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Slaughterhouse-Five: A Novel by Kurt…

Slaughterhouse-Five: A Novel (original 1969; edition 1999)

by Kurt Vonnegut

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32,50849523 (4.12)1 / 817
Title:Slaughterhouse-Five: A Novel
Authors:Kurt Vonnegut
Info:Dial Press Trade Paperback (1999), Edition: Reissue, Paperback, 288 pages
Collections:Your library

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Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut (1969)

Recently added byapuddy, gtayars, Sallysoda, LemonBalmGirl, private library, NateHaas, DevnD, addizdarevic, JanMarieFortier
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English (469)  Italian (5)  French (4)  Spanish (3)  Dutch (3)  German (3)  Swedish (2)  Hebrew (1)  Czech (1)  Danish (1)  Catalan (1)  Hungarian (1)  All (494)
Showing 1-5 of 469 (next | show all)
So it goes. ( )
  kephradyx | Jun 20, 2017 |
This story is so strange. I felt it jumped back and forth so much, it was very jumbled and at times hard to recognize when something was real or imagined. It could be that was the point, but I didn't feel it came together in an understandable way, more often than not. It has pieces that felt consequential to pop culture of the past, but I'm not sure how much one really takes away from it now. ( )
  Pepperwings | Jun 17, 2017 |
I read this some 35 years ago and as my sons have it on their book club list next, I
decided to read it again. Which is what I did. So it goes.

After all this time, it's still weird. And Vonnegut is dead. But he's still very much alive in the past.
So it goes. ( )
  Razinha | May 23, 2017 |
Lots of dark humor here: Billy Pilgrim has been a Prisoner of War and time traveler, and claims to have been kidnapped by aliens from the planet Tralfamadore. And so on. Kind of trippy, yes, but Vonnegut makes it all work. He makes this point clear: war sucks. So it goes. ( )
  ValerieAndBooks | Apr 26, 2017 |
Simply speaking, Slaughterhouse-Five, widely regarded as an anti-war novel and the best work of American author Kurt Vonnegut, is a very good book. It was written in late sixties but the events and story of this novel still hold up. Slaughterhouse-Five is a little book but it manages to explore multiple philosophies.

Anti-War philosophy
The first chapter of this book clearly sets the expectation that this book is not going to be about the glorification of war or a war hero. The lead character, Billy Pilgrim, got drafted and was sent to the war front. He's not a hero, he's weak and somehow survives the war and his remaining life. Best I can describe him as the combination of two characters, weak and coward like Corporal Timothy Upham from the movie Saving Private Ryan (1998) and slow-witted, and lucky like Forrest Gump from movie Forrest Gump (1994). And other characters or the soldiers of war are also not some super heroes, they all are tired men stuck in that war.

Time-Travel philosophy
The narrative of this novel is non-linear. It has aliens and time travel, but it is done beautifully. Here, the non-linear narrative reminded me of One Hundred Years of Solitude, but Slaughterhouse-Five kept it simple and it's the story of Billy all the time, One Hundred Years of Solitude kept confusing me with each character having the same bloody name*. Another thing, aliens having the non-linear perception of time were most recently seen in movie Arrival (2016). The Tralfamadorians of Slaughterhouse-Five strongly reminded me of Heptapods of Arrival. I wonder if the writers of Arrival were inspired by this novel.

It also discusses religion, fate, freewill, death, and love. This a book you can read to forget and can still enjoy. Or you can read to ponder over the philosophies this book brings forward and spend days thinking about those.

A random stranger on the internet recommended me this and I was not disappointed.

*One Hundred Years of Solitude is one of my favorite book, but damn those names of Buendía family. ( )
  nishangu | Apr 16, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 469 (next | show all)
Lots of dark humor here: Billy Pilgrim has been a Prisoner of War and time traveler, and claims to have been kidnapped by aliens from the planet Tralfamadore. And so on. Kind of trippy, yes, but Vonnegut makes it all work. He makes this point clear: war sucks. So it goes
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.
"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.
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.

» Add other authors (16 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Vonnegut, Kurtprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Владимир ФилиповTranslatormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brioschi, LuigiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Chesterman, AdrianIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ferrer, JoseNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Franco, JamesNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hoog, ElseTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jaskari, JuhaniTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Important places
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Related movies
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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 13 descriptions

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