Slaughterhouse-Five: A Novel

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Random House Publishing Group, Aug 11, 2009 - Fiction - 288 pages
69 Reviews
“A desperate, painfully honest attempt to confront the monstrous crimes of the twentieth century.”—Time
 
Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best novels of all time
 
Slaughterhouse-Five, an American classic, is one of the world’s great antiwar books. Centering on the infamous World War II firebombing of Dresden, the novel is the result of what Kurt Vonnegut described as a twenty-three-year struggle to write a book about what he had witnessed as an American POW. It combines historical fiction, science fiction, autobiography, and satire in an account of the life of Billy Pilgrim, a barber’s son turned draftee turned optometrist turned alien abductee. As Vonnegut had, Billy experiences the destruction of Dresden as a POW. Unlike Vonnegut, he experiences time travel, or coming “unstuck in time.”

Praise for Slaughterhouse-Five

“Poignant and hilarious, threaded with compassion and, behind everything, the cataract of a thundering moral statement.”The Boston Globe

“Very tough and very funny . . . sad and delightful . . . very Vonnegut.”New York Times

“Splendid . . . a funny book at which you are not permitted to laugh, a sad book without tears.”Life

“Funny, satirical, compelling, outrageous, fanciful, mordant, fecund . . .  ‘It’s too good to be science fiction,’ [the critics] would say. But Vonnegut doesn’t care, and you won’t care, either, because this is a writer who leaps over genres.”—Los Angeles Times
 

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As much I love a good, satirical anti-war novel... This book just didn't do it for me. I think he kept forgetting sometimes what he was writing, because he kept saying "it goes as such". This could be a problem because I pirated the entire book through a foreign website and google translated the whole thing, but either way I give it a 6/10. 

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A thought provoking expression into the effect war can have on the mind, while challenging the idea of what a novel can be. This book is so interestingly written that it forces the reader to consider what it is saying. It also contains some fantastic humor that only serves to make the message of the book more poignant. For those looking to explore the bounds of what a novel can be while still wanting an understandable, well written experience, there is no better book to read than Slaughterhouse-Five  

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Selected pages

Contents

Section 1
1
Section 2
29
Section 3
66
Section 4
91
Section 5
110
Section 6
173
Section 7
196
Section 8
206
Section 9
233
Section 10
268
Copyright

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Page 1 - All this happened, more or less. The war parts, anyway, are pretty much true. One guy I knew really was shot in Dresden for taking a teapot that wasn't his. Another guy I knew really did threaten to have his personal enemies killed by hired gunmen after the war. And so on. I've changed all the names.

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About the author (2009)

Kurt Vonnegut’s black humor, satiric voice, and incomparable imagination first captured America’s attention in The Sirens of Titan in 1959 and established him as “a true artist” (The New York Times) with Cat’s Cradle in 1963. He was, as Graham Greene declared, “one of the best living American writers.” Mr. Vonnegut passed away in April 2007.

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