Book Reviews of Slaughterhouse-Five

Author: Kurt Vonnegut
PBS Market Price: $8.09 or $4.19+1 credit
ISBN-13: 9780440180296
ISBN-10: 0440180295
Publication Date: 11/3/2007
Pages: 215
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.

4 stars, based on 827 ratings
Publisher: Dell
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

40 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Slaughterhouse-Five on + 6 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
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.
reviewed Slaughterhouse-Five on + 25 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
Another classic. Very tough read, with bits of irony, satire, and truth about the fragility of life. An anti-war book with meaningful perspectives.
reviewed Slaughterhouse-Five on + 23 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
"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.
reviewed Slaughterhouse-Five on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
This book shows Vonnegut at his best, sliding back and forth through the time line of not only the main character, one Billy Pilgrim, but also through the time line of his own life. Having been present as a P.O.W. himself during the bombing of Dresden (during which he makes several cameo appearances) it is astonishing that Vonnegut can tell the tale so complacently and still fill it with such emotion. His descriptions of the tragedies of war and their correlation to everyday life on this planet are summed up neatly (and frequently) in a phrase that is synonymous with the man himself - "And so it goes."
reviewed Slaughterhouse-Five on + 11 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Vonnegut's beloved anti-war book is as current now (sadly) as it was when he published it in 1969.
reviewed Slaughterhouse-Five on + 376 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
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.
reviewed Slaughterhouse-Five on + 9 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
My high expectations were not met by this book. I would recommend "The Sirens Of Titan" before "Slaughterhouse Five."
reviewed Slaughterhouse-Five on + 32 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Changed my view of the world, as all of Vonnegut's books did. Sad to see him go.
reviewed Slaughterhouse-Five on + 472 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
"Slaughterhouse Five" is a very powerful book. It is the best put together, most literary valuable book that Kurt Vonnegut wrote. Commonly classified as an anti-war book which it is. Yet behind the anti war message, there is also a much bigger lessons to be learned from "Slaughterhouse Five" as it deals with universal themes like fate, free will, the illogical nature of humans and how life is only enjoyable with the unknown.
reviewed Slaughterhouse-Five on + 10 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A darkly humorous take on war. Vonnegut mixes his own experiences as a POW with his standard style of surreal satire.
reviewed Slaughterhouse-Five on + 12 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A tough read, but worth the effort. One of the best representations of an individual being shattered by the events occuring around them.
reviewed Slaughterhouse-Five on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
i'm sure i ought to have read this vonnegut book last of all, but instead i read it first, and missed out on a lot of recurring characters and background info.
reviewed Slaughterhouse-Five on + 118 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
god this was good! i don't understand why this is on the banned books list, it should be on the required reading list. i'm so glad i read it.
reviewed Slaughterhouse-Five on + 10 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Slaughterhouse-Five was a thrilling read for me. As someone who is not a fan of historic war stories, Vonnegut does it in a style that is almost sci-fi and makes for a very interesting, humorous, vivid, and heart wrenching read.

The nonlinear storyline follows Bill Pilgrim has a poorly trained and misfitted soldier who bounces between the past and the present. Traveling in his mind(?) between the war in Dresden and to a time where he is kidnapped by aliens and made into an exhibit.

The book made me feel as if I truly followed Pilgrim to each of these places. I felt awkward with him, frightened, and grieved for him. The best part of the book is that Vonnegut includes himself & his alter ego into the story line, and it provides another element of intrigue for the reader.
reviewed Slaughterhouse-Five on
Helpful Score: 1
A classic. A poignent, morbidly funny anti-war novel.
reviewed Slaughterhouse-Five on + 37 more book reviews
A must read classic!
reviewed Slaughterhouse-Five on + 3 more book reviews
I was very disappointed in this book. I had heard several good things about it and read high reviews; however, Slaughterhouse-Five failed to meet my expectations. I did not even waste my time finishing it.

I know Kurt Vonnegut has written several other books, but the way this book was written I would have guessed that he had never even written a paragraph before. Sentence flow and word choice was terrible! There are a lot of choppy sentence with annoying and unnecessary repetition. There is no clear plot; rather, the book seems to be a collection of small snippets that are difficult to piece together. And I could not come to terms with how many times the author felt the needs to say "and so on" and "so it goes".

Those qualities were so distracting that I could not find any interest in the actual content.
reviewed Slaughterhouse-Five on + 2 more book reviews
Blending reality and fantasy in this ping pong memory of war. Vonnegut is the master of telling you exactly what will happen but keep you guessing how. It is about the journey, not the destination. Metaphoric words of wisdom and nihilistic views of time are peppered throughout these passages. You could read this in a day or a year or never finish or all of those. So it goes.
reviewed Slaughterhouse-Five on + 252 more book reviews
This is a classic, a humorus take on war starring an alien-abducted time-traveler, very strange - And so on. I'm glad I read it, but I thought it overrated - So it goes.
reviewed Slaughterhouse-Five on
This is a very excellent novel. It is satirical, but not irreverent, and in many ways more truthful about the absurdity of war than a historical war novel. One of my favorite books that I will surely read again.
reviewed Slaughterhouse-Five on + 9 more book reviews
excellent, compelling, hard to put down.
reviewed Slaughterhouse-Five on + 99 more book reviews
Never read Vonnegut before, but this was very interesting, and will read more.
reviewed Slaughterhouse-Five on + 16 more book reviews
Billy Pilgrims oddesythrough time in search of what we are afraid to know. The ultimate anti war book.
reviewed Slaughterhouse-Five on + 14 more book reviews
It's Vonnegut, it's the best.
reviewed Slaughterhouse-Five on + 21 more book reviews
Classic Vonnegut! A must-read! Vonnegut teaches us, yet again, a poerful lesson about ourselves and our world, one we should never forget!
reviewed Slaughterhouse-Five on + 201 more book reviews
Not all that good in my opinion. I know it's a classic, but it wasn't all that interesting or funny, and the characters were just carboard cutouts. Oh well.
reviewed Slaughterhouse-Five on + 4 more book reviews
Vonnegut brilliance as always
reviewed Slaughterhouse-Five on + 16 more book reviews
Everyone should read this book.
reviewed Slaughterhouse-Five on
i read this one on the heels of Cat's Cradle because it is so highly recommended, and because i had it on the shelf. This is one extremely good book that is written in a very unusual way. It took me a while to get into his mode of telling the story, but once i was in, i was all in. I think that for this reason, and because the deep topics dealt with, this book merits re-reading sometime soon, perhaps in the next year. This is a sobering yet zany story, that will have the reader thinking at every corner. I am now wondering if all of Mr. Vonnegut's novels are as unusual as these two i've recently read! great story.
reviewed Slaughterhouse-Five on + 20 more book reviews
I remember a friend telling me that this book was one of his favorites. I am quite sure I missed the point. So it goes.
reviewed Slaughterhouse-Five on + 841 more book reviews
Kurt Vonnegut's absurdist classic Slaughterhouse-Five introduces us to Billy Pilgrim, a man who becomes 'unstuck in time' after he is abducted by aliens from the planet Tralfamadore. In a plot-scrambling display of virtuosity, we follow Pilgrim simultaneously through all phases of his life, concentrating on his (and Vonnegut's) shattering experience as an American prisoner of war who witnesses the firebombing of Dresden. Slaughterhouse-Five is not only Vonnegut's most powerful book, it is also as important as any written since 1945. Like Catch-22, it fashions the author's experiences in the Second World War into an eloquent and deeply funny plea against butchery in the service of authority. Slaughterhouse-Five boasts the same imagination, humanity, and gleeful appreciation of the absurd found in Vonnegut's other works, but the book's basis in rock-hard, tragic fact gives it unique poignancy -- and humor.
reviewed Slaughterhouse-Five on + 217 more book reviews
Despite being a classic, I found this book very difficult to get into and hard to understand. I would not recommend it to anyone unless they absolutely had to read it.
reviewed Slaughterhouse-Five on + 273 more book reviews
great anti-war novel
reviewed Slaughterhouse-Five on + 38 more book reviews
This is a must read classic!
reviewed Slaughterhouse-Five on + 160 more book reviews
What an excellent book! The novel is entertaining and provocative; a rare mix of comedy and meaning. Five Stars!
reviewed Slaughterhouse-Five on + 16 more book reviews
Great piece of social commentary. One of my all-time favorite reads.
reviewed Slaughterhouse-Five on + 63 more book reviews
A classic!
reviewed Slaughterhouse-Five on + 26 more book reviews
I could not get into it, though I really tried. Offering up in hopes someone will enjoy it.
reviewed Slaughterhouse-Five on + 103 more book reviews
Worst. Book. Ever.
reviewed Slaughterhouse-Five on + 55 more book reviews
I have the 1971 paperback edition.