The Big Trip Up Yonder by Kurt Vonnegut: A Book Review

kurt1This is a futuristic novel. Although it does not describe the future in general, it focuses on two themes: how to prolong life by inventing an anti-aging medicine, super anti-Gerasone and the effects of this idyllic concept.

The original title of the book was TOMORROW and TOMORROW and TOMORROW and it was published in 1983. The author himself, Kurt Vonnegut, predicted by writing a story what it is like in the future when there is such an anti-aging medicine. In the story, the clan of the Schwartz family headed by 172-year-old Harold, along with his 22 descendants, lives together in the same house since the population of the world is no longer “genocidal”. In other world, clans of families are soaring in great number. Harold , also known as Gramps , relies heavily on the said medicine to live longer. However, one of his grandchildren plans to kill him. Consequently, all the members of the clan tend to be at odd against one another in the name of inheritance. So the fight for the wealth centers around the story.

I was somehow groping a little. May be I was not used to the story bringing myself in the future which things like how to prolong life are unimaginable. Besides, Vonnegut used futuristic words;thus, reading such genre appeared different to me.

To understand the essence of the story, Vonnegut just wanted to discuss the probable effects of super anti-Gerasone. So let me draw the conclusions. If there is such anti-aging, automatically, the world population will increase in great size and number. And one of the effects is drastic urbanization and industrialization just like the example in the story wherein the clan clammed together in the same house. So I was convulsed with laughter upon reading one of my GR friends’ question how the members of the clan are able to jerk off . ^^ In addition, another sad effect is the disappearance of people’s morality. People might learn to be barbarian by virtue of social classification.

We are now in the modern era. I would consider that this era is now ultramodern, for peoples can invent something new, which can simplify our lives. Unfortunately, increasing life expectancy, which has been the primary target ever since the time immemorial, is still a big, big failure.

On the other hand, for me the real crux of the book is about DEATH. The book may indicate that many of us , especially adults in midlife, are still afraid of death. So we expect that scientists will invent such “Elysiac” elixir in the future. I may not have been around by the time when that ground has been broken.

So , are you afraid to die? How about me? I guess so. Not that I cannot find the so-called geographical place, Hell or Heaven, but I want to enjoy my life more as the Gramps Harold put it at the end of the story,” Life is so good. “

Rating : 3/ 5 stars



  1. Love this so much, and I couldn’t agree more. Not the best in the world, but it’s still Vonnegut. Thanks for sharing the great review! If you’re ever interested in some other awesome book reviews and musings, be sure to follow! Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

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