Slaughterhouse Five


I picked this up because I've been trying to branch out from my typical sci-fi/fantasy. I've heard several friends say that Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut is their favorite book, and so I figured... why not? Let's check it out.

It's bizarre. It's weird. It's not really my thing. But somehow, it's super compelling.

The story is semi-autobiographical, following a fellow named Billy Pilgrim who has become unstuck in time. The story is told disjointedly -- one second Billy is in the trenches in WWII, the next he's a middle-aged optometrist in a strip mall, and the next he's a captive on an alien planet. Yet throughout it all, Billy is just trying to get by. Nobody likes him, nobody loves him, nobody even remotely cares about him, except as a target of hatred and vitriol. Almost everyone else in the book dies. So it goes.

Billy even dies halfway through. So it goes.

It's strange and weird, but it's obvious that this is a classic in the realm of Fahrenheit 451, 1984, and To Kill a Mockingbird. Not because of any similarities between them, but because of the timelessness and the craft that went into the story.

I didn't love it, but I think it's a must-read for anyone who truly enjoys literature.