Venus on the Half-Shell

via Anna: an interesting 1000-strong megalist of essential novels from the Guardian.

Scrolling through, noticed a novel filed under “Comedy,”: Venus on the Half-Shell, by Kilgore Trout. Is that a joke? KT is a fictional Vonnegut character! But behold:


It lives! Weird.



3 thoughts on “Venus on the Half-Shell

  1. Ed

    check it out, Leland ———— it was written by the great Philip José Farmer (still alive and kicking) — this is from the Guardian’s descrip*:

    Kilgore Trout: Venus on the Half-Shell (1974)

    Kilgore Trout is actually a figment of Kurt Vonnegut’s imagination: an unsuccessful sci-fi writer who stars in several of his novels. The real author of this playful parody is Philip José Farmer, who took Trout’s questions about why we are created “only to suffer and die” and sent an astronaut around the universe to try and find an answer. The result is a funny and inventive piece of fan fiction that mimics Vonnegut’s style without ever cheapening it. Vonnegut himself later grumbled about the book, but it remains an affectionate and worthy tribute. Sam Jordison

    *cool new way of abbreviating “description.”

  2. neil

    My father had this book growing up. I read it when I was like 9. This is NOT a book that a 9 year old should read. The opening seen is like two people having sex in Egypt or something and then an ant gets involved and there is this description like, “the ant thought that it was trapped in the piston of a 1926 Model-T” This was very confusing to me, although apparently it made an impression. There are two other sex-scenes in the book that I recall in vivid detail. The main character (the space dude with the shorts) tells a very lengthy story *about* Kilgore Trout (that is, this is a story about the fictional author told within the larger story). Trout is trapped on a planet with horny women where extraterrestrial rays are preventing the men from maintaining erections, except Kilgore Trout who is somehow trapped in a space suit or something and unable to relieve himself and develops a “piss hard-on” which is then exploited by the women on this planet until Kilgore Trout reveals that it’s not space rays at all that are rending the men impotent, it’s the *belief* that space rays are making them impotent that is making them impotent. Okay. Then there is a sex seen involving the spaceman main character with a feline humanoid, and the spaceman has had a prosthetic tail surgically affixed to his body and there is very detailed description about how the tails (prosthetic and the female feline humanoid’s natural tail) are used as sexual appendages like to stimulate orifices and stuff. I remember looking up the word “orifice.”

    In all likelihood this book is still in Pozo.


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