Kurt Vonnegut book:
Slaughterhouse Five or the Children's Crusade:
A Duty Dance With Death
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Review by Billium from Los Angeles
I reread this in one sitting the other night as I have periodically for some 20 years. Slaughterhouse-Five was the first book to really make me think as a young teenager. After all that time and at least six or seven reads I still laugh out loud at jokes I can see coming for pages, and I'm still moved for days or weeks after. Billy Pilgrim's innocence and sadness and Vonnegut's humanity are still astonishingly pure and beautiful.
Don't let the fragmented timeline of Billy's tale put anybody off; it's there to juxtapose disconnected events and thereby create illustrations that are creative and funny and satirical and moving. When available fictional devices cannot make his point, Vonnegut puts one or another fantastic tale in the pen of alter ego Kilgore Trout, or brings in the Tralfamadorians for a few life lessons.
Kurt Vonnegut is an unparalleled storyteller with a style that is at once easy and deep, like a wonderful aunt or uncle with biting humor and years of wisdom quietly regaling late into the evening. The tale he tells in Slaughterhouse-Five is one of the great stories of all time for it's unbelievable creativity and it's quiet, gentle and powerful sense of humanity. A masterpiece.
Review by Bert Ruiz from New York
Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., is a self-described "trafficker in climaxes and thrills and characterization and wonderful dialogue and suspense and confrontations. "To this end, "Slaughterhouse-Five or the Children's Crusade: A Duty Dance With Death," is a brilliant and outrageous antiwar book about the catastrophic World War II fire bombing of Dresden, Germany.
Vonnegut delivers serious messages coated in humor. For instance, early in the narrative he states that there is "nothing intelligent to say about a massacre. "And then adds, "I have told my sons that they are not under any circumstances to take part in massacres, and that the news of massacres of enemies is not to fill them with satisfaction or glee." The author then drives his convictions home by clearly explaining, "I have also told them not to work for companies which make massacre machinery, and to express contempt for people who think we need machinery like that."
This is a remarkable book. Kurt Vonnegut expresses his antiwar outrage with blistering humor. And by the way... Billy Pilgrim and the Tralfamadorians will leave you in stitches. So it goes.