Slaughterhouse-Five

or, the Children's Crusade: a Duty-Dance with Death

Paperback, 215 pages

English language

Published by Dell Publishing Co..

ISBN:
978-0-440-18029-6
Copied ISBN!
OCLC Number:
60249517

View on OpenLibrary

4 stars (59 reviews)

Slaughterhouse-Five, also known as The Children's Crusade: A Duty-Dance with Death is a science fiction infused anti-war novel by Kurt Vonnegut, first published in 1969. It follows the life and experiences of Billy Pilgrim, from his early years to his time as an American soldier and chaplain's assistant during World War II, to the post-war years, with Billy occasionally traveling through time. The text centers on Billy's capture by the German Army and his survival of the Allied firebombing of Dresden as a prisoner of war, an experience which Vonnegut himself lived through as an American serviceman. The work has been called an example of "unmatched moral clarity" and "one of the most enduring antiwar novels of all time".

61 editions

Life is mostly OK, occasionally weird or unpleasant, always pointless, and then you die. So it goes

5 stars

This is a beautifully written book about the pointlessness of war. It’s brilliance is that Vonnegut manages to make his point in a gentle way without getting angry or blaming anyone. It is very, very sad but also funny, whimsical and occasionally psychedelically weird (the aliens look like sink plungers with hands).

The lead character drifts aimlessly through the story as the people around him die in pointless ways. So it goes. His lack of agency which would normally annoy me, but in this case it’s fundamental to the point of the novel. The aliens have taught him that the past, present and future all exist forever and can’t be changed. Pilgrim’s consciousness veers wildly through time as he visits each important moment in his life. He knows where and when he will die and is as stoical about that as he is about the things that happened in the …

Review of 'Slaughterhouse 5' on 'Storygraph'

5 stars

This is a beautifully written book about the pointlessness of war. It’s brilliance is that Vonnegut manages to make his point in a gentle way without getting angry or blaming anyone. It is very, very sad but also funny, whimsical and occasionally psychedelically weird (the aliens look like sink plungers with hands).

The lead character drifts aimlessly through the story as the people around him die in pointless ways. So it goes. His lack of agency which would normally annoy me, but in this case it’s fundamental to the point of the novel. The aliens have taught him that the past, present and future all exist forever and can’t be changed. Pilgrim’s consciousness veers wildly through time as he visits each important moment in his life. He knows where and when he will die and is as stoical about that as he is about the things that happened in the …

Review of 'Slaughterhouse-Five' on 'LibraryThing'

5 stars

It seems reliable sources say the book was copyright 1969! My copy has 1966, and 1968 ?! with imprints "70 69 68 67", and a publishing date of 1991. Why does this matter? because in 1969, i not only met my wife, on Friday the 13th, but was in the middle of a two-year tour with the NSA in Turkey.

Review of 'Slaughterhouse-five' on 'Storygraph'

4 stars

After Vonnegut's death, I went back and read Slaughterhouse 5, which I hadn't read since high school. Vonnegut is not a great stylist. His female characters are not really characters at all.

Nevertheless, he knows what he believes, but questions his beliefs mercilessly. He is straightforward and gets to the point. His heroes are often inept but teach us what it means to be human. Vonnegut was my hero in high schoool, and he still is.

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