I’ve only read one Kurt Vonnegut book before this one, Slaughter-House Five, though I’ve stayed interested in his work ever since I’ve read that book. It’s probably been four or five years since I read my first Vonnegut but the man is a fascinating character in his own right (and no, I’m not making reference to Kilgore Trout but the reference is there if you want it). Several months ago I went to a bookstore with the intent of buying another Vonnegut book. This is my kind of writer and I owe it to myself to explore his oeuvre. I couldn’t pick out a single book and after arriving at a shortlist of three books, I asked my wife to pick. She singled out Galapagos and, here we are, a few months later with a review about humanity’s destruction and rebirth as a new species.
Simply put, Galapagos is an evolutionary journey recounted from the point of view of a million years in our future. There and then, the ghost of a man from the 20th century is telling the story of the crisis which befell humanity in 1986 and how unusual circumstances made the Galapagos Islands the hotbed of evolution for a second time in the history of the world. It’s on one of its volcanic islands that the last survivors of humanity find themselves the originators of the next step in human evolution.