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Name: Slaughterhouse-Five

Full title: Slaughterhouse-Five or The Children's Crusade
Author: Kurt Vonnegut
Year: 1969
Rank: 4.3 out of 5
Rating: 4.1 out of 5
Original Rating: 4.1 out of 5
Popularity: 9.9
Genres/categories: Classic, Science fiction, Fiction, Award winners, War/Military, Fantasy

Purchase/research links:

ISBN:
9780613647885
9780808514572
9780812417753
9780886461300
9781559949255
0613647882
0808514571
0812417755
0886461308
1559949252
Winner of the National Book Award for Fiction in 1970.

Kurt Vonnegut's absurdist classic Slaughterhouse-Five introduces us to Billy Pilgrim, a man who becomes unstuck in time after he is abducted by aliens from the planet Tralfamadore. In a plot-scrambling display of virtuosity, we follow Pilgrim simultaneously through all phases of his life, concentrating on his (and Vonnegut's) shattering experience as an American prisoner of war who witnesses the firebombing of Dresden.

Don't let the ease of reading fool you - Vonnegut's isn't a conventional, or simple, novel. He writes, "There are almost no characters in this story, and almost no dramatic confrontations, because most of the people in it are so sick, and so much the listless playthings of enormous forces. One of the main effects of war, after all, is that people are discouraged from being characters."

Slaughterhouse-Five is not only Vonnegut's most powerful book, it is also as important as any written since 1945. Like Catch- 22, it fashions the author's experiences in the Second World War into an eloquent and deeply funny plea against butchery in the service of authority. Slaughterhouse-Five boasts the same imagination, humanity, and gleeful appreciation of the absurd found in Vonnegut's other works, but the book's basis in rock-hard, tragic fact gives it a unique poignancy - and humor.