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Slaughterhouse-five by Kurt Vonnegut

Slaughterhouse-five (original 1969; edition 1994)

by Kurt Vonnegut

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30,12541829 (4.13)1 / 741
Authors:Kurt Vonnegut
Info:New York, N.Y.: Delacorte Press/Seymour Lawrence, 1994.
Collections:Your library

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Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut (1969)

1960s (13)
Read (35)
Unread books (1,152)

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English (396)  Italian (5)  French (4)  Spanish (3)  German (3)  Swedish (2)  Dutch (2)  Czech (1)  Hungarian (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (418)
Showing 1-5 of 396 (next | show all)
Celebrated author, notable, compelling, unpleasant book. It is a challenge and begs to be a study rather than a read. ( )
  jamespurcell | Oct 6, 2015 |
This was a strange one for me. I really felt I should like it, and Kurt Vonnegut's writing is fantastic - watching the war in reverse was fantastic - but I couldn't get into the story. So it goes. ( )
  liso | Sep 18, 2015 |
First Vonnegut. Underwhelmed. Rather weird. Extra star for it being a “classic”. ( )
  miyurose | Sep 11, 2015 |
After re-reading this for a fourth time I picked up on so many new elements that I had somehow overlooked the first two times. I know the character, Kilgore Trout, shows up in most Vonnegut novels but I had totally missed the fact that Howard J. Campbell, the American Nazi war criminal from "Mother Night," makes a few brief appearances in here and so does Eliot Rosewater. I feel like an idiot for missing key pieces like that! I'm getting rusty!

Anyways, this is probably one of the best instances of Kurt Vonnegut's literary genius. It's a staple in every collection and is one of the best "anti-war" books there is. Vonnegut is a master at conveying the absurdity of war and does a brilliant job of getting his point across by introducing the unforgettable Billy Pilgrim. Billy has come unstuck in time and "Slaughterhouse Five, or the Children's Crusade" is Billy's journey back and forth through different parts of his life. Billy surviving the fire bombing in Dresden during World War II, Billy marrying his wife, Billy being abducted by aliens, and Billy practicing optometry. The prose and the back and forth of all these moments is brilliant and some of Vonnegut's most memorable quotes are found in these pages.

If you haven't read this already, what are you waiting for? ( )
  ecataldi | Aug 31, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 396 (next | show all)
It is a novel about war and what men do to each other in the name of holy causes.

Which is not to say it is anywhere near "The Naked and the Dead" or "From Here to Eternity." Vonnegut fights his wars with feathers rather than with jackhammers. "Slaughterhouse-Five" is funny, satirical, compelling, outrageous, fanciful, mordant, fecund and at the bottom-line, simply stoned-out-of-its-mind.
added by Shortride | editLos Angeles Times, Harlan Ellison (pay site) (Apr 20, 1969)
An agonizing, funny, profoundly rueful attempt by Vonnegut to handle in fable form his own memories of the strategically unnecessary Allied air raid on Dresden... few modern writers have borne witness against inhumanity with more humanity or humor.
added by jjlong | editTime (Apr 11, 1969)
"Slaughterhouse-Five" is an extraordinary success. It is a book we need to read, and to reread. It has the same virtues as Vonnegut's best previous work. It is funny, compassionate and wise. The humor in Vonnegut's fiction is what enables us to contemplate the horror that he finds in contemporary existence. It does not disguise the awful things perceived; it merely strengthens and comforts us to the point where such perception is bearable.
It sounds crazy. It sounds like a fantastic last-ditch effort to make sense of a lunatic universe. But there is so much more to this book. It is very tough and very funny; it is sad and delightful; and it works. But is also very Vonnegut, which mean you'll either love it, or push it back in the science-fiction corner.

» Add other authors (16 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Vonnegut, Kurtprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brioschi, LuigiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Chesterman, AdrianIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ferrer, JoseNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hoog, ElseTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jaskari, JuhaniTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The cattle are lowing,
The Baby awakes.
But the little Lord Jesus
No crying He makes.
For Mary O'Hare and Gerhard Müller
First words
All this happened, more or less.
"Like so many Americans, she was trying to construct a life that made sense from things she found in gift shops."
"There was a a soft drink bottle on the windowsill. Its label boasted that it contained no nourishment whatsoever."
I have told my sons that they are not under any circumstances to take part in massacres, and that the news of massacres of enemies is not to fill them with satisfaction or glee.
So it goes.

Billy Pilgrim has come unstuck in time.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (6)

Book description
[R.L. 6.0]
From the World War Two firebombing of Dresden to the distant planet called Tralfamadore, the reader follows Billy Pilgrim in his attempt to understand the natures of time and existence.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0385333846, Paperback)

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 (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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:01:01 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Billy Pilgrim returns home from the Second World War only to be kidnapped by aliens from the planet Tralfamadore, who teach him that time is an eternal present.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 16 descriptions

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