A collection of Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. short stories released in 1999--actually 24 stories mostly from the 40s and 50s before he was writing novels regularly.

As such, they're a fascinating look into his psyche, and Vonnegut's style works equally well in the short narrative. After all, many of his novels are actually multiple concurrent short stories fused into a cohesive whole. These stories evoke Issac Asimov or Ray Bradbury at their best.

An exceprt from the book jacket:

Before the Golden Age of magazines drew to a close half a century ago--soon to be beaten at the entertainment game by the new little boxes with moving images that were finding their way into the homes of more and more Americans--a young PR man at General Electric sold his first short story to one of the doomed publications. By the time he'd sold his third, he decided to quit GE and join the likes of Hemingway and Fitzgerald and Faulkner, and try to make a living at fifteen hundred dollars a pop. With four major magazines running five stories each week and smaller ones scouting as well, it was a seller's market, and Kurt Vonnegut was delighted - and comfortable - being published regularly by The Saturday Evening Post, Collier's, Argosy, and others.

For this unusual collection, Vonnegut has selected twenty-four of his favorite stories never published before in book form and has written a new preface for the occasion. Vonnegut scholar Peter Reed, who unearthed the old publications, contributes an introduction.

Now readers can relive the genesis of a master. Stories such as "Any Reasonable Offer," "The Powder Blue Dragon," "Hal Irwin's Magic Lamp," and "Lovers Anonymous" bring us to the beginning of a literary voice that is sure to last forever. Bagombo Snuff Box, the missing pieces of the master's oeuvre, is a ready-made classic for Vonnegut fans new and old.

Any Reasonable Offer
The Package
The No-Talent Kid
Poor Little Rich Town
The Cruise of The Jolly Roger
Custom-Made Bride
Ambitious Sophomore
Bagombo Snuff Box
The Powder-Blue Dragon
A Present for Big Saint Nick
Unpaid Consultant
Der Arme Dolmetscher
The Boy Who Hated Girls
This Son of Mine
A Night for Love
Find Me a Dream
Lovers Anonymous
Hal Irwin's Magic Lamp

Now, as much as I love Kurt Vonnegut, I consider Bagombo Snuff Box to be sub par to his other books. The magazine short stories were his first commercial writing efforts and the best of them were used in the other short story compilation, Welcome to the monkey house. Bagombo Snuff Box is composed of the remaining stories that got left out. It is Vonnegut, so it is still worth reading if you're a big fan.

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