Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Published by: Dell in 1969
Genre: Fiction, Classic, Historical Fiction, Science Fiction
Synopsis: Kurt Vonnegut’s absurdist classic Slaughterhouse-Five introduces us to Billy Pilgrim, a man who becomes unstuck in time after he is abducted by aliens from the planet Tralfamadore. In a plot-scrambling display of virtuosity, we follow Pilgrim simultaneously through all phases of his life, concentrating on his (and Vonnegut’s) shattering experience as an American prisoner of war who witnesses the firebombing of Dresden.
Don’t let the ease of reading fool you – Vonnegut’s isn’t a conventional, or simple, novel. He writes, “There are almost no characters in this story, and almost no dramatic confrontations, because most of the people in it are so sick, and so much the listless playthings of enormous forces. One of the main effects of war, after all, is that people are discouraged from being characters.”
Slaughterhouse-Five is not only Vonnegut’s most powerful book, it is also as important as any written since 1945. Like Catch- 22, it fashions the author’s experiences in the Second World War into an eloquent and deeply funny plea against butchery in the service of authority. Slaughterhouse-Five boasts the same imagination, humanity, and gleeful appreciation of the absurd found in Vonnegut’s other works, but the book’s basis in rock-hard, tragic fact gives it a unique poignancy – and humor.
Review: I really don’t know how to review this book other than telling you to read it. It’s a easy to read classic novel that is broken down into smaller paragraphs/sections that bounces back and forth through Billy Pilgrim’s timeline and even space. It was a book about the Dresden massacre that could not be written because “there is nothing intelligent to say about a massacre”. I don’t know how else to describe it. It’s a book about war, PTSD, love, aliens, free will and death. So it goes.
What I liked:
- How strange it was.
- The writing is unbelievable. It took me the first chapter to get acquainted to it, however.
- It seems like such a simple book but there is so much meaning in the words.
- It was weird to have a book that was filled with characters that weren’t really characters at all.
- Switches in perspective.
What I didn’t like:
- I honestly can’t think of anything…
I feel like this review didn’t cover anything but like I said in the beginning I have no idea how to review this book. All I got to say is that if you haven’t read it, you should give it a read.
Rating: 5/5 stars!