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Slaughterhouse-Five
Slaughterhouse-Five
Author: Kurt Vonnegut
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&#...  more »
PBS Market Price: $8.09 or $4.19+1 credit
ISBN-13: 9780440180296
ISBN-10: 0440180295
Publication Date: 11/3/2007
Pages: 215
Rating:
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 838

4 stars, based on 838 ratings
Publisher: Dell
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
Members Wishing: 5
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

kalynn avatar 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.
Founder-PBS avatar 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.
maggiethecat avatar 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 + 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.
Leigh avatar reviewed Slaughterhouse-Five on + 377 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.
Read All 45 Book Reviews of "SlaughterhouseFive"

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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 + 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.
adamwaitt avatar 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.


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