Slaughterhouse-Five Slaughterhouse-Five question

Moved throughout. Let down a bit by the end.
Dwight Okita Dwight (last edited May 26, 2012 08:22PM ) May 25, 2012 08:56PM
I just reread Slaughterhouse Five. When I first read the book as a youth, I remember the humor. But now as a grown man and author, I was deeply moved by the gravitas, absurdity, and surrealism. The writing itself is gorgeous and haunting. The chapters were so compelling, I couldn't stop reading. That rarely happens with me.

So I was surprised when I came to the end that it wasn't more satisfying or affecting. I know Vonnegut drops hints that it's not a regular story with character and plot. But I think I was expecting some full-blown scene between the man who was killed for stealing at teapot (Edgar Derby) instead of the passing reference. Or a scene between Billy Pilgrim and his wife or son. I suppose the closest type of scene like that was between Billy and Rumfoord, as Billy keeps uttering the fact that he was there, he was a prisoner of war. Though it didn't resonate as much since we don't know that character that well.

Or maybe I was expecting more repercussions when people learn Billy is time travelling. That someone might make the connection that it might be a result of the trauma of war and all the deaths. Overall I loved the book. I'd love to hear from other readers to see if they found the ending of the book moving or not. As it's almost Memorial Day, this books seems the perfect book to honor the war dead. The Billy Pilgrims.

P.S. For what it's worth, as an author I share some sensibilities with Vonnegut. My novel THE PROSPECT OF MY ARRIVAL appeals to those who like literary fiction or soft science fiction. It's about a human embryo that's allowed to preview the world before it decides whether to be born. Finalist in the Amazon novel contest.

The dangling end is what makes the story haunting.

Rebecca In my opinion there can't be a scene with Billy and his wife and son in the end because Billy dies in the end. He never gets home from the war, he nev ...more
May 29, 2012 01:11PM
Dwight Okita That's an interesting point, Rebecca. I agree he is not time travelling but inventing a world. But in that invented world, he could certainly have a s ...more
May 29, 2012 01:25PM

I loved the whole thing, front to back. And I love your idea of honoring the "Billy Pilgrims" for Memorial Day. You have inspired me to reread this book this weekend.

firstly i have the upmost respect for our veterans and memorial day.
and im sure this wont be a popular opinion
but i cant help thinking the author just a bit of a whiner
did i dream it or did Kurt Vonnegut
write tha autobiography
the he promesed never to inflect on the puplic

back to top

all discussions on this book | post a new topic

Books mentioned in this topic

Slaughterhouse-Five (other topics)