Regine's Reviews > Slaughterhouse-Five

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
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's review
Mar 14, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: bucket-list-books, owned, war, science-fiction
Read from March 09 to 14, 2011

I just finished this book tonight. I have closed it, put it on my shelf, and most likely, it will be one of the books that I never pick up again. So it goes.

I didn't hate the book. Hate's a powerful word. In fact, I can even understand why some people loved this book. Vonnegut has a light humourous take on a very powerful subject. He often contrasts the heaviness of the events in this book (the bombing of Dresden, a death of a spouse, to give a few examples) to his mediocre, cowardly, nonchalant protagonist, Billy Pilgrim. I didn't even hate the gimmicky prose, even though it irked most readers off. So it goes...

But I can't help feeling that there could have been more to this book than what Vonnegut had given us. The narrator tells the reader straight off the bat what happens in the book. There aren't really any surprises--except that we learn that Billy Pilgrim is not only a veteran, but also a time traveler, so we read the book in little snippets of several different time lines. And although these snippets added to the humour in the book, I felt that it hindered the plot and character development. There was a mention about Billy's mom, an his brief encounter with the narrator of the book--but it left me wanting more.

I also thought that the plot with the alien abduction was a little overdone and boring. Okay, great job Vonnegut. You're making us question reality. Did Billy Pilgrim actually travel through time? or was this a hallucination caused by a combination of a tragic accident and his love for science fiction? Maybe it's because I don't read enough science fiction to appreciate Tralfamadore.

Having said all of that, this won't be the last Vonnegut book I'll ever read, but it just wasn't as poignant as it had been hyped up to be.
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03/10/2011 page 58
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Comments (showing 1-12 of 12) (12 new)

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Kwesi 章英狮 Never tried Vonnegut, interesting review Regine.

message 2: by Tricia (new) - added it

Tricia I'm intrigued by this book and it's quite popular in Tumblr (Everything is beautiful and nothing hurt thing)! That's why I bought a copy earlier this year but I haven't pick this up yet. They say Vonnegut writes about uncensored things that people mostly don't want to know (like Chuck Palahniuk) and I'm sort of discouraged since I didn't like Palahniuk's Choke. :D

Regine Interesting. I could see why Vonnegut would be compared to Palahniuk, but Slaughterhouse-Five is no where near as graphic or disturbing as anything Palahniuk has written.

There are funny moments in this book, but it just isn't for me.

message 4: by Tricia (new) - added it

Tricia Really! Since you said that it's not that disturbing like Palahniuk, I think I'll pick it up sooner. Thanks for the review, Regine!

K.D. Absolutely I agree with your review, Regine.
This is a sci-fi. So, when I read this, I totally changed the channel of the literary radio inside my head. Same thing when I read "Time Machine" I mean if you are used to reading profound classics like Jane Austen or Salman Rushdie, then suddenly you pick up Kurt Vonnegut, it is a big switch IMO.
That's why I rarely pick sci-fi. The only exception that I encountered lately was "Solaris" by Estanislaw Lew. It is the only popular (one that hit it big time) sci-fi that was originally written not in English (in Polish actually). No other non-English sci-fi made it big in the international literary world.

Comparing Palahiuk (say Fight Club) and Vonnegut (say Slaughterhouse) is like comparing Jodi Piccoult and Jane Austen IMO. ha ha

Regine Thanks for the likes guys.

@K.D. I usually like to read something nice and light right after reading something heavy like Rushdie. When I go from a classic to a graphic novel or children's lit, it's easy for me to make the "switch". But, I think in this case, I'm just NOT a sci-fi type of girl.

Regine On a side note, although I never have, and never will be a fan of Palahniuk, I think that womankind is indebted to him. Otherwise, we'd never have these two beautiful men half-naked on the same movie set:


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Okay, so I cheated, this one's from American History X...but he's an impressive specimen of a man nonetheless. Great actor too!

Leah LOL good point. I guess that makes his possible misogyny more excusable ;)))

Regine I don't think Palahniuk's a misogynist--he hates everybody equally! lol.

message 10: by Leah (new) - rated it 4 stars

Leah Haha at my university there were a group of older women who attacked the film version when it came out. I was the little voice in the back of the classroom saying, "But I liked it! Plus Ed Norton and Brad Pitt are AWESOME." I guess I didn't make a really intelligent counterpoint. LOL. I should've just put the above pictures on placards in silent protest.

message 11: by Leah (new) - rated it 4 stars

Leah P.S. I should say your review on Slaughterhouse was great too. LOL. Completely off topic. :)

Regine lol. Thanks Leah! I could see why they would attack the film. The only woman in the movie is an emotionally unstable, sex-crazed maniac. A little misogynist? I think so.

However, I really love the movie. I think that Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, and Helena Bonham Carter were amazing in their roles. And, might I add, they were all sexy as hell!

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