Friday, January 28, 2011

Books 132: Slaughterhouse-Five

A fan grows from Vonnegut

We just finished reading Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut in English class, and I am definitely adding it to the list of required reading books that I actually loved (along with To Kill a Mockingbird and Catcher in the Rye, for example). This was my very first experience reading Vonnegut, and I'm wondering why the heck it to me so long.

It's one of those books that's really hard to summarize, because it's kind of just something that you have to read for yourself, you know? But here's a quick one just so you kind of get some sort of idea of the nature of the novel.

"Slaughterhouse Five follows the story of Billy Pilgrim, optometrist and time traveler. The novel jumps through time with Billy as he lives the events of his life over and over again. In this dynamic framework, the reader sees the terrors of war, the quiet desperation of suburban life and the breakdown of the psyche through Billy's time jumping eyes. Just before he is captured as a prisoner of war, Billy experiences his first time jump. Here he sees his whole life, past, present and future, unfold. After the war, Billy returns from Europe to resume his civilian life, but does not cease moving randomly through time, witnessing his birth, his death and events in between. He is eventually abducted by aliens who experience time in much the same way as Billy except that they prefer to look only at life's more pleasant moments. Despite his family's objections, Billy tells the world of his time traveling and of his abduction, highlighting the story with a detailed account of his death." -- Lauren McLaren

I really loved this book, though. I definitely highly recommend it.

slaughterhouse five

Other Vonnegut works...
Breakfast of Champions
Cat's Cradle
Deadeye Dick
God Bless You Mr. Rosewater
Mother Night
Palm Sunday
Player Piano
Sirens of Titan
Wampeters, Foma, & Granfalloons
Welcome to the Monkey House


  1. I love when classes are actually assigned good books! I loved both To Kill a Mockingbird and Catcher and the Rye so I will be sure to read this book too! Anyway, I've heard such great things about this author I might just have to buy all of his books!

    Thanks for a great review!

  2. I always get him mixed up with the director Gus Van Sant. I dunno why. But both are very unique and literary.