Book :: Slaughterhouse-Five

By: Kurt Vonnegut
Pages: 275
Published: 1969
Genre(s): Science Fiction
Historical Fiction
Rating: (28)


358 points

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Adapted for a magnificent George Roy Hill film three years later (perhaps the only film adaptation of a masterpiece which exceeds its source), Slaughterhouse-Five (1969) is the now famous parable of Billy Pilgrim, a World War II veteran and POW, who has in the later stage of his life become “unstuck in time” and who experiences at will (or unwillingly) all known events of his chronology out of...

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Fede Fede

Mar 17th, 2020

red13x red13x

I struggled a bit at first with the book, but once I was used to the back and forth it grew on me more. It’s a better read when you know the author’s history and its relevance to his experiences.

Aug 4th, 2019

forline forline

Dec 31st, 2017

Murfville Murfville

Aug 27th, 2017

acpac2004 acpac2004

Apr 6th, 2017

amessina3399 amessina3399

The book can be confusing at times, but it's amazing! It humanizes people in war (even the "enemies") and really makes you look at war in a totally new way with the use of great humor and some nonfiction events.

Mar 14th, 2017

Portia Portia

Mar 10th, 2017

hauerfarm hauerfarm

Jul 8th, 2016

bryanoz bryanoz

Jun 18th, 2015

Tejas Nair Tejas Nair

There is no story, and if you succeed in carving out one with the help of bits and pieces, you will end up with an unfunny book that has no right to be compared with Catch-22. Simply bad!

Feb 26th, 2015

Trappalapp Trappalapp

Jan 26th, 2015

willoyd willoyd

Dec 30th, 2014

jwk jwk

Dec 12th, 2014

permaculturemic permaculturemic

Sep 15th, 2014

bdubransky bdubransky

May 26th, 2014

sanayhs sanayhs

May 9th, 2014

laros76 laros76

Mar 20th, 2014

heathershep heathershep

Vonnegut experienced being a POW himself. It's refreshing the spin that he takes on the situation. There are elements of surrealism (to say the least), but still presents the horrors of war. Wonderful author.

Oct 18th, 2013

QueenBeeChelle QueenBeeChelle

Aug 20th, 2013

mlafrt mlafrt

A great man

Aug 16th, 2013

veronicablair veronicablair

Aug 3rd, 2013

bdunk23 bdunk23

Not recommended if you are going through a psychedelic paranoid mental breakdown and only live in reality 26% of your waking day. If I just described you, good luck, read this book later. If what I said does not apply to you, then read the book and laugh a lot and look at the stars and think about what time is once in a while.

Jul 30th, 2013

Keith Keith

Jul 30th, 2013

bookinginheels bookinginheels

This is one of those books that need to be read with an already basic understanding of the author's background. First off, Kurt Vonnegut really was present at the controversial bombing of Dresden (Germany) by Allied Forces in 1945, killing thousands of civilians and Prisoners of War. Slaughterhouse 5 was the building in which Vonnegut and his colleagues sheltered from the bombing. Knowing this somehow puts a different slant on the whole story. The first and last chapters explain all this, but in a narrative way that fits perfectly into the story - that the author was actually there, the slow progress of actually writing the book and how it was given its subtitle. Upon visiting an old friend of his from the War, the friend's wife remarked how such a book should not be written as all men Vonnegut's age had just been child soldiers, fighting in a war that was not their own. Hence, 'the children's crusade.' That's one of the major themes of Slaughterhouse 5 - that the 'men' drafted in to fight for both sides of World War Two towards the end were either too young, too old or too injured. This is doubly true in Billy Pilgrim's case. He's definitely young, but to me at least, he seems a little... off. Mentally ill perhaps. He has an odd gait, doesn't understand basic concepts and generally needs somebody to push him along from behind. That might just be my interpretation, but that's the idea I took from it. The point is, he shouldn't have been there, along with thousands of other people unsuited for conscription. 'Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt.' So, the aliens - because hey, I wasn't joking. The timeline flits about constantly, in a Time Traveller's Wife kind of way, and it does get a little confusing at times. The concept is that Billy was abducted by aliens (the Tralfamadorians) and exhibited in a zoo on their home planet. Eventually he starts to see time as they do - as if every moment of the past, present and future is happening all the time. Time doesn't progress; it doesn't need to if you can see every second of every day at once. While I did enjoy Slaughterhouse 5, I didn't seem to really connect to it. Maybe it was because it was more absurd than I expected, or perhaps I just wasn't in the right frame of mind. Either way, it is worth a read. Just keep in mind that Kurt Vonnegut's statistics and viewpoints aren't all strictly correct - apparently the Nazis exaggerated the death toll as part of their propaganda schemes. The author states it was around 130,000, but recent investigations show it was actually more around 25,000. Not that that's not bad enough, mind you.

Apr 1st, 2013

Pessinger Pessinger

Mar 28th, 2013

rconawa rconawa

This is the best book written by Kurt Vonnegut and he has written many great books. His story is that of a life where the main character's consciousness moves between times, sometimes going forward and sometimes back. Of interest is his account the of main character's time as a POW in Dresden during the bombing because Vonnegut had been a POW in Dresden during the bombing.

Mar 25th, 2013

Feb 16th, 2013

loonyluna1331 loonyluna1331

This is hands-down my most favorite book of all-time. The story isn't necessarily chronological and jumps between the "present" and world war II. The overall premise of the book is so interesting, but I'm not going to give too much away because I fully believe that everyone would benefit from reading this novel.

Feb 3rd, 2013

Slaughterhouse-Five appears on these lists...

54th on The 20th Centrury's Greatest Hits by American Book Review

18th on 100 Best Novels by Modern Library

29th on Rival 100 Best Novels by Radcliffe

67th on Books of the Century by Waterstone

60th on Top 100 Books by Newsweek

20th on 100 Books of the Past Century by Koen Books