modern work, Alan Moore's first Halo Jones book says as much in a lot fewer words.
For the same kind of mid-life crisis character as the protagonist, there are hundreds of books that deliver something more realistic, believable and meaningful. If this had been Vonnegut's only work, he'd be forgotten by now.