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Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
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Slaughterhouse-Five (original 1969; edition 1991)

by Kurt Vonnegut

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
31,51346425 (4.12)1 / 784
Member:SandraButzel
Title:Slaughterhouse-Five
Authors:Kurt Vonnegut
Info:Dell (1991), Mass Market Paperback, 215 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:WWII, fire storms, Dresden, time travel, survival

Work details

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut (1969)

Recently added byvictorbasco, Orbasan, private library, RachelRY, ErinKo, TWC_Library, mailforlen, cloentrelibros, tomerdmnt
Legacy LibrariesAstrid Lindgren
  1. 342
    Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (kiwiflowa, Anonymous user)
  2. 190
    Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut (seojen)
  3. 101
    Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut (weener)
  4. 114
    The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (weener)
  5. 50
    Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut (esswedl)
    esswedl: Both of these Vonnegut novels involve the question of free will (and both are great).
  6. 41
    Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo (waitingtoderail)
  7. 20
    Crash Gordon and the Mysteries of Kingsburg by Derek Swannson (jasbro)
  8. 31
    Life After Life by Kate Atkinson (JenMDB)
  9. 43
    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.
  10. 10
    Tertium Organum by P. D. Ouspensky (sombrio)
  11. 21
    Armageddon in Retrospect by Kurt Vonnegut (Ronoc)
  12. 21
    Kurt Vonnegut's crusade; or, How a postmodern harlequin preached a new kind of humanism by Todd F. Davis (pyrocow)
  13. 00
    Candide by Voltaire (SCPeterson)
    SCPeterson: Vonnegut is the Voltaire of our age of un-enlightenment.
  14. 00
    1968 by Joe Haldeman (snat)
  15. 11
    The Book of Jonas by Stephen Dau (PghDragonMan)
    PghDragonMan: War is not glorious and even survivors are not unscathed.
  16. 03
    The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (chwiggy)
  17. 25
    Einstein's Dreams by Alan Lightman (ateolf)
1960s (27)
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Showing 1-5 of 441 (next | show all)
La descrizione del bombardamento di Desdra è davvero molto toccante. Vale solo per questo! ( )
  cloentrelibros | Aug 23, 2016 |
I think I was the only one in my college generation who didn't read Slaughterhouse Five. So here I am, 63 years old, having read it for the first time. Does it hold up for someone of my years as it did for my friends over four decades ago?

Yes. Great novel. Deservedly judged a masterpiece. ( )
  kvrfan | Aug 19, 2016 |
Hapless World War II-era GI Billy Pilgrim survives a stint as a POW and the horrific firebombing of Dresden only to return home, become an optometrist, marry the boss's daughter and get kidnapped by aliens. The Tralfamadorians teach Billy their way of looking at time; to them each individual moment is separate and distinct (like beads on a string) and also permanently available to revisit. There's no such thing as free will in this scheme, since each event must recur in exactly the same way each time, but, on the plus side, there is such a thing as time-travel. Using the perspective the Tralfamadorians taught him, Billy travels back in time to his captivity in a Dresden slaughterhouse.

I'm not quite sure what to make of this book. Slaughter-House Five is easy to read, but it packs a literary and satiric (primarily anti-war) punch. It is the type of book that makes me wish my book club would choose to read it, because I think it would make for a lively discussion. ( )
  akblanchard | Aug 9, 2016 |
I can't believe it has taken me this long to finally read this book. This book is about Billy Pilgrim and his book he wrote about being a POW in Dresden and his life. It's a serious book but there is a lot of humour in it. There were parts that made me laugh out loud and I had a hard time putting it down. I kept wanting to know what he would talk about next.
There's one line in the book that will stick with me, "That's one thing Earthlings might learn to do, if they tried hard enough: Ignore the awful times, and concentrate on the good ones." We sometimes forget to think about the good things when there are so many awful things happening.
I believe that this is a book that everyone should read at least once in their life. ( )
1 vote haileymary | Aug 1, 2016 |
Not what I expected which took me by surprise and took a little longer to get sucked into. It did happen and I couldn't put the book down, "So it goes"; I'll reference that line forever I think.
  AtomicSpencer | Aug 1, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 441 (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
Владимир ФилиповTranslatormain authorall 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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People/Characters
Important places
Important events
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Epigraph
The cattle are lowing,
The Baby awakes.
But the little Lord Jesus
No crying He makes.
Dedication
For Mary O'Hare and Gerhard Müller
First words
All this happened, more or less.
Quotations
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.
Listen:

Billy Pilgrim has come unstuck in time.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
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Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (3)

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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