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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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30,73744126 (4.12)1 / 755
Title:Slaughterhouse-Five: A Novel
Authors:Kurt Vonnegut
Info:Dial Press Trade Paperback (1999), Edition: Reissue, Paperback, 288 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Vonnegut, Classic, ebook

Work details

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut (1969)

1960s (27)
Read (35)
Unread books (1,087)

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English (418)  Italian (5)  French (4)  Spanish (3)  German (3)  Swedish (2)  Dutch (2)  Czech (1)  Hungarian (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (440)
Showing 1-5 of 418 (next | show all)
You know when you've been meaning to read a book for years, and then you find out what it's about and you wonder why you haven't read it yet because it sounds like you'd like it, but then it still takes you several months to get around to it, and then you finally read it and you were right and you loved it? Yeah. That happened.
  mirikayla | Feb 8, 2016 |
I don't know how to rate this novel. It is not like anything I have ever read. At some parts it is ridiculous while others absurdly profound. I am glad i read it. ( )
  tashlyn88 | Feb 5, 2016 |
I accept the author's apologies at the beginning of the book for having written such a fragmented and jumbled novel. At least it was short - that I don't think he should have apologised for, as I am grateful for it.

What reasons should I give for my low rating? Well what reasons would I give for a high rating? To me a book should be engaging, andor entertaining, andor it should champion a set of novel ideas, or help develop something unclear in my own head - it should definitely communicate something to me. This book merely communicated confusion. Perhaps that is a piece of 'meta' communication itself - the book represents the mind's inevitably failed attempts to make sense of war, because as he puts it 'there is nothing intelligent to say about a massacre'.

The book reads to me like a window into the mind of a regular confused person who happens to be a famous author. Autobiographical, incoherent and messy. There are some nice lines and ideas in there, but for me just didn't add up to something whole. I won't remember this book. ( )
  jculkin | Feb 1, 2016 |
Read this along with my husband, who liked it, but I didn't care for it so much. There were some laugh-out-loud parts, quite a few actually, but it seems a little much in the "war is terrible" and "Americans are bad" department. Certainly no mystery why it is banned in the schools... and I'm not a prude about these things either. I just think he went too far for my taste. ( )
  KathyGilbert | Jan 29, 2016 |
Vonnegut is essential reading and this is essential Vonnegut. Time travel anti-war science fictional autobiography. Fantastic book!! ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 418 (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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Important places
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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.)
Disambiguation notice
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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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