This book is one that comes back to me again and again. It's certainly not for everyone, and it was not what I expected when I first picked it up in high school. Instead of the war novel I thought I would read, I was thrust into something surreal and nonlinear, which jumped from an extra terrestrial zoo to the bleak German prison. The more I think about it, however, the more the reasons that this is hailed as an anti war classic become clear. In its nonlinear nature, the book captures the futility and the absurdity of war and provocatively parallels them with being an exhibit in a zoo on a distant planet. Unsurprisingly, the zoo experience is shown in a more positive light than the prison.
This is not my favorite Vonnegut (that honor belongs to the Sirens of Titan), but along with Sirens and Cat's Cradle this makes my top three. Readers who dislike SF or cannot handle nonlinear narration should stay away, but if these don't put you off and you haven't yet read this one, consider picking it up.
Another classic. Very tough read, with bits of irony, satire, and truth about the fragility of life. An anti-war book with meaningful perspectives.
"Listen, Billy Pilgrim has become unstuck in time." Vonnegut's semi-autobiographical account of the firebombing of Dresden in WWII, Slaughterhouse-Five is acutely anti-war and darkly funny. It is a cross between reality and science fiction, employing both to explore the omnipresence of time as a character, rather than as something to be thought of only when we're running late and as the one thing that ties every person to every other person. This joint attachment to others makes everyone responsible, which is where Vonnegut's indictment of the massacre at Dresden makes its appearance. Overall, my favourite Vonnegut.
Vonnegut's beloved anti-war book is as current now (sadly) as it was when he published it in 1969.
This was not what I expected, but I liked it just the same. It gets a little confusing with all the time-jumping, but does an excellent job of storytelling (if you can handle a non-linear story).
What I found most disturbing about this book, though, was the main character, who seemed utterly immobilized about decision-making. It's frustrating.
I recommend it only because it's a classic.