Slaughterhouse 5 – Worth the Reputation

by Charlotte Reads Classics

Slaughterhouse 5, Kurt Vonnegut

‘And so it goes’. The philosophy behind this iconic anti war novel is simple, and says just enough. It is not made up of sensationalist violence (could have been, easily) about the Dresden bombing: Vonnegut appeals to the most decent side of human nature instead.

I reckon he must have started out with a book at least double the size, and distilled it down until it was perfect. Something akin to All Quiet on the Western Front for WWII would start to cover it.

Billy Pilgrim is a time traveler… but the novel isn’t really about that. And he gets captured by aliens… but it isn’t really about that either. This is a really extraordinarily unique book, quirky and very unappreciated because of its ‘cult’ status. The flickering jumps in time could be the post traumatic stress from the war, a device to show the past is always present. Once something has happened, it has happened forever. And so it goes.