Title: Slaughterhouse-Five (Goodreads)
Author: Kurt Vonnegut
Published: Vintage, 1969
Genres: Classic, Science Fiction
My Copy: Personal Copy
Buy: Amazon (or visit your local Indie bookstore)
Slaughterhouse-Five, or The Children’s Crusade: A Duty-Dance With Death is an unusual story with many layers to it. The book itself is a post-modern, anti-war, science fiction metafiction novel. The Narrator starts off telling people about the book he is writing on the subject of Dresden and being in a POW camp (The Slaughterhouse) during the War. Trying to remember what happened in Dresden, the narrator goes on to tell the story of some of the other people in the Slaughterhouse with him. Billy Pilgram is the main character in the book, an optometrist who has become unstuck in time and randomly travels through time and is abducted by the “four-dimensional” aliens from planet Tralfamadore. Being POW in Dresden has had a lasting effect on Billy’s post-war life, and combined with the abductions and time travel, he has become fatalistic.
The whole story just has so many layers to try to explain, but it makes for an interesting read. Since Billy keeps randomly traveling to the Past, Future and Tralfamadore there just seems to be a lot going on and can get a little confusing. The book really highlights the effects of war on the survivors and what could be considered schizophrenia.
…And So It Goes