Sunday, May 25, 2008
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut is one of those books that I can't believe I didn't read sooner. Luckily, the Numbers Challenge gave me just the motivation I needed to jump it to the top of the To-Be-Read list. Not to mention, a friend had "So it goes." tattooed to his arm. I had to figure out what that was all about!
Slaughterhouse-Five is the great anti-war novel with a sci-fi twist. I never read sci-fi. This was a stretch... but I'm glad I did it. Billy Pilgrim is a veteran of World War II and a witness of the bombing at Dresden. He is also at the mercy of the aliens of Tralfamadore who have gifted him with the ability to travel to different points in his life (although he cannot control it!). The story is told by whipping around to different stages of Billy's life, a very effective and surprisingly not confusing technique. The repeated refrain of "So it goes." helps to move the novel forward, despite the many tragedies it details. (However, at each "So it goes." my mind would automatically reply, "Kevin...Kevin's tattoo...")
One of my favorite bits of this book, is the alternate title. "The Children's Crusade: A Duty Dance with Death"
Reccomendation: Now is the perfect time for a classic anti-war novel.