Friday, March 29, 2013

Blog 113 - Slaughterhouse Five

Author: Kurt Vonnegut
Format: Paperback
Pages: 215
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: December 1, 1991
ISBN-13: 9780440180296

About the book
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.

My Review
I did like that there was a jump back and forth between years as if the protagonist was really jumping through time. To me it was more like the protagonist, Billy Pilgrim, was looking back on his life but focusing on the war that he was in, that war and fall of Dresden. Even though at times it just seemed like he was trying to talk about the war and mainly the war, it was though he was getting distracted by other stories of his life.

This is a book that I definitely liked while I was reading it, and I will definitely go back and read it again when I have more time to comprehend and study a bit more in a longer period of time. I would definitely recommend this book though. 

Until next time, Happy Reading!

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