The brothers Vonnegut Science and fiction in the house of magic

Ginger Gail Strand

Sound recording - 2015

Worlds collide in this true story of weather control in the cold war era and the making of Kurt Vonnegut. In the mid-1950s, Kurt Vonnegut takes a job in the PR department at General Electric in Schenectady, where his older brother, Bernard, is a leading scientist in its research lab or House of Magic. Kurt has ambitions as a novelist, and Bernard is working on a series of cutting-edge weather-control experiments meant to make deserts bloom and farmers flourish. While Kurt writes zippy press rele...ases, Bernard builds silver-iodide generators and attacks clouds with dry ice. His experiments attract the attention of the government; weather proved and decisive factor in World War II, and if the military can control the clouds, fog, and snow, they can fly more bombing missions.

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COMPACT DISC/BIOGRAPHY/Vonnegut, Kurt
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Subjects
Published
[Minneapolis, MN] : HighBridge Audio [2015]
Prince Frederick, MD : [2015]
Edition
Unabridged
Language
English
Physical Description
9 audio discs (approximately 10 hours, 45 min.) : CD audio, digital ; 4 3/4 in
ISBN
9781622319169
1622319168
Main Author
Ginger Gail Strand (author)
Other Authors
Sean Runnette (narrator)
  • Autumn fog
  • Precipitating events
  • Head in the clouds
  • Bolt of lightning
  • Eye of the storm
  • Watersheds
  • Rainmakers
  • Out of the blue
  • Cold fronts
  • Shifting winds
  • Epilogue: rainbow's end.
Review by Library Journal Reviews

Strand (Killer on the Road) beautifully illustrates the lives of the Vonnegut brothers, Bernard and Kurt, and explores their contributions to their respective fields. During the firebombing of Dresden in World War II, while Kurt was hunkered down beneath a slaughterhouse (an experience upon which he later based Slaughterhouse-Five), his brother Bernard, a scientist, was testing out cloud seeding and ways of producing rain. The brothers led vastly different lives, but both worked for General Electric, which back then was lovingly referred to as the "house of magic." While there, Bernard experimented with weather control and Kurt reveled in all the fantastic things he saw and heard, many of which become the impetus for his later novels and short stories. Strand breaks down Bernard's science and Kurt's stories and produces a fascinating look at two different yet very similar brothers. VERDICT Compellingly narrated by Sean Runnette, this eye-opening read is perfect for both fans of science and of Kurt Vonnegut. ["The book is engaging owing to the author's rich characterization of historical persons, source material, and selective assemblage of events": LJ 9/1/15 review of the Farrar hc.]—Erin Cataldi, Johnson Cty. P.L., Franklin, IN [Page 56]. (c) Copyright 2016 Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Worlds collide in this true story of weather control in the cold war era and the making of Kurt Vonnegut. In the mid-1950s, Kurt Vonnegut takes a job in the PR department at General Electric in Schenectady, where his older brother, Bernard, is a leading scientist in its research lab or House of Magic. Kurt has ambitions as a novelist, and Bernard is working on a series of cutting-edge weather-control experiments meant to make deserts bloom and farmers flourish. While Kurt writes zippy press releases, Bernard builds silver-iodide generators and attacks clouds with dry ice. His experiments attract the attention of the government; weather proved and decisive factor in World War II, and if the military can control the clouds, fog, and snow, they can fly more bombing missions. Maybe weather will even be &; as a headline in America Magazine calls it. The New Super Weapon. But when the army takes charge of his cloudseeding project (dubbed Project Cirrus), Bernard begins to have misgivings about the use of his inventions for harm, not to mention the evidence that they are causing alarming changes in the atmosphere. In a fascinating cultural history, Ginger Strand chronicles the intersection of these brothers' lives at a time when the possibilities of science seemed infinite. As the Cold War looms, Bernards struggle for integrity plays out in Kurts evolving writing style. The Brothers Vonnegut reveals how science ability to influence the natural world also influenced one of out most incentive novelists.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Worlds collide in this true story of weather control in the cold war era and the making of Kurt Vonnegut. In the mid-1950s, Kurt Vonnegut takes a job in the PR department at General Electric in Schenectady, where his older brother, Bernard, is a leading scientist in its research lab or House of Magic. Kurt has ambitions as a novelist, and Bernard is working on a series of cutting-edge weather-control experiments meant to make deserts bloom and farmers flourish. While Kurt writes zippy press releases, Bernard builds silver-iodide generators and attacks clouds with dry ice. His experiments attract the attention of the government; weather proved and decisive factor in World War II, and if the military can control the clouds, fog, and snow, they can fly more bombing missions. Maybe weather will even be – as a headline in America Magazine calls it. The New Super Weapon. But when the army takes charge of his cloudseeding project (dubbed Project Cirrus), Bernard begins to have misgivings about the use of his inventions for harm, not to mention the evidence that they are causing alarming changes in the atmosphere. In a fascinating cultural history, Ginger Strand chronicles the intersection of these brothers' lives at a time when the possibilities of science seemed infinite. As the Cold War looms, Bernards struggle for integrity plays out in Kurts evolving writing style. The Brothers Vonnegut reveals how science ability to influence the natural world also influenced one of out most incentive novelists.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

Worlds collide in this true story of weather control in the cold war era and the making of Kurt Vonnegut. In the mid-1950s, Kurt Vonnegut takes a job in the PR department at General Electric in Schenectady, where his older brother, Bernard, is a leading scientist in its research lab or House of Magic. Kurt has ambitions as a novelist, and Bernard is working on a series of cutting-edge weather-control experiments meant to make deserts bloom and farmers flourish. While Kurt writes zippy press releases, Bernard builds silver-iodide generators and attacks clouds with dry ice. His experiments attract the attention of the government; weather proved and decisive factor in World War II, and if the military can control the clouds, fog, and snow, they can fly more bombing missions. Maybe weather will even be – as a headline in America Magazine calls it. The New Super Weapon. But when the army takes charge of his cloudseeding project (dubbed Project Cirrus), Bernard begins to have misgivings about the use of his inventions for harm, not to mention the evidence that they are causing alarming changes in the atmosphere. In a fascinating cultural history, Ginger Strand chronicles the intersection of these brothers' lives at a time when the possibilities of science seemed infinite. As the Cold War looms, Bernards struggle for integrity plays out in Kurts evolving writing style. The Brothers Vonnegut reveals how science ability to influence the natural world also influenced one of out most incentive novelists.