THE WORLD WAR TWO GROUP discussion

Slaughterhouse-Five
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ARCHIVED READS > 2015 - August - Group Read of a Classic WW2 Novel

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message 1: by 'Aussie Rick', Moderator (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) | 17748 comments This thread is open for any members of the group that would like to read and discuss a classic novel of WW2.


REMEMBER UKRAINE NOW ReadingReindeer (readingreindeerproximacentauri) | 9 comments Great idea! I'll join in; I'll read Mila 18


message 3: by Safelythus (new)

Safelythus | 5 comments Do we focus on one particular WW2 novel, or each select a classic to read?


message 4: by Manray9 (new)

Manray9 | 4376 comments AR: What makes it a classic? :-)


David Samples (dlsamples) | 1 comments A classic has been defined by some as "a book that everyone praises and no one reads."


happy (happyone) | 2231 comments :)


Richard | 0 comments If anyone wants to join me reading Slaughterhouse-Five, just post here. I'll wait a week before carrying on (I already read chapter one).


Richard | 0 comments Safelythus, I think anyone can read any WWII novel and post about it here, since this is the de facto 'fiction' section of the group. Maybe, if the idea takes off, in future there will be a different structure.


message 9: by 'Aussie Rick', Moderator (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) | 17748 comments How about for this first fiction theme read members can read any WW2 novel they like as long as they are prepared to discuss aspects of it with other members.


Dimitri | 1319 comments I'm in on Vonnegut: it deserves a second reading


message 11: by Geevee, Assisting Moderator British & Commonwealth Forces (new)

Geevee | 3796 comments David wrote: "A classic has been defined by some as "a book that everyone praises and no one reads.""

:)


message 12: by 'Aussie Rick', Moderator (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) | 17748 comments Manray9 wrote: "AR: What makes it a classic? :-)"

That's one I can't answer but I do like David's response :)


message 13: by Manray9 (new)

Manray9 | 4376 comments 'Aussie Rick' wrote: "Manray9 wrote: "AR: What makes it a classic? :-)"

That's one I can't answer but I do like David's response :)"


But if we go with David's definition, how can we discuss books we haven't read? :-)


Richard | 0 comments Dimitri wrote: "I'm in on Vonnegut: it deserves a second reading"

Great, Dimitri. Looking forward to discussing it with you.


Neil  | 5 comments wonderful book, its something I would read again for sure


message 16: by 'Aussie Rick', Moderator (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) | 17748 comments Manray9 wrote: "'Aussie Rick' wrote: "Manray9 wrote: "AR: What makes it a classic? :-)"

That's one I can't answer but I do like David's response :)"

But if we go with David's definition, how can we discuss boo..."


A quandary indeed :)


Richard | 0 comments OK, Dimitry and Neil and any other readers of Slaughterhouse-Five:

First, thank you for joining me in this group read. I'm new to group/buddy reads in any group so if anyone wants to lead the discussion just say so — I'd welcome some direction.

In the meantime, I'll have a look through the contents page and try to come up with some sort of schedule, but guidance would definitely be appreciated. I am not a fast reader but sometimes might read for several hours straight. Howeve,r I may be starting a new job imminently which won't leave a lot of time for reading.

I'll see if there are any discussion questions online about the book and post them here too.


Richard | 0 comments It's a short book so I suggest a choice of two approaches:

Chapters 1-3: 15-22 August
Chapters 4-7: 22-29
Chapters 8-10: 29 August - 5 September

OR

Just read the whole book and then discuss it. I think I could finish it within two weeks, maybe one.

Regarding the discussion questions, let me know if you want me to find any; otherwise, or as well, we can just post our own thoughts as they occur to us.


Dimitri | 1319 comments I just read the whole thing in 1 day... it's quite short


Richard | 0 comments Ok, great. I'll try and read it ASAP.


message 21: by Manray9 (last edited Aug 16, 2015 09:47AM) (new)

Manray9 | 4376 comments In #4 above I asked, with tongue in cheek, what's a classic? Today I came across Robert McCrum's book column in The Guardian with:

...what is a classic? There are many duelling definitions. TS Eliot, Ezra Pound, Italo Calvino and Sainte-Beuve have all written at length on the subject. Calvino’s definition – “a classic is a book that has never finished what it wants to say” – is probably the sweetest, followed by Pound’s identification of “a certain eternal and irresponsible freshness”. One necessary, but not sufficient, characteristic of a classic is that it should remain in print.


I agree remaining in print indicates a book is a classic, but doesn't define it.


message 22: by Dj (new) - rated it 2 stars

Dj | 2106 comments Manray9 wrote: "In #4 above I asked, with tongue in cheek, what's a classic? Today I came across Robert McCrum's book column in The Guardian with:

...what is a classic? There are many duelling definitions. TS El..."


A 'Classic' is something that stands the test of time, inspires others and brings people back to read it again and again. Recently I just finished reading Frankenstein, which I found both painful and difficult, but looking at what it generated over time I have to admit that it is a classic. It inspired an entire line of work and despite my finding it confusing, weak on character development I can see the potential of something great hiding in the background of the book.

Yeah, I have been hanging around waiting to see what you have to say about Slaughter House Five, mostly because I remember way back when starting the book and then putting it off to the side. Want to hear what you think of it, to see if I decide to pick it up again.


message 23: by Manray9 (new)

Manray9 | 4376 comments Dj wrote: "Manray9 wrote: "In #4 above I asked, with tongue in cheek, what's a classic? Today I came across Robert McCrum's book column in The Guardian with:

...what is a classic? There are many duelling de..."


Dj: If you're waiting to see what I'll say about Slaughterhouse Five, you'll have a long wait.


message 24: by Dj (new) - rated it 2 stars

Dj | 2106 comments Well stranger things have happened, after all it took me almost a year to finish Frankenstein. I imagine, that Moby Dick will take even longer.


Dimitri | 1319 comments A classic is like a mountain: you have to learn how to walk, climb..read heavier ...and the beauty only strikes you when you're on the top, done reading.


message 26: by 'Aussie Rick', Moderator (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) | 17748 comments Nice Dimitri :)


message 27: by Manray9 (new)

Manray9 | 4376 comments Dimitri wrote: "A classic is like a mountain: you have to learn how to walk, climb..read heavier ...and the beauty only strikes you when you're on the top, done reading."

Very good, Dimitri. Sometimes a classic takes a little work by the reader to gain appreciation.


message 28: by Paul (new) - rated it 4 stars

Paul (paul_gephart) | 362 comments This thread spurred me to finally read Slaughterhouse-Five, which I finished yesterday. My review is here:

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 29: by 'Aussie Rick', Moderator (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) | 17748 comments I'm glad we 'helped' you to finally tackle Slaughterhouse-Five :) Thanks for sharing your review as well.


message 30: by Colin (new)

Colin Heaton (colin1962) | 1980 comments Ironically I interviewed the German general whose forces captured Vonnegut in WW II. he became a fan of his after the war.


message 31: by Bill (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bill | 7 comments 'Aussie Rick' wrote: "This thread is open for any members of the group that would like to read and discuss a classic novel of WW2." I have just re-read this old favorite. Thank you!


fourtriplezed  (4triplezed) | 877 comments May I suggest a WW2 novelist in James Jones. I found Jones by accident. The Malik film The Thin Red Line was loosely based, and I mean loosely, on a novel of the same name by Jones. I thought that the film was superb. With that I decided to read the book. The book was very good indeed though bears no resemblance to the novel at all. When I got hold of a copy of the From Here To Eternity I was not particularly expecting it to be better the TTRL. It was. In fact it blew me away. Quintessentially a barracks room drama on Hawaii just prior to Pearl Harbour the characters lives, their defects, their attitudes sucked me in. I hung of every word, every character. It covered taboo subjects of the day, adultery and homosexuality as examples. I only read it about 5 years back but it shone with a gritty honesty that to me was still relevant 60 odd years after release. Interestingly I enjoyed the film as well and never thought I would.


fourtriplezed  (4triplezed) | 877 comments May I suggest a WW2 novelist in James Jones. I found Jones by accident. The Malik film The Thin Red Line was loosely based, and I mean loosely, on a novel of the same name by Jones. I thought that the film was superb. With that I decided to read the book. The book was very good indeed though bears no resemblance to the novel at all. When I got hold of a copy of the From Here To Eternity I was not particularly expecting it to be better the TTRL. It was. In fact it blew me away. Quintessentially a barracks room drama on Hawaii just prior to Pearl Harbour the characters lives, their defects, their attitudes sucked me in. I hung of every word, every character. It covered taboo subjects of the day, adultery and homosexuality as examples. I only read it about 5 years back but it shone with a gritty honesty that to me was still relevant 60 odd years after release. Interestingly I enjoyed the film as well and never thought I would.


Betsy | 499 comments I read The Thin Red Line last year and loved it, From Here to Eternity less so.


message 35: by Manray9 (new)

Manray9 | 4376 comments 4ZZZ wrote: "May I suggest a WW2 novelist in James Jones. I found Jones by accident. The Malik film The Thin Red Line was loosely based, and I mean loosely, on a novel of the same name by Jones. I thought that ..."

4ZZZ: "The book was very good indeed though bears no resemblance to the novel at all." Did you mean the movie?


Doubledf99.99 | 577 comments There's Norman Mailer's: The Naked and the Dead.
Read it many years ago and will be giving it another read one of these days.

The Naked and the Dead
The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer
Norman Mailer


message 37: by 'Aussie Rick', Moderator (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) | 17748 comments Both excellent novels and some of the first that I read on the Pacific campaign many, many years ago :)


message 38: by Marc (last edited Mar 07, 2016 01:07PM) (new)

Marc | 1420 comments The Right Kind of War by John McCormick

This is a good one I read several years ago. Has anyone else read it?


Betsy | 499 comments Marc wrote: "The Right Kind of War by John McCormick

This is a good one I read several years ago. Has anyone else read it?"


It does sound good. Might give it a look.


fourtriplezed  (4triplezed) | 877 comments Manray9 wrote: "4ZZZ wrote: "May I suggest a WW2 novelist in James Jones. I found Jones by accident. The Malik film The Thin Red Line was loosely based, and I mean loosely, on a novel of the same name by Jones. I ..."

I did. My apologies.


fourtriplezed  (4triplezed) | 877 comments Doubledf99.99 wrote: "There's Norman Mailer's: The Naked and the Dead.
Read it many years ago and will be giving it another read one of these days.

The Naked and the Dead
[bookcover:The Naked and the Dead|..."


I read Mailer in my youth, The Fight and The Executioner's Song, but only have vague memories of enjoying them. I came across a copy of the Naked and the Dead prior to reading Jones but was very underwhelmed. It all seemed so forced. lacked any form of grit and the story was lacking. The end may have meant to be ironic (or something) but to me was idiotic. Maybe I would have liked it more in my youth. It would be interesting to know if it stacks up as you recall.


message 42: by carl (last edited Mar 09, 2016 04:30PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

carl  theaker | 1487 comments 'From Here to Eternity' and 'Naked and the Dead' both made the Modern Library list of Top100 novels written in English, a notable note.


Doubledf99.99 | 577 comments The Night of the Generals is a pretty good page turner.

The Night of the Generals
The Night of the Generals by Hans Hellmut Kirst
Hans Hellmut Kirst


message 44: by Howard (new)

Howard | 300 comments I haven't read many novels lately but I did think Cross of Iron was a great war novel, better than the movie.


message 45: by 'Aussie Rick', Moderator (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) | 17748 comments Howard wrote: "I haven't read many novels lately but I did think Cross of Iron was a great war novel, better than the movie."

Yep, that was a pretty good WW2 novel!


Doubledf99.99 | 577 comments Howard wrote: "I haven't read many novels lately but I did think Cross of Iron was a great war novel, better than the movie."

Yep I agree, one of the best WWII novels I've had the pleasure of reading.


carl  theaker | 1487 comments Definitely !

Doubledf99.99 wrote: "The Night of the Generals is a pretty good page turner.

The Night of the Generals
The Night of the Generals by Hans Hellmut Kirst
Hans Hellmut Kirst"



carl  theaker | 1487 comments Cross of Iron is a great one. A couple of his others are pretty good too:

Crack of Doom by Willi Heinrich Crack of Doom

More introspective, but still WW2 :

The Crumbling Fortress by Willi Heinrich The Crumbling Fortress


Doubledf99.99 wrote: "Howard wrote: "I haven't read many novels lately but I did think Cross of Iron was a great war novel, better than the movie."

Yep I agree, one of the best WWII novels I've had the pleasure of read..."



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