- Mass Market Paperback: 224 pages
- Publisher: Dell (3 November 1991)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0440180295
- ISBN-13: 978-0440180296
- Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 1.5 x 17.5 cm
- Average Customer Review: 35 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #67,770 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Slaughterhouse-Five (Modern Library 100 Best Novels) Mass Market Paperback – 3 Nov 1991
Mass Market Paperback
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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.
Don't let the ease of reading fool you--Vonnegut's isn't a conventional, or simple, novel. He writes, "There are almost no characters in this story, and almost no dramatic confrontations, because most of the people in it are so sick, and so much the listless playthings of enormous forces. One of the main effects of war, after all, is that people are discouraged from being characters..." Slaughterhouse-Five (taken from the name of the building where the POWs were held) is not only Vonnegut's most powerful book, it is 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 a unique poignancy--and humor.
“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.”—The 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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I have never read a book that mocks value of lives to this level, and that too with a touch of humour.
Nearly 135000 people were killed in Dresden, Germany(more people than in Hiroshima); a place totally inhabited by civilians with no military or artillery resources what-so-ever. This was a very illogical attack (Is logic even exists in war?) and was tactically kept away from public so that people don’t start hating America.
The way this story is presented with continuous time traveling in back and forth that the whole life of Billy seems as a whole picture in every line mixed with millions of emotions. The absurdity and illogicality of war is depicted aptly with introduction of the theory that nothing is there called free will.
Billy simply had no control over whatever was happening with his life and that’s the sole concept of war, isn’t it? And guess what was more painful; you can’t do anything about it but accept your FATE. Can you respond to your death prophecy like this:
"I, Billy Pilgrim, will die, have died, and always will die on February thirteenth, 1976."
Read my full review here:
There are lines in here, that will haunt you long after you finish reading (and I'm not just talking about the oft-quoted "so it goes").
This is a must-read story, and an experience you will never forget.
Reminds me of Catch-22
Not to be read by anyone who is too serious nor anyone too stupid. Book contains alot of dry humour
The font is nicely sized and the cover has a matte type finish. IT does attract a bit of dust though
the book itself, is a little difficult for an average everyday read , requires attention and is one of a kind
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