Review: Slaughterhouse-Five

Slaughterhouse-FiveSlaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The book that had me saying “wtf?” in a good way from the get-go. The first chapter is like The Princess Bride in that it sets up what I believe is a fictionalization of the author, but not as a forward or introduction – as the first chapter. So for the first few pages I have no idea what’s going on. Once I get it, it’s pretty interesting – especially given the title page and the fact that, apparently, this is officially Slaughterhouse-Five or The Children’s Crusade.

After that it jumps into Billy Pilgrim’s story and that’s got a mix of a Catch-22 and Hitchhiker’s Guide vibe. It’s incredibly sarcastic and full of dark humor as we bounce around Billy Pilgrim’s life. The craziest part is the way in which it is a science fiction novel. Originally, I’d never read the book because I just thought it was about World War II. And, in a lot of ways it is. But both in the way Billy is bouncing through time and the other more “foreign” plot, it is also an SF novel.

Speaking of the bouncing around – frankly I’m surprised that Christopher Nolan hasn’t made this into a move or a TV show. It seems right up his alley. Maybe it’s what originally inspired him to be so focused on out of sync narratives.

Anyway, this is turning into a partial ramble and all you need to know is that if you have somehow avoided this book (like I did until now), you need to rectify that and read this book. (At least if you’re into the writing styles mentioned above)

I forgot I’d wanted to mention this in my original review: (view spoiler)

View all my reviews