I said in yesterday’s post I wanted to write about some of the books I’ve read so far in 2020, and look at me actually doing it. I’m starting with one I know some of you have read. Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut.
Billy Pilgrim takes us through his life as he time travels through different periods, most notably to when he’s captured by Germans just before the Allied bombing of Dresden at the end of WWII.
What bothered me most about the book is the time travel. It happens from one sentence to the next with no warning and keeps you as the reader jumping around in your head trying to figure out where he’s gone back (or forward) to now. But that may not be the worst part. During the course of his life Billy is taken to an alien planet and put on display in what amounts to a zoo. Just writing it takes me back to the absurdity of it.
It would have been perfectly okay to write the same story minus the alien planet and time travel. The Allies bombed an unguarded city at the end of the war, killing tens of thousands. The story could begin just prior to the bombing and tell of the destruction and death that follows. But it doesn’t.
I rated it between 1-2 stars, erring on the slightly higher end. Thoughts?
This is one of Amazon’s 100 Books Everyone Should Read.
2 thoughts on “2020 in Books: Slaughterhouse Five”
I’ve always really wanted to read this and never have gotten around to it. I’m not really surprised when I hear people rating it around 1-3 stars.!
I will acknowledge that it’s a really short book, so if you do decide to pick it up at least you’re not spending 10 hours reading it. I forgot to include this was my second time attempting it. The first time I started and stopped about a quarter of the way in.
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