- Paperback: 176 pages
- Publisher: Vintage; New edition edition (7 Aug. 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0099458438
- ISBN-13: 978-0099458432
- Package Dimensions: 17.4 x 11 x 1.6 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (478 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 726,373 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Slaughterhouse 5 (Vintage Crucial Classics) Paperback – 7 Aug 2003
|New from||Used from|
|Paperback, 7 Aug 2003||
Customers who bought this item also bought
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
It took Vonnegut more than 20 years to put his Dresden experiences into words. He explained, "there is nothing intelligent to say about a massacre. Everybody is supposed to be dead, to never say anything or want anything ever again." Slaughterhouse Five is a powerful novel incorporating a number of genres. Only those who have fought in wars can say whether it represents the experience well. However, what the novel does do is invite the reader to look at the absurdity of war. Human versus human, hedonist politicians pressing buttons and ordering millions to their deaths all for ideologies many cannot even comprehend. Flicking between the US, 1940's Germany and Tralfamadore, Vonnegut's semi- autobiographical protagonist Billy Pilgrim finds himself very lost. One minute he is being viewed as a specimen in a Tralfamadorian Zoo, the next he is wandering a post-apocalyptic city looking for corpses. Slaughterhouse Five-Or The Children's Crusade A Duty-Dance with Death is a remarkable blend of black humour, irony, the truth and the absurd. The author regards his work a "failure", millions of readers do not. Released the same time bombs were falling on South East Asia, this title caused controversy and awakening. Essential reading for all. So it goes. --Jon Smith --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
'A marvellous excursion...the writing is pungent, the antics uproarious, the wit as sharp as a hypodermic needle' Daily TelegraphSee all Product description
Top Customer Reviews
‘We went to the New York World’s Fair, saw what the past had been like, […] saw what the future would be like, […]. And I asked myself about the present: how wide it was, how deep it was, how much was mine to keep.’
Billy Pilgrim considers time to be like space. In his view death is simply another moment, a feature on the path of a life. People will continue to exist if remembered.
‘We will all live forever no matter how dead we may sometimes seem to be.’
The tale told is a collection of memories, a non linear life story. In many ways Billy would be considered ordinary: a son, husband, father, successful optometrist. In other ways he was extraordinary: prisoner of war, plane crash survivor, time traveller, alien abductee.
When he starts to share some of his more bizarre memories his daughter remonstrates with him, fearing that he is losing his mind. He asks, what is normal? Bookstores are filled with books about sex and murder; the news is of sport and death; people pay to look at pictures of others, like themselves but with no clothes on; they get excited about the price of things that do not exist called stocks and bonds.Read more ›
The novel that he writes turns out to be about Billy Pilgrim, a war vet like himself, but Dresden becomes just an episode within his narrative about his experiences as a time-traveller. The shift of focus suggests that the brutality of the war experience is too harsh and horrific to be addressed head-on and that it needs to be looked at sideways, mediated by a layered narrative.
Seemingly farcical, born-loser Billy is something of a joke in the army, and his position is non-combat and perfunctory. Death recurs in the novel, and as a way of cushioning the blow, the narrator always appends any mention of it with "and so it goes".
Vonnegut has a distinctive style of writing that is disjointed and episodic, which is filmic in quality, akin to the way a scene fades out to the next. Perhaps this style is also in keeping with the story of a man who becomes "unstuck in time" and begins to view life not as a continuum, and death not as an end, but rather as moments which, when chronology is taken away, causes the finality of circumstances to lose their significance, which also takes away the sting of hopeless events in one's life.
Humorous despite the gravity of the issues dealt with in the novel, Vonnegut manages to adopt an authorial perspective that is neither prescriptive nor heavy-handed, allowing him to speak truthfully about the pain of human suffering without the melodrama.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Returned to this book after first reading it 20 years ago, and my initial reaction has not changed. This is one of the great books of the 20th century.Published 12 days ago by sven
I’ve heard Slaughter-House Five lauded as one of the greatest novels of all time. So I thought I’d give it a try. I wish I hadn’t bothered. I really don’t get the point of it all. Read morePublished 18 days ago by Pamela Scott
A surprising, uplifting and satisfying read - which was not what I expected from a book about the bombing of Dresden. Read it... you'll love it.Published 22 days ago by Joseph Hughes
"Unputdownable", "unmissable", "unreadable" we've seen them all in amongst the many reviews that populate sites like Audible and Amazon. Read morePublished 22 days ago by Simon
I'm at a loss for words after finishing this book. I have just finished re reading it after many years since the last time, and it is even more impressive than at the first... Read morePublished 24 days ago by Amazon Customer
Thoroughly enjoyable short story with ww2, time travel, aliens and a sprinkling of dark humour. It this anti or pro war? I'm not sure. Read morePublished 27 days ago by Mike
I'm not sure I understood the significance of the book at all. The ending popped up out of nowhere and the story could easily have gone on for another 30 years or more. Read morePublished 28 days ago by David Miller