Wednesday, February 9, 2011

REVIEW: Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

book cover of Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Title:  Slaughterhouse-Five
Author:  Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
Date Published:  1976 (Originally published in 1969)
Genre:  Science Fiction, Classic Literature
Page Count:  215 pages
Challenge:  Forgotten Treasures Challenge

     I don't know anyone other than my mom who has ever read this book, so I didn't really know much about it going into it.
     The story is about Billy Pilgrim, a prisoner of war, who survived the bombing of Dresden in WWII (Like Vonnegut himself) and randomly becomes "unstuck" in time.  On top of that, he was also abducted by aliens and taken to live on the planet of Tralfamadore.

     This novel was so strange to me.  Because Billy randomly becomes unstuck in time, the narrative is hard to follow at first.  Vonnegut also likes repetition, and alludes to the same events multiple times, and uses the same phrase, "So it goes."  In reading reviews, I've noticed that tended to drive a lot of people crazy, but I felt like it was rather appropriate, since the novel does have a lot to do with war and death and acceptance of these things.  There are moments of comic relief, like Billy walking around with silver boots, an azure toga, and a coat wrapped around his hands like a muff.  This adds a nice touch, since most of this book really is serious in nature.
      The element of the Tralfamadorians and the philosophies that Billy discusses with them, makes me think that Vonnegut has an issue with freewill.  But, I'm not going to sit here and analyze the book, I'll let you read it for yourself and decide.

     I liked this book.  It really was a lot to think about though.  There were moments that I really had to stop and think about what was said.  Anyway, good book, quite a bit of repetition though, which takes a minute of getting used to and the changes in scenes take a minute to get used to as well.  Overall, I give this a 4 out of 5.

Think you might want to give this book a try?  Read other reviews or order from  Slaughterhouse-Five: A Novel

1 comment:

Nathalie said...

I read this book, but couldn't get a grasp on it.
Lots of others like it very much, but somehow I don't.

Good review though!

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