View Poll Results: Slaughter-house 5 by Kurt Vonnegut

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Thread: Slaughter-house 5 by Kurt Vonnegut

  1. #1
    A Student
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    Nov 2009

    Slaughter-house 5 by Kurt Vonnegut

    Just as the casual customer in a bookstore flips through a few random pages before purchasing a book, Kurt Vonnegut randomly writes his masterpiece, Slaughterhouse 5.

    The plot structure (while trying to avoid plot summary or spoilers) is fragmented and seemingly random, and unlike most novels avoids a linear structure. Vonnegut's plot structure gravitates around the opening sentence of the second chapter; Billy Pilgrim becomes unstuck in time. His life is no longer linear. This becomes evident to the reader quickly; each chapter is riddled with passages of Billy being transported to other sections of his life (or in certain situations, other planets). Yet this is not what makes the novel an "American Pastime" of sorts.

    Through iconic phrasing and a seeming apathy (mixed with mild doses of dark humor) Vonnegut presents an idea similar to Carlos Castaneda's early novels; that no moment in time is more important than any other; or more briefly, that every moment in time is equal. No favoritism is necessary because everything is equal. Death is equal in status to one's own birthday. Likewise, Vonnegut's method of presenting this said idea distances himself from humanity (and in some ways, modern thinking) yet this idea resonates with the reader. Everyone, whether intentionally or not, plays favorites. It's perhaps our greatest crime. There's always a friend or sibling we prefer more than the others. But to Vonnegut, such an idea is trifling. He prefers the Tralfamadorian approach (and Castaneda's "Don Juan" approach); that all moments are equal in time; that we should "see" the value in each moment instead of "look" at what is present. And because of the striking originality and cleverness of his prose, symbolism and thematic relevance, Slaughter-House 5 is one of the most significant novels of the past 60 years.

  2. #2
    TobeFrank Paulclem's Avatar
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    Jul 2009
    Coventry, West Midlands
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    What great novel. I studied it at Uni, and was struck the humour and originality.

    I recently read Galapagos, which employs a similar style.

    Good review too.

  3. #3
    solid motherhubbard's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
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    good review. I really enjoyed to book, too.

  4. #4
    Vincit Qui Se Vincit Virgil's Avatar
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    Nov 2005
    New York
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    It's a great work. Thoroughly enjoyed it. And it was a good review.

    "Love follows knowledge." – St. Catherine of Siena

    My literature blog:

  5. #5
    Skol'er of Thinkery The Comedian's Avatar
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    Jul 2008
    where the cold wind blows
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    Agree with all above -- great novel and well written review.
    “Oh crap”
    -- Hellboy

  6. #6
    Vonnegut is one of my favorite authors, well probably my favorite. This book was so good, it made me laugh, think, and just plain enjoy it. His books have something about them that makes you want more and more. Amoung my favorites from him.

  7. #7
    Ostentatious Hypercritic Mr. Pedantic's Avatar
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    Aug 2010
    A Liberal Arts School in the USA
    I remember that excellent novel. My university also is offering a class on it. Great review by the way.

  8. #8
    somewhere else Helga's Avatar
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    Jan 2004
    on the ice in the middle of the sea
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    Great novel, I have only read this book by Vonnegut but I am gonna read more, loved his style.
    I hope death is joyful, and I hope I'll never return -Frida Khalo

    If I seem insensitive to what you are going through, understand it's the way I am- Mr. Spock

    Personally, I think that the unique and supreme delight lies in the certainty of doing 'evil'–and men and women know from birth that all pleasure lies in evil. - Baudelaire

  9. #9
    Original Poster Buh4Bee's Avatar
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    May 2009
    At the north border
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    and so it goes...

    agreed. It is a great novel.

  10. #10
    Registered User
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    Feb 2010
    I had some trouble getting into it at first, but after that it was awesome to read. I've probably read way too many war stories..

    I think 'Galapagos' is even better.

  11. #11
    Registered User Buddha Frog's Avatar
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    Dec 2010
    Streatham, London
    Loved this novel. Vonnegut's style is so laidback, while dealing with really weighty issues. It's an odd but extremely effective juxtaposition, which mirrors the way he slots time travel, anti-war sentiment, and alien visits all together like peas in a pod. Great review.

  12. #12
    Registered User iamnobody's Avatar
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    Aug 2010
    a galaxy far, far away
    I love all things Vonnegut. Cat's Cradle and Breakfast of Champions are my favorites, but Slaughter-House Five is right up there. A great story by a great story teller.
    I like poetry,long walks on the beach and poking dead things with a stick.

  13. #13
    Jeff, in a far away place jlb4tlb's Avatar
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    Aug 2007
    Lancaster, Pennsylvania, United States
    A masterpiece, great review also.
    "Lennie said, "I thought you was mad at me, George."
    "No," said George. "No Lennie. I ain't mad. I never been mad, an' I ain't now. Thats a thing I want ya to know."

  14. #14
    Tralfamadorian Big Dante's Avatar
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    Dec 2010
    One of my favourite novels and a nice review.

  15. #15
    I didn't think it was that great.

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