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Slaughterhouse-Five, or the Children's Crusade

4.45  ·  Rating details ·  1,925 ratings  ·  377 reviews
The first-ever graphic novel adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five, an American classic, is one of the world’s great anti-war books. 

An American classic and one of the world’s seminal antiwar books, Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five is faithfully presented in graphic novel form for the first time from Eisner Award-winning writer Ryan North (How to Invent Ever
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published September 15th 2020 by Archaia
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Dylan Schroeder No, not at all! I hadn't before I read this, and it's such a great adaptation that I felt like I had read the whole novel by the end. …moreNo, not at all! I hadn't before I read this, and it's such a great adaptation that I felt like I had read the whole novel by the end. (less)

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 ·  1,925 ratings  ·  377 reviews

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Ryan North
Sep 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I wrote this book, but I think it's really good! And I can say that because comics is a collaborative medium, and my script was only a small part of it: Albert's beautiful art and graphic storytelling sensibility took what was there in my script and turned it into something incredible. And of course Vonnegut's original prose novel is timeless and one of my favourite books of all time. The book itself is the result of all theses talents and more, and I can say without ego that it's something real ...more
Slaughterhouse-Five is a weird book. In prepping to review this adaptation I saw several mentions of it being practically unadaptable to any other format. However, I think this graphic novel version does a pretty darn good job.

Both the original and this version are weird. They are hard to follow. But they are oh so beautiful in their melancholy cynicism that is tainted with a little bit of hope. The story is a non-linear reflection on life that varies from the gut-wrenchingly real to the outland
Nov 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Well it turns out a comic book is the perfect way to adapt an unadaptable novel. The time jumps work perfectly and are easy to follow. The horrors of war come through delicately. Even an alien abduction doesn't seem too absurd for the story of a man so horrified by war he becomes unstuck in time.

Received a review copy from Boom! and NetGalley. All thoughts are my own and in no way influenced by the aforementioned.
Alexander Peterhans
Jun 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
How do you adapt a notoriously unadaptable novel to another medium? You choose to make it a graphic novel, so you can skillfully portray the time jumps inherent to the story, while having the complete freedom to comment on the characters, what is happening to them, has already happened and will happen in the future. So it goes.

The first time I read Slaughterhouse-Five was only last year, and I loved it. This book is about as good an adaptation as I could imagine. It fully transfers the humour, t
Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five, a science fiction classic, has been morphed into a bold creative graphic novel that does the story real justice. It’s a standout among graphic novel adaptations.

The graphic version doesn’t just repeat the story from the novel, but also provides the reader with handy dandy charts and displays of all the characters, the timelines, and even all the equipment worn into battle by Billy Pilgrim’s wartime buddy.

The story intersperses comic relief ala Hogan’s Heroes POW
Briar's Reviews
I have wanted to pick up Slaughterhouse-Five for years, ever since I was given 1984 in high school instead of this book. I had always been interested in what I missed out in reading this book, and lucky for me NetGalley had the graphic novel version of this book!

I thought this was a great way to present the story, even if I haven't read the original work. If I had options like this way back in my high school days then it would have made reading some of these classics way more entertaining! I'd h
Sep 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
I’ve had a few days to compose myself and I’m ready to actually review this graphic novel. I read Slaughterhouse Five years ago and I’d be lying if I said I remember too much about it beyond there being a human zoo and a terrible war. But that seriously does seem to sum this up, but the meaning and heartbreak is so much more.

Poor Billy’s life is not great and while he experienced a whole hell of a lot of shit, he also experienced some seriously amazing stuff too. The main focus for the majority
Jun 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Slaughterhouse-Five was my first Kurt Vonnegut Jr. I had just graduated high school and I obviously knew nothing. I remember reading it before bed and not being able to go to sleep because I was so damn confused! 9 years later and I'm no wiser.
World War II, the bombing of Dresden, time travel, aliens and "being unstuck in time"... Slaughterhouse-Five is a really weird anti-war book and this graphic novel is a pretty good adaptation. The art fits the story, it helps to explain what's actually goi
Oct 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Reading this graphic novel reminds me just how masterful, funny, mordant, and humane Kurt Vonnegut's writing was. Ryan North does a great job adapting the novel and keeping the tone pitch perfect (poo-tee-weet) and Albert Monteys' art is both cartoonish and realistic at the same time (matching the tone of the novel perfectly). This is a novel about the cruelty of man, the absurdity of war, the unceasing cruelty of time, and about how utterly inadequate the strategy of focusing on the good times ...more
Jan 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing

Rarely does a comic adaptation meet the expectations of the original novel, but this does, because Vonnegut's metafiction and hyper self-awareness is perfectly suited to the medium. Sad, funny, sobering and sparse, Kurt's 1969 anti-war classic Slaughterhouse Five is brought to life with Albert Monteys' beautiful cartoony illustrations which are polished and yet somehow derivative of Kurt's own style. Ryan North (Adventure Time) writes the script and somehow it works. A lovely way to honor the or
Rod Brown
Oct 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
I read Slaughterhouse-Five when I was in my teens or early twenties, and I mostly remember being annoyed by it, with its time slips and alien abductions. Either being older or, more likely, the extreme skill of this graphic novel adaptation has given me a new appreciation for Vonnegut's story. Darkly humorous and sadly still too timely. ...more
Jun 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: advanced-copies
Thank you to the publisher for an advance copy via netgalley!

What an interesting idea to turn this into a graphic novel. I enjoyed reading it. It reads very well, and the illustrations Capture well the environment and moment being described. Wish it was longer!
Jess Meylikhov
Sep 16, 2020 rated it liked it
I wanted to like this. Slaughterhouse-Five and Kurt Vonnegut hold a dear place in my heart. Vonnegut and his personal battles with the novel were the main subjects of my thesis. This graphic novel adaptation is greatly missing that connection. There is no denying that the artwork is beautiful (though I might argue that the soldiers are illustrated to look much older, which contradicts Vonnegut’s intention of reminding the reader how young these soldiers are via “The Children’s Crusade”). To put ...more
Jul 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I honestly don't have much to say about this other than, the graphic novel was the perfect way to read this story. I had always felt like Slaughterhouse-five was a great work, but something was missing from it. Ryan North and Albert Monteys really put together an amazing graphic novel. It was deep, it was impactful, and it help true to the original story, yet allowed for a deeper understanding of its core values.

I would recommend anyone really to pick this up (some themes are not great for child
Dawn Michelle
I find it hard to rate this book - I recognize it for what it is [and the brilliance that is Kurt Vonnegut and the talent of Ryan North in adapting something so difficult], yet I also did not enjoy it, so three stars seems to be good compromise.
I knew nothing about the original book when I requested the ARC of this graphic novel. I do know that that I won't be reading the original novel, no matter how tremendous it might be. For me, this was upsetting and brutal and extremely sad, mixed with the
Nikki "The Crazie Betty" V.
Not sure of the best way to review this. I kind of think if you’ve read the original story by Vonnegut that this graphic novel was based on, you may enjoy this graphic novel more as you already know the meat of the story and can just enjoy the artwork and how the story unfolds without feeling like you’re missing something. If you’ve read Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five, and you’re a fan, I would definitely recommend picking this up. I highly enjoyed it as a Vonnegut fan and I felt like the style ...more
Roxie |The Book Slayer| Voorhees
Beautiful adaptation of the book I already love. I highly suggest this to both fans of Kurt but also people new to his writings. Great job Ryan North. I look forward to more of your work.
Dec 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I haven't actually read Slaughterhouse- Five but this graphic novel adaptation was pretty freakin awesome. What a weird kooky crazy story. I'm almost hesitant to read the book except I'll totally read it since Ethan Hawke narrates. ...more
Oxana Tomova
Jun 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc-netgalley
As someone who's just getting started with Kurt Vonnegut, I knew that Slaughterhouse-Five is a must a some point. Seeing the comic that's about to come out, I knew I'd be very much interested to see how Vonnegut and graphic novels mash up.
On the writing front, we see a great representation not only of the story itself, but also Vonnegut's witty writing and dark humour. I really enjoyed reading, as it was as captivating as the books from him that I've read.
I do think however that the art in this
Jul 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
To say that this is a book about war, and its effects is not saying enough about it.

Kurt Vonnegut Jr. was in Dresden when it was firebombed. We hear about the atomic bombs, but forget, or were never taught about the fire bombs that wiped the city of Dresden off the map.

I read this book back when I was in High School, but still remember it, and was wondering how it would work as a graphic novel, and let me say it works amazingly well. The time shifts make sense, and are clearly visible, and the i
Dec 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
yeah this was highkey better than the actual book but at least now i can say i like a classic.
Sarah E.
Jun 06, 2020 rated it it was ok
I was gifted an ebook via Netgalley. I voluntarily read and reviewed it. All thoughts are my own.

Actual rating: 2.5 stars

I have always been willing to give a classic a try. They are definitely hits or misses for me. I really enjoyed the artwork in this graphic novel a whole lot. It was so interesting and I really like the different styles within the book. I may have read the synopsis at some point but couldn't remember what it was about. So as per usual, I went in blind. I appreciate what the au
Jan 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Vonnegut's novels are peppered with important but subtle tonal shifts that make them notoriously challenging to adapt, but Ryan North and Albert Monteys have absolutely triumphed with their take on his classic Slaughterhouse-Five.

The original Slaughterhouse-Five packed a punch the first time I read it, leaving me slightly stunned and awed afterwards by all the devastation and loss and love and the strangely fitting surreal sci-fi elements. The adaptation masterfully captures all of the elements
Oct 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novel
I loved SF-5 (the novel) and I am a big Ryan North fan, but I set neutral, cautious expectations when I picked this up. Can you spin off or make a derivative work of (what a top reviewer called) a "notoriously unadaptable" book?

So much yes. Everything about this just worked for me. The graphic novel format was brilliant for all of the jumping-around-in-time; it make the reading experience with Billy feel more linear and continuous than the novel.

Albert Monteys absolutely crushed the illustratio
Warnings: wartime, massacre, PTSD, animal cruelty

Now, generally I am not inclined to read classic novels simply because I find prose styles of these quite different from modern styles in that they aren't able to sufficiently engage me in the text. Which is why, seeing a graphic novel adaptation of Slaughterhouse-Five, I was interested, simply because sometimes medium matters. Now, the book is an anti-war themed story about a WWII veteran, Billy, who has the ability to time travel, which is why
Aug 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a cleverly made adaptation of Slaughterhouse-Five, the time shifts are handled really well and the graphic novel stays true to the tone and plot of the book. You can tell that those involved really cared about the original story and wanted to do it justice. I'd highly reccomed this to fans of the original, even if you're not this is a great way to experience a classic in a contemporary way.

Thanks to Netgalley and BOOM! Studios for the ARC in return for a fair and unbiased review
Jan 06, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Oh man Slaughterhouse-Five has been one of my all-time fav books ever since I was a #teen. I periodically revisit it and I'm always a little afraid that something will have switched in my brain and it won't resonate with me as much anymore but that hasn't happened yet. I thought this adaptation was great. Really captured the weirdness and the pain and the tiny moments that make this book so powerful to me.

Sep 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
An excellent introduction to Vonnegut for graphic novel lovers and an excellent introduction to the graphic novel for Vonnegut lovers. The artistry in this one creates the same sense of disjointed, unsettled, dark satire that I experienced when I first read Slaughterhouse Five over 30 years ago. I can see success for this one on multiple levels across different communities of readers. Well done.

Thank you to NetGalley and to Archaia for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Mr. Cody
Oct 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
An amazing graphic novel adaptation. I forgot how powerful this story is. Damn.
Oct 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I’m super leery of adaptations, especially when one of my favorites is involved, but Ryan North absolutely does Slaughterhouse-Five justice. The time travel bits were handled brilliantly. Some of Monteys’s art gave me literal chills. Vonnegut fans, you must get your hands on this! It’s gorgeous. I think Father Kurt would approve.
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Hi, I'm Ryan! I was born in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada in 1980 and since then have written several books. You can read my Wikipedia page for more, or check out my author site at!

I'm the author of the webcomic Dinosaur Comics (that's the comic where the pictures don't change but the words do, it's better than it sounds and I've also done crazy things like turn Shakespeare into a choose-yo

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“Біллі заплющив очі і полинув у часі в той травневий вечір, за два дні після того, як оголосили, що в Європі скінчилася Друга світова війна. Біллі разом з п'ятьма іншими американськими військовополоненими трюхикали в маленькому зеленому фургоні, який за своєю формою нагадував труну. На цей покинутий, запряжений кіньми фургон вони набрели в одному з дрезденських передмість. І тепер їх тягли коні, які спроквола цокали копитами вздовж вузьких просік, розчищених серед руїн, котрі все ще нагадували поверхню Місяця. Вони рухалися у бік своєї бойні, щоб на згадку про війну запастися сувенірами. Кінський цокіт нагадав йому часи дитинства в Іліумі, коли молочарі у своїх візках щодня на світанку розвозили людям молоко. [...]

* * *

Коли фургон доплуганився до бойні, Біллі нікуди не пішов, лише вистромив обличчя на сонце. Всі його товариші пішли визирати трофеї. Пізніше, вже на іншому етапі його життя, тральфамадорці порадять Біллі завжди зосереджуватися на щасливих митях та ігнорувати ті з них, де є сум і страждання. Дивися тільки на приємні речі, скажуть вони йому, бо вічність ніколи не хоче рухатися. Якби Біллі був здатний на таке, то він би вибрав цю коротку мить, яку він провів у глибині фургона, куняючи на теплому осонні, й сказав би, що оце й був пік щастя всього його життя.

* * *

Його дрімота не переросла в сон, а навпаки, урвалася, коли він почув голоси чоловіка й жінки, які скрушно про щось розмовляли німецькою мовою. Вони надзвичайно зворушливо висловлювали комусь своє співчуття. За мить до того, як Біллі розплющив очі, він подумав, що саме так могли колись звертатися до Ісуса його друзі, коли вони знімали Його стражденне тіло з хреста. Отаке.

Біллі розплющив очі. Чоловік середнього віку та його дружина лагідно заговорювали до коней, немов це були їхні хворі діти. Вони з жахом дивилися на те, чого не помітили американці, що кінські морди були вкриті глибокими ранами і кривавили, що їхні копита потріскалися, тому кожен крок спричиняв нестерпний біль, і що коні божеволіли від спраги. Для американців ці коні були лише одним із транспортних засобів, що дозволяє їм пересуватися, і який відчував не більше, ніж шестициліндровий шевроле.

* * *

Ці двійко співчутливих конелюбів пройшли в кінець фургона, щоб з батьківським докором роздивитися Біллі, того Біллі Піліґріма, довготелесого і вкрай заслаблого, який і сам був справжнім опудалом у своїй блакитній тозі і срібних черевиках. Вони його не боялися. Вони нічого не боялися. Обидва вони були лікарями акушерами. Вони щодня до останньої миті приймали пологи, аж доки всі лікарні не були знищені у вогні. Тепер вони сиділи біля того місця, де колись була їхня квартира, і доїдали те, що в них лишилося.

Жінка мала тиху вроду, яка не впадає в очі, а від того, що вона роками їла лише картоплю, тепер її шкіра здавалася напівпрозорою. На чоловікові був темний костюм, краватка і так далі. Картопля зробила його худим і виснаженим. Зростом він був, як Біллі, й на ньому були трифокальні окуляри. Ця подружня пара весь час мала справу з немовлятами, але самі вони так ніколи нікого й не породили, хоча і могли б. Цей факт міг би бути цікавою метафорою до всієї ідеї продовження роду.

Якщо брати їх обох, то вони володіли дев'ятьма мовами. Спершу вони звернулися до Біллі Піліґріма польською мовою, тому що він скидався на клоуна, а під час Другої світової війни саме знедолені поляки проти своєї волі опинилися в цій ролі.

Біллі англійською спитав, що їм від нього треба. Вони зразу ж перейшли на його мову і почали гірко докоряти йому тим, що він до такого стану довів своїх бідних коней. Вони примусили Біллі вилізти з фургона і підійти до коней. Коли він побачив, в якому стані перебуває його транспортний засіб, він розридався. Це був єдиний раз за всю війну, коли він плакав.”
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