2013 Reading: Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

slaughterhouse fiveSlaughterhouse-Five: A Novel by Kurt Vonnegut is something I know I should have read a long time ago. I read some Vonnegut when I was young, but somehow I never managed to read this one.

The book, as everyone probably knows, is about Billy Pilgrim, a soldier who is captured by the Germans during WWII and finds himself in Dresden during the bombing of that city near the end of the war. The narrator of the story was also there, just as Vonnegut was in real life. But the structure, by focusing on Billy, allows Vonnegut to go far beyond hat “really” happened.

Pilgrim experiences all times at once–before the war, his captivity in the war, life with his wife, after his wife’s death, his periods of hospitalization, and importantly, his capture by aliens. Time is something of an illusion, as is death.

And so it goes.

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