Luann's Reviews > Slaughterhouse-Five, or The Children's Crusade

Slaughterhouse-Five, or The Children's Crusade by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
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Aug 23, 2008

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bookshelves: 2008, adult, historical-fiction, science-fiction, metafiction, lost-lit, classics, holocaust, time-travel, war
Read in November, 2008

This is a book I wish I would have read with a group or in a class. I think I would have benefitted from reading it with others and discussing things like the themes and symbolisms while I was reading it. It reminded me a lot of Catch-22, yet this was easier to read and not quite as dark.

It contains lots of recurring things: the "Poo-tee-weet" sound of a bird, the barking of a dog, the blue and ivory color of cold or frozen feet, Three Musketeers (both as a group of three and as a candy bar), and the phrase that Tralfamadorians (the aliens who abduct Billy) say about dead people: "So it goes." Those are just the ones I noticed and remembered while reading. I'm sure there are many more to be found, although I'm not sure that all of these recurring things have deeper meaning.

The obvious Lost connection is Billy Pilgrim becoming unstuck in time and jumping around to different times of his life, just like Desmond. Because of this he knew things that would happen in the future, but unlike Desmond, he never tried to change anything - even his own death.

I don't think this book will ever be a favorite of mine, but I did find it very interesting. I think it is a book you could read again and again and still find new themes, symbolisms and connections.

I found the Tralfamadorian's way of seeing time very interesting: "All moments, past, present, and future, always have existed, always will exist. The Tralfamadorians can look at all the different moments just the way we can look at a stretch of the Rocky Mountains, for instance. They can see how permanent all the moments are, and they can look at any moment that interests them. It is just an illusion we have here on Earth that one moment follows another one, like beads on a string, and that once a moment is gone it is gone forever."
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