Book Reviews

So many books (you know the rest)

Slaughterhouse Five
by Kurt Vonnegut
Published in 1969 (I finished it on March 09, 2015)

Yes, I’d heard of Kurt Vonnegut for years, but never actually read even one paragraph of his writing. I had no issues one way or another. But I finally did, and you know what?

He’s pretty darn good.

SF is a quasi-absurd book that is quite easy to follow—well, after the first 25 pages. It’s confusing up until you figure out the writing style. I kept checking to see if I had received the right novel. What was taking place didn’t match the synopsis. After time, you get a sense of what’s going on. And it’s a fun ride. In some ways, I’m reminded of “Catch-22,” where it’s not really occurring in chronological order, but a tennis match of different dates that gets fleshed out more and more with each volley. Again, it takes a little time to acclimate yourself to this pattern.

There are some truly memorable moments in the novel—ones that just stay with you like real memories that were lent to you, but with no expectation of ever needing to return them. There are many strong quotes too. My favorite (aside from the ASIG motif) is the one from the movie producer: “Do you know what I say to people when I hear they’re writing anti-war books? . . . I say, ‘Why don’t you write an anti-glacier book instead?’” Another quote that stuck with me was: “It isn’t much fun if you have to pinch every penny till it screams. It’s nice to have a little breathing room.”

Also, it tells of Dresden and the bombing, and it’s sad—in that it really is something that’s rarely discussed. I’ve seen countless WWII movies and documentaries and don’t recall that raid ever being mentioned.

How does a society sweep that much rubble under a carpet?

So I’ll definitely be picking up another KV novel soon. I’m hoping the other ones are as good as this one. This is one that I may even read again someday.

And so it goes.