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Slaughterhouse-Five

A book by Kurt Vonnegut.

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I Just Don't Know

  • Apr 30, 2007
Rating:
+2
Perhaps I missed the boat, but "Slaughterhouse-Five" just doesn't come across as hilarious and eye-opening as many see it in my opinion. Sure, there's no denying Vonnegut's satirical viewpoint, but the story is just too disjointed and jumbled to really enjoy it. Vonnegut uses Billy Pilgrim to get his point across that war isn't worth it. In a perfect world, we wouldn't need war. However, there comes a point when shaking hands and talking over tea just doesn't work anymore. It's obvious that Vonnegut disagreed with the actions taken at Dresden (He was there), but he fails to mention the reasoning behind the attack on that particular place. Also, he gives us a brief glimpse at conditions in the German concentration camps but fails to fully paint the picture of just how cruel these places were. In short, what you have here is one man's viewpoint of warfare. If you agree with him, you'll probably think his sarcastic remarks are hilarious. However, if, like me, you see war as an unwanted but sometimes necessary evil, you may tire of Vonnegut's lingo rather quickly.

In closing I must say that this book just wasn't for me. When I was in college I happened to see the film that's based on this book and I actually enjoyed it. Perhaps age and real world experience have rubbed the sand out of my eyes and I now see this book for what it really is? I'm not saying that this book is bad, but I won't recommend everybody go out and read it either.

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More Slaughterhouse-Five reviews
review by . June 24, 2010
I first read Vonnegut in high school and loved his subversive perspective in "Cat's Cradle." I returned home to my parent's over-flowing bookshelf after graduating from college eager to jump back into that whole "reading for pleasure" game. I picked this one up (my dad had it since he was in college!) and began turning the pages.       This book was definitely captivating and engaging - and the …
review by . June 09, 2010
Don't get me wrong; I'm a huge sucker for time travel. From my early years as a Star Trek nerd to my current days as a quantum theory enthusiast, I've loved it, wished it were feasible, focused all my writing energy on finding the perfect temporal paradox, the perfect science fiction excuse, something that wasn't forced and had the decency to treat time travel as something morally and philosophically as well as scientifically complicated. A good, seriously-done time travel story …
review by . May 23, 2010
I first read this book in high school when my English teacher recommended it. After completing it, I then went to the library and sequentially checked out and read all of the other books they had by Vonnegut. Fundamentally, it is an anti-war book based on the Allied firebombing of the German city of Dresden. The city had no real military or strategic value and was swollen with refugees; the goal of the allies was simply to kill as many German citizens as possible.    Billy Pilgrim is a …
Quick Tip by . July 02, 2010
A quirky satire of just about everything, this book is probably Vonnegut's most famous, and is an excellent introduction to the body of his work. One tale told sequentially, another told randomly, and both fitting together to create an ironic, iconic, bizarrely entertaining story. Another summer reading great.
Quick Tip by . July 02, 2010
Funny, smart, and unlike a lot of things I've read.
Quick Tip by . June 29, 2010
I've read all of Vonneguut. I liked Breakfast of Champions better.
Quick Tip by . June 27, 2010
so it goes
Quick Tip by . June 23, 2010
weird
Quick Tip by . June 21, 2010
great, but not my favorite k. von.
Quick Tip by . June 16, 2010
Classic!
About the reviewer
Kendall Fontenot ()
Ranked #17
Despite looking extremely cool, I have to admit that I'm a dork. I grew up on the outskirts of the small town of Oberlin, LA. I have since relocated to the Lake Charles, LA area.I love my home state … more
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About this book

Wiki


Kurt Vonnegut's absurdist classicSlaughterhouse-Fiveintroduces 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 (taken from the name of the building where the POWs were held) is not only Vonnegut's most powerful book, it is 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. --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

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Details

ISBN-10: 0385333846
ISBN-13: 978-0385333849
Author: Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
Genre: Literature & Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Publisher: Dial Press Trade Paperback
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