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Strange and Gripping Psychological Study
on 27 April 2017
Astonishing tour de force of despair really. It is about life and death at a very profound level, but written in such a simple way. The Dresden firestorm in WWII is described deadpan, and thus so much more effectively than with drama. The central character is Everyman, stuck in an impossible situation where he seems helpless to escape - and yet he does, either in a dream or in reality, when he is abducted by aliens. I would never call this science fiction. It is much more the study of one man's psychology, his escape and his denial of his reality, which ranges from utterly banal to absolute horror. Vonnegut himself seems to have been the most compassionate of men, and this sings through. I have to say, soon after I finished reading it, I saw a glorious pair of silver boots in a sale reduced from £120 to £7 and bought them, so influenced was my mind by Slaughterhouse Five.