Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

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37 comments

  • The premise sounds really good. I’ve actually never put Slaughterhouse Five on my TBR shelf, I guess the name put me off. But knowing this is based on the authors own experiences I think I’ll give it a go. Thanks for the review Lashaan ☺️

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  • Vonnegut has never held any appeal to me and knowing what I do about the story I’ve never been really tempted to try it to “broaden my reading experience”. I’m definitely not completely ruling it out but I would need some sort of compelling reason to dive into it.

    I had NO idea that a movie existed. How did you find out about it? Just random reading on Wikipedia or something?

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    • And… I doubt I helped you out with this review then hahah. I still plan on trying a couple more of his books before deciding if his style is for me or nah.

      I actually assumed that it existed since every classic I’ve read so far has had at least one live-action adaptation attempt. 😂 IMDb then confirmed it for me.

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  • I liked the book a lot, although not as much as Breakfast of Champions (Kilgore was for years one of the names I frequently used to name my RPG characters 😉 ) or Cat’s Cradle. An unusual anti-war novel, and out there with Catch-22… and perhaps not as good, but I confess I like Vonnegut’s style and humour. I remember seeing the movie, but being much less impressed than by the book…

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    • Hahahahah I can totally see a giant warrior with that name too. I’ll definitely look into trying those two out though. Can’t rule him out just yet after one attempt at his peculiar style. As for the movie… I can only imagine how hard it must be to adapt this story! 😂

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  • I like the themes and messages you mention, but I am less certain I would get along with the wrapping and writing style. However, I have never read Vonnegut, so perhaps this would be a good one to try out.

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  • Great review! I’ve been aware of this book for a long time but didn’t feel I could tackle it. I’m still not sure I will, but thanks for bringing it more to my attention 🙂

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  • This book, and Vonnegut in general, has been on my list for a while. It’s that desire to at least try as many of the classics as possible. I don’t know when I’ll get around to trying him, and I’m not sure if I’ll try this or one of his other books. But I appreciate the review. It tells me more about the book than I’d known before.

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    • It is on that desire that I had initially an interest in his work, this one in particular. I do hear great things about his other work but if you’re curious enough, this one isn’t that bad either. Especially if you know what you’re getting into! 😂 Thank you so much for reading, Todd.

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  • I enjoyed the book so much also for the things that make it inaccessible – after all, those that experienced war are rarely able to talk about it, and never able to communicate their experience fully. I always thought of Slaughterhouse disjointed structure as a metaphor of a human brain going into a kind of shock caused by near-death experience and seeing not only the past but also possible futures or other paths not taken. Then again, I’d read it years ago and maybe my take on it today would have been totally different 😉

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    • I can definitely understand that. I wanted to appreciate the purpose behind the style but I was more distracted by it than impressed by it. I do like how you ended up seeing it in the end, giving it more credit than other readers could. Do you recommend any other Vonnegut novel in particular yourself?

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      • I’m partial to The Breakfast of Champions, it’s a pinnacle of Vonnegut’s style, absurd and tragic and funny at the same time. Cat’s Cradle is solid, too, but not as good, at least in my opinion.
        I read a lot of war-related stuff, and I think – I hope, really – that I can appreciate how difficult it is to write about it as to not fall into banality or pathos. Vonnegut’s attempt is ambitious and unique, and true to himself, and that’s already elevating Slaughterhouse Five into a very exclusive category 😉 But I totally agree that this book requires a lot of good will and perseverance, and ultimately won’t strike a chord with everyone, stylistically insular as it is.

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        • I appreciate the thoughts on his other work. It is true that the more original takes on the subjects make for more interesting reads when you already have read through a lot of those kinds of stories. Maybe in the far future, a reread of Slaughterhouse-Five will have me praising it as the best antiwar story of all time. 😀

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  • Now that I’ve had time to properly read this review my comment is …heck! I would not have been able to finish it due to his writing. If it ends up by not making any sense at all and having no logic I would have had a hard time!

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  • Great write-up sir. I’ve often heard of, or glanced at the title of this novel over the years but for some unknown reason never investigated it further (maybe I thought it was a straight-up slasher-horror story or something?). It sounds fascinating and a cool SF concept that comments on the ills of war…but, yeah, it really sounds like it’s fumble in the execution via the author’s attempts to be original and unconventional – which sometimes can be too smart a thing for it’s own good…so it goes (I think the over-repetition of one specific line would drive me crazy…although I had no issues with “Darkseid is”).

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    • Thanks, Chris! I too thought it was going to something else, maybe a historical fiction with a horror component to it since I knew it was sci-fi. Unfortunately, this is what it was and it’s not a very accessible read but definitely has its fair share of originality! And yes hahaah there are some forms of repetition that are far more digestible! It’s just how it’s used that ultimately kills it for me hahah

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    • I haven’t dared to watch the movie myself for now. I’ll probably pop a review of it on my blog if I ever do though. It would make for a good round of venting, I believe. 😀

      Although, I do think it must’ve been a nearly impossible task to adapt the book. The movie probably struggled a lot.

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