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Slaughterhouse-Five: A Novel by Kurt…

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

by Kurt Vonnegut

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
35,01454132 (4.11)1 / 859
Title:Slaughterhouse-Five: A Novel
Authors:Kurt Vonnegut
Info:Dial Press Trade Paperback (1999), Edition: Reissue, Paperback, 288 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut (Author) (1969)

  1. 382
    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. 123
    The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (weener)
  5. 70
    Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut (esswedl)
    esswedl: Both of these Vonnegut novels involve the question of free will (and both are great).
  6. 50
    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. 31
    Life After Life by Kate Atkinson (JenMDB)
  9. 20
    Spaceman of Bohemia by Jaroslav Kalfar (CGlanovsky)
  10. 20
    Crash Gordon and the Mysteries of Kingsburg by Derek Swannson (jasbro)
  11. 32
    Candide by Voltaire (SCPeterson)
    SCPeterson: Vonnegut is the Voltaire of our age of un-enlightenment.
  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. 21
    The Book of Jonas by Stephen Dau (PghDragonMan)
    PghDragonMan: War is not glorious and even survivors are not unscathed.
  17. 10
    Tertium Organum by P. D. Ouspensky (sombrio)
  18. 00
    1968 by Joe Haldeman (snat)
  19. 24
    The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (chwiggy)
  20. 25
    Einstein's Dreams by Alan Lightman (ateolf)

(see all 20 recommendations)

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English (515)  Italian (6)  French (4)  German (3)  Spanish (3)  Swedish (2)  Dutch (2)  Czech (1)  Hebrew (1)  Hungarian (1)  Catalan (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (541)
Showing 1-5 of 515 (next | show all)
I suspect that I am one of very few people who had never read this book. This being confirmed by some of my goodreads "friends", I had my task before me.

I have to say that over all I enjoyed it very much. It took me a few chapters to get used to his repetitive nature, and in the end grew to appreciate it. His descriptions, particularly of characters, stand out to me.

"It was a random, bristly beard, and some of the bristles were white, even though Billy was only twenty-one years old. He was also going bald. Wind and cold and violent exercise had turned his face crimson.

He didn't look like a soldier at all. He looked like a filthy flamingo."

"Rosewater was a big man, but not very powerful. He looked as though he might be made out of nose putty."

"The gun made a ripping sound like the opening of the zipper on the fly of God Almighty."

"Out he went, his blue and ivory feet crushing the wet salad of the lawn."

This is great stuff, definitely now among my favorite books of all time.

Last one:

"...who taught that those who die are meant to die, that corpses are improvements. So it goes."

Does the end of a book ever feel like a death to you? You can revisit it, but really, it's over. And so it goes! I am looking forward to Cat's Cradle now. ( )
  Amelia1989 | Jun 10, 2019 |
Slaughterhouse 5. To the best of my knowledge this is a book based around the allied bombing of Dresden during World War Two. The author does not appear to be too sure, so I could be wrong. Very casually written, it is one of those books famed for being famous. ( )
  Novak | May 16, 2019 |
What a unique and engaging reading experience. Took me years to finally sit down and read this classic and it did not disappoint. The horrors of war and the effect one war had on one Billy Pilgrim. The lifelong trauma that can befall soldiers is the theme here, flavored with pathos and cynicism. ( )
  dugmel | Apr 24, 2019 |
The star ratings are defined deceptively, or at least in a way that causes difficulty in rating a work like this. Three stars says I "liked" it. I did not. This book seems to go out of its way to be vulgar and to keep the reader from caring about the characters except in a philosophical sense. I would not have finished reading this if it weren't on my list of classics to be conquered. There's also, for me, the brain-block caused by black humor. It's not something I find funny. At all. (I would not know this book was supposed to be funny if I hadn't read reviews calling it so. Acerbic wit? Yes. Actually funny? If you say so.)

So I originally rated it two stars, because my personal reading tastes find it completely unlikable.

However ... the books to which I give two stars usually have a lot of craft problems, or make me crazy with their unrealistic psychology and/or exaggeratedly insufferable characters. That doesn't describe this book. Slaughterhouse-Five is really smart. And devastating as the author intended. And challenging. Will I read it (or Vonnegut) again? Heck no. Did I enjoy it? Absolutely not. Did it broaden my reading experience in a way that was worth my time? Yes, it did. ( )
  AmandaGStevens | Mar 2, 2019 |
Vonnegut is funny and bitter and honest, as he should be when writing about that most ridiculous of topics: war. This was an incredibly fast read, it seems like no sooner had I picked it up for my book club it was finished.

It seems like my all of book-club books, despite the long discussions I have about them with my friends, seem to get short-shafted in the review department. So it goes. ( )
  ManWithAnAgenda | Feb 18, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 515 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (16 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Vonnegut, KurtAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
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
Pellizzari, DanielTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Владимир ФилиповTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
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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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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