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Slaughterhouse 5 by Kurt Vonnegut

Slaughterhouse 5 (original 1969; edition 1991)

by Kurt Vonnegut

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
34,44953131 (4.11)1 / 854
Title:Slaughterhouse 5
Authors:Kurt Vonnegut
Info:VINTAGE (RAND) (1991), Edition: New Ed, Paperback, 176 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut (1969)

  1. 372
    Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (kiwiflowa, Anonymous user)
  2. 230
    Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut (seojen)
  3. 141
    Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut (weener)
  4. 70
    Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut (esswedl)
    esswedl: Both of these Vonnegut novels involve the question of free will (and both are great).
  5. 114
    The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (weener)
  6. 41
    Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo (waitingtoderail)
  7. 53
    The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami (andomck)
    andomck: Both books, besides having science fiction/magical realism elements, discuss bloody episodes of WWII from the point of view of everyday people.
  8. 20
    Crash Gordon and the Mysteries of Kingsburg by Derek Swannson (jasbro)
  9. 31
    Candide by Voltaire (SCPeterson)
    SCPeterson: Vonnegut is the Voltaire of our age of un-enlightenment.
  10. 31
    Life After Life by Kate Atkinson (JenMDB)
  11. 20
    Spaceman of Bohemia by Jaroslav Kalfar (CGlanovsky)
  12. 10
    Payback by Gert Ledig (hvg)
  13. 10
    God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater by Kurt Vonnegut (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: Elliot Rosewater, the main character of God Bless You, Mr Rosewater, appears in Slaughterhouse-Five. Also, they both feature books from fictional author Kilgore Trout.
  14. 21
    Armageddon in Retrospect by Kurt Vonnegut (Ronoc)
  15. 21
    Kurt Vonnegut's crusade; or, How a postmodern harlequin preached a new kind of humanism by Todd F. Davis (pyrocow)
  16. 10
    Tertium Organum by P. D. Ouspensky (sombrio)
  17. 00
    1968 by Joe Haldeman (snat)
  18. 11
    The Book of Jonas by Stephen Dau (PghDragonMan)
    PghDragonMan: War is not glorious and even survivors are not unscathed.
  19. 25
    Einstein's Dreams by Alan Lightman (ateolf)
  20. 15
    The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (chwiggy)

(see all 20 recommendations)

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English (506)  Italian (6)  French (4)  Spanish (3)  German (3)  Swedish (2)  Dutch (2)  Czech (1)  Hebrew (1)  Hungarian (1)  Danish (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (531)
Showing 1-5 of 506 (next | show all)

I don't even know what to say about this book. I was so thoroughly confused that I'm not sure what the takeaway was supposed to be. I hope someday I will figure out the point of this story. ( )
  dms12880 | Nov 29, 2018 |
Weird little book, but strangely compelling and entertaining, too. I definitely see more Vonnegut in my future. ( )
  KristinaSimon | Nov 24, 2018 |
Non-linear story that seems like a partial retelling of the WW2 as experienced by the author. Not really a time-travel story in my mind. ( )
  Guide2 | Nov 14, 2018 |
This is Vonnegut’s surreal, time-bending, painful, sometimes ironic, other times cerebral, look at the war, and trying to come to terms with what he had seen. Billy Pilgrim is an unwittingly caught up in history, war, in time, being dragged back and forth; time-traveling, mind-traveling. Vonnegut is describing what it’s like to live with the war - you never leave it behind, it is always there, like time has no meaning, nor does anything that comes after war.

It is a very self-referential novel, with Billy as its main vehicle, but Vonnegut introducing and framing the story with his own memories, and notes about writing the book. Billy, just like Vonnegut, finds solace in sci-fi, reading and imagining aliens and other planets. His life blurs together with memories and dreams, and like the Tralfamadorians, he sees time as all occurring at once. What matters is what is happening now, there are no whys, and everyone who dies still exists in all the other times.

So it goes. ( )
2 vote Gezemice | Oct 29, 2018 |
So it goes... ( )
2 vote AaronJacobs | Oct 23, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 506 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (16 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kurt Vonnegutprimary authorall editionscalculated
Brioschi, LuigiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Chesterman, AdrianIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ferrer, JoseNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Franco, JamesNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hens, GregorTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hoog, ElseTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jaskari, JuhaniTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Владимир ФилиповTranslatorsecondary 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.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (4)

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 14 descriptions

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