Friday, March 27

Book Review: Slaughterhouse-Five

Title: Slaughterhouse-Five

Author: Kurt Vonnegut

Pages: 215

Summary: 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.
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 unique poignancy -- and humour. ( description)

My Rating: 6/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: This was a very odd, yet unique read for me, which is both good and bad. Good in that it was a little different then what I normally read, I’ve been branching out a lot this year, and this one of them. Also, I’ve been meaning to read Vonnegut for a while, so it got me into him, and I think I will read more of his work. The book its self wasn’t great, but it did keep me interested in it. I found the book to be disjointed at times, because the main character time travels a lot, the reader is pulled around to different parts in time, so it at times, makes it hard to focus on the different story lines. There are the aliens, the war, and other periods in his life, so sometimes you have to stop and re-think things you’ve read a little longer. Actually, the way it’s written sometimes reminded me of flipping through the channels on the television, and watching each channel for one or two minutes at a time. Is how the book felt. The overall effect left me with mixed feelings on how it was written, I think that is partially why my ratting is so low. Another aspect I liked was that it made you think about a lot of things, such as free will, why we make decisions and deep down in the writing, there’s the political anti-war message. Overall a good read, but it didn’t grip me like I expected it would, and the style of writing wasn’t what I though, but it might be just the way the book was written (as in the time travel aspect)

Would I recommend it to read: I think I’d recommend the book to select “audience” or style of reading. I think a lot of readers would get fed up with how disjointed/jumpy the text goes from time period to time period, but it’s a very different read, so if you like branching out, or like sci-fi its worth trying.

What to read next: The Time Machine-H.G. Wells (for the sci-fi/ time travel side) and Catch - 22 (Librarything recommendation).

Challenges: 100+ Challenge, 999 Challenge, 2009 Support Your Library Challenge,
A - Z Challenge, Decades Challenge, New Author Challenge,

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