Slaughterhouse-five

or the children's crusade : a duty-dance withdeath. (A Dell book)

215 pages

English language

Published July 15, 1971 by Dell Publishing Co..

ISBN:
9780440180296

View on OpenLibrary

4 stars (94 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".

58 editions

Unexpected, familiar, and humane

5 stars

It's a little embarrassing to confess that I'd never read Vonnegut. That's not true. I read Harrison Bergeron in some sort of enrichment reader in 6th grade. I thought that was pretty great, and the only story I remember fondly from that age outside of an Edgar Allen Poe collection that I probably read until the cover came off, and then read again. Somehow I always expected this book to be some kind of hippie acid trip because the people I knew growing up who read it had black light posters and blew smoke into their iguanas' faces to give them a contact high. I did not expect the book to be about WWII, to play with time the way it did, or to make me cry, not for anything in particular, but just a little catharsis for a moment after the book was finished. The book is lively and …

Review of 'Slaughterhouse-Five' on 'GoodReads'

1 star

I don't think that Vonnegut writes poorly, nor do I think this work lacks inherent interest. It's more-so that this, alongside Catch-22 and the like, is a genre I just can't get behind. I understand the need for anti-war fiction, indeed even fiction mostly accounted from real life witness. With that being said, it seems that once you've read one 'war is futile and nothing makes sense, but that's what war is all about' book, you've read them all.

Am I so far out of touch with those in the story that I just don't get it? Well, actually no, and I don't think that this would be Vonnegut's aim either. I hope that war has been made so redundant to me that the thought of going through something like this in life continues to be a totally alien concept to me and everyone else. But I'd also hope that …

Review of 'Slaughterhouse-Five' on 'GoodReads'

4 stars

Absurdist classic - that's certainly the best way to describe this book! Kurt beautifully interweaves humor with brutal realities of war, which is aided by the strange storyline of the book. Through the Tralfamadorian philosophy, he points the flaws in us Earthlings' way of living the life. As one of the characters say in the book -

"That's one thing Earthlings might learn to do, if they tried hard enough: Ignore the awful times, and concentrate on the good ones."

Review of 'Slaughterhouse-Five' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

Kurt Vonnegut's "Slaughterhouse-Five" tells the multi-dimensional story of the troubled war veteran, Billy Pilgrim, and since being published in the sixties, it has amassed a devoted following of critics and scholars alike. Vonnegut's trademark usage of repetition is ever-present, as are his short, declarative sentences and absolutely biting sense of humor. This metafictional look at war, coupled with the antihero's troublesome antics evokes an introverted look at the tragedy of war and the imminence of death. This jumbled and often disoriented work of post-modern war fiction dips in and out of reality--much like it's main character! This genius novel, arguably Vonnegut's finest, is firmly set on my favorites list.

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Subjects

  • World War, 1939-1945 -- Fiction

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