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Slaughterhouse-Five: A Novel by Kurt…

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

by Kurt Vonnegut

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
37,33357635 (4.11)1 / 899
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.
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 (1969)

  1. 392
    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)

1960s (22)
Read (36)
Reiny (3)
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English (549)  Italian (6)  French (4)  German (3)  Spanish (3)  Danish (2)  Dutch (2)  Swedish (2)  Hebrew (1)  Czech (1)  Hungarian (1)  Catalan (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (576)
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In Slaughterhouse Five, Kurt Vonnegut blends science fiction and a war story to produce a novel that is not only anti-war but exceedingly strange. First published in 1969 Vonnegut’s novel was partly about his own experiences as a prisoner of war in World War II, but this was the era of Vietnam, Paris Peace Talks and anti-war marches in the streets of America, and so Slaughterhouse Five became a mecca for disenchanted youth.

This is a challenging read as the author and his characters bend reality and challenge the reader to look at war and violence in a different way. This is a satire full of wit and black humor and I freely admit that half the time I had no idea of what the author was trying to say other than war is bad and we have to find another way to negotiate our troubles. The book has very little structure so seemed to me to be a mass of strange thoughts that were either complete nonsense or fascinating symbolism.

I think Slaughterhouse Five is a book that perfectly captures the 1960s vibe, it is a flawed book but the unconventional writing called to the public and they made it a hit. Initially ignored by the critics and banned in many places where it was considered morally questionable, Slaughterhouse Five is today, considered Vonnegut’s most influential and popular book. ( )
1 vote DeltaQueen50 | Oct 26, 2020 |
I don’t like reading books about wars. Started reading this one with certain apprehension and am so glad I did. There’s so much in it. He captured the frailties of the human condition beautifully. ( )
  Acia | Oct 25, 2020 |
I've read it three times, and I still feel like I don't quite understand the book. I get more out of it with each reading. It's a lot of work to read, but well worth it.
  librarymeanslove | Oct 1, 2020 |
What an amazing book! I first read this shortly after its first publication, and now, re-reading it after almost 50 years, I find it to be just as remarkable.
Vonnegut was a POW in Dresden at the time of the fire-bombing of that "safe" city. Some 130,000 residents died, but Vonnegut's group, sleeping in an underground meat storage locker, survived. This book tells of the horror, but in a curiously indirect way - as the time-travelling hero deals with life after the awful event.
Popular when first released in the time of protests against the Vietnam War, the book retains currency and vibrancy. ( )
1 vote mbmackay | Sep 30, 2020 |
Really good, moving in some parts. Really rambling and winding in others. Glad I read it. Not sure it's worth going back to read merely because of how famous it is. ( )
  jzacsh | Sep 9, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 549 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kurt Vonnegutprimary authorall editionscalculated
Brioschi, LuigiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Chesterman, AdrianIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Donkers, JanAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ferrer, JoseNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Franco, JamesNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
García de Miró, MargaritaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hawke, EthanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hens, GregorTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Holder, JohnIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hoog, ElseTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jaskari, JuhaniTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jonason, OlovTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mantovani, VincenzoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nemes, LászlóTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pellizzari, DanielTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sutherland, JohnIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wagenseil, KurtTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zanon, CássiaTranslatorsecondary 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.
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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.

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[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.
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