Mitchel Broussard's Reviews > Slaughterhouse-Five

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
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's review
Feb 13, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: sci-fi, for-college
Read from February 08 to 13, 2011 — I own a copy

Colossally underwhelming. Maybe the whole "classic" status had me awaiting utter brilliance with it's cool alien-abduction stuff going on, but I was sideswiped by mediocrity on more than one occasion. It turns out it isn't about aliens at all, it's about war. The bombing of Dresden, to be precise. That's cool, I just read The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien and pretty much loved it. I'm not against war books all-together. I just did not care about this book's characters. Not. One. Bit.

It starts with a narrator (which I assumed was meant to be Vonnegut, I dunno) introducing us to Billy Pilgrim. Billy has become "unstuck" in time, and now bounces from one moment in life to the other. In one of these moments he gets abducted by aliens and put in a zoo on their home planet Tralfamadore. Absurd moments like this are coupled with Billy's march through WWII as a cowardly soldier and his survival of the Dresden bombing.

It seems like a good idea, but I just really really did not enjoy Billy. He was so spineless and uncaring that I became disconnected with him after the first chapter. Yeah you can say that Tralfamadorians are uncaring and apathetic because their whole view of time (basically that all moments of a person's life are happening at the same time, so it doesn't matter if you die, you're living still because you were before) but I don't buy that shit for one minute. He was just so listless about everything, I became the same way about the book. And none of the supporting characters help in the slightest. Hell, I can barely remember their names.

The book even acknowledges this listlessness. Look at this:

"There are almost no characters in this story, and almost no dramatic confrontations, because most of the people in it are so sick and so much the listless playthings of enormous forces."

Okay so it's self-referential, does that make it an easier pill for me to swallow or any of the characters more interesting? Nope.

Hugely disappointing, considering it was a school book I was pretty excited to read about. I liked the Tralfamadorian's crazy metaphysical views on life and the universe (well besides how it completely nullifies any possible plot or story progression, because we know from the get-go what will happen), but I just felt like everything else grated on me as I read it. The sudden shifts in time, the short-structured sentences and the boring characters.

Oh and if I EVER see the phrase "So it goes" again in my life, I will gouge my eyes out with a rusty fork.
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Reading Progress

02/08/2011 page 1
0.0% "Senile teacher rearranged schedule so I need to get to this now"
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message 2: by Cara (new)

Cara And so it goes...:D I actually never knew it came from this book. Now I know to stay clear, and btw good review.

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