BOOKS ⚦ Slaughterhouse 5, or The Children's Crusade - A Duty-dance with Death Author Kurt Vonnegut –

Slaughterhouse 5, or The Children's Crusade - A Duty-dance with Death I love this book so I purchased it for my dad for christmas When it arrived some of the pages were stuck together the book had clearly been missed in quality control This is so disappointing because I cant find a way to complain to the seller I dont want to send the book back as it will be at my expense and effort, so I have just had to give it to my dad having taken a pair of scissors to it It s only a small thing, but when you buy a book, at the very least you should be able to turn the pages The Great, Urgent, Passionate American Writer Of Our Century, Who Offers Us A Model Of The Kind Of Compassionate Thinking That Might Yet Save Us From Ourselves George SaundersPrisoner Of War, Optometrist, Time Traveller These Are The Life Roles Of Billy Pilgrim, Hero Of This Miraculously Moving, Bitter And Funny Story Of Innocence Faced With Apocalypse Slaughterhouse Five Is One Of The World S Great Anti War Books Centring On The Infamous Fire Bombing Of Dresden In The Second World War, Billy Pilgrim S Odyssey Through Time Reflects The Journey Of Our Own Fractured Lives As We Search For Meaning In What We Are Afraid To Know An Extraordinary Success A Book To Read And Reread He Is A True Artist New York Times Book Review What an amazing book I am so glad I decided to download it and I read it in a day I enjoy war fiction so the Dresden bombing thread running through the book held my interest And the sci fi parts were interesting too I can see why the book is discussed as being about what is now called PTSD but which had no name until relatively recently. This was not an easy read, and was odd in places but that s the point of it, right If I m right, it s about the pointlessness of war, and of living and dying Anti religion, anti government, anti war, basically The act of the main character being able to move seamlessly through time gave the impression that everything had already happened, will happen again, and is yet to happen.Confused yet I was Well, I was until I read some passages several times, and flicked back to certain parts Honestly, I m glad it wasn t any longer This was hard work, and decidedly harrowing in places I m glad I ve read it at last though.I think I must have some masochistic tendencies when it comes to reading material and not in the erotica sense, necessarily I do like a book that s a challenge I finally got to read this book on the 50th anniversary of its publication The originality of this anti war book made it worth the wait and the themes are as valid today as they ever were.The story is mainly set in Dresden during the Second World War, although eventually the protagonist realises that timeline of his life is something he can choose to enter when he chooses So the story flits from his early days to when he is quite old and he experiences death, getting married, his daughter s marriage and so on.But it his time in Dresden that is the most disturbing He is a prisoner of war during the firebombing, captured as an American soldier fighting for the Allies There is intricate detail of his peers, the characters suffering and the things they had to do to survive The significant feature is that they are young men, naive of the world they inhabit, hence the alternative title of The Children s Crusade.In his future, the protagonist finds himself an exhibit in a glass cage on another planet There he is observed and given a mate in an attempt to breed This could be viewed as a science fiction thread or an escapist strategy due to his post traumatic stress disorder The theme is free will versus fate, both on Earth and on the other planet, concluding that everyone does what they have to do So it goes.The story is witty, ironic and poignant It looks at death, warfare, time, suffering, innocence, morality and fate It is simply written from one man s perspective as he witnesses and lives through the destruction and effects of war An accessible book that leaves plenty to think about. Listen.Billy Pilgrim is not your average character in a work of fiction.This is one of those books that has eluded me for some time Every time I ve thought of getting round to reading it, something else has cropped up to take priority or I ve developed a guilt complex over reading too many male authors But this time, I was determined to get round to getting stuck into what is a relatively short work If, like me, you like to know a tiny bit about a book before reading it, you will know that Slaughterhouse 5 is an anti war book.Upon reading the first chapter, I was rather wrong footed It is the first chapter and doesn t come with a heading of introduction or foreword yet it is written wholly in the first person, who is evidently the author, talking about the book that is to follow In it, he states that while the names have been changed, vignettes of the book remain true to his own experience In particular focus is the fire bombing of Dresden during the Second World War I had to wonder then if this really was a semi biographical work or whether the introduction itself was a work of fiction, much like the introductions of found footage films like The Blair Witch Project.Billy Pilgrim is our central character, around whom the entire narrative is devoted and around whom all the characters come and go like waves on a beach He is what the author describes as being dislocated in time He doesn t have a vessel in which to travel back and forth, he just closes his eyes in one period and wakes up in another, entirely out of his control It removes the sense of now from the novel, as in all times he speaks in the present tense At one time he is a soldier, a prisoner of war, a veteran and a man about to die He is also a person who has been abducted by aliens called Trafalmadorians who sit outside of time.The main thought that went through my head as I read was the similarity in style and aim to that of Catch 22 a book that I have long hated as it s a fantastic idea but very poorly executed Here, there isn t anything quite as strong in the ideas department but while Heller is a decidedly mediocre writer with an over inflated reputation, Konnegut is a much better writer.The other thought was where is Dresden Not in the geographical sense, but in the fact that the book only makes a few references to it and it is not until right at the end that Billy finds himself in that city during the firebombing, as a prisoner of war who survives, unlike the many thousands of civilians who were murdered in what was probably the worst war crime the United Kingdom ever committed, yet like later war crimes, such as the war against Iraq, the United Kingdom was never prosecuted.The whole sideline of the aliens I found a little distracting They were never properly fleshed out and just drifted in and out of the story, which would have progressed if that is the right word for a book with a non linear timeline just fine without them What we are left with is a book that seems to be intentionally fractured There are moments of sharp cynicism interspersed with periods of mundaneness, but even these are interesting and well written Do I regret having put off reading it for so long I can t say it blew me away like Love In The Time Cholera did, but I m certainly glad I did read it and would recommend it to you if you ve not read it already.Oh yes, I almost forgot to mention the work ends with an onomatopoeic bird song Poo tee weet.

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