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A book by Kurt Vonnegut.

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Time-traveling: Vonnegut style

  • Jun 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 plot, while hard to follow, was quirky and thought-provoking. Vonnegutt weaves together PTSD-like symptoms in the book's protaganist, Billy Pilgrim, together withe elements of time travel to make the book an interesting roller coaster-like experience for the reader. 

I'd recommend this book for the daring reader who isn't thrown off by non-linear story-lines and who's ready to conquer some heavy, meaning-of-life type questions. This book really made me stop and think about whether or not there is a 4th dimension of time that we really can't know. The book itself also jumps between settings - mostly WWII battle-scenes in Dresden, Germany and the alien nation of Trafalmadore. Both scenes painted a picture of Billy Pilgrim's unique life, and gave a little bit of insight into what PTSD (and similar mental illnesses) can be like (or, what Vonnegut envisions that they could be like).
I enjoyed reading this book – it made me think about some big questions dealing with thing like war, life, death, and time. While I’m happy I read it, I prefer books that are less time-warping and more of the non-fiction variety, and that’s why I gave this book a +2.

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June 24, 2010
My friends keep telling me that I'll love Kurt Vonnegut, but I've still yet to pick up one of his books!  I do like books with non-linear storylines though, so perhaps I'll dig this one.  Will pick up Cat's Cradle, too.  Thanks so much for sharing, Gillian! :)
More Slaughterhouse-Five reviews
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
Quick Tip by . June 21, 2010
great, but not my favorite k. von.
Quick Tip by . June 16, 2010
Quick Tip by . June 15, 2010
I'm not the biggest Vonnegut fan, but the imagery and metaphors he uses in this book struck me forcibly. There are lines that still stick with me, despite having read it only once.
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Gillian Clow ()
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About this book


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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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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