Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Slaughter House Five

The Crystal Palace a sign of Modern Times

Slaughterhouse-FiveSlaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow! What can a man say that has never fought in a war, never been shot at, and never seen the effects of wars first hand: I feel kind of cheap in reviewing this book especially about the war scenario portrayed in the book Slaughter House Five.

But this book is more a commentary on life.   Vonnegut is not a a bleeding heart liberal, a pacifist. He is a "modern prophet" telling humans to wake up from their vegetative state,wake up, and feel again.  This book will make you feel again.   It will make you question again.   It will not be easy to feel again, but weak people should die from their need to hide history in volumes of correlated data points.
And so it goes...

Flag of Balkanized Chicago

The role of the author according to Vonnegut(from my extrapolation) is to be the optometrist for the historical era they live in.  Optometrists help near sided people see far away, and far sided people to see what's near.   The optometrist helps people see again rightly.  One way the novelist does this is by providing a way to break from the cold, safe, logistical view of humanity. We are to see the heart of entombed volumes of historical data, by walking with the participants of historical moments.  It is easy to distance oneself from a number, 135,000 people.   It is easy to dismiss the death of characterized evil beings from a far away land.  But Vonnegut forces one to look again at these people, and what war did to Dresden.

The book is a puzzle to be puzzled out and will be fully answered at the end of the book.   So read the whole thing before quiting it.

Science Fiction Elements

  1. Tralfamadorians and the Zoo on Zircon 212: Vonnegut uses an alien landscape so we can observe how inhumane number crunchers in ivory laid towers act like. The reader can safely compare their own time with that of alienated world of the Tralfamadorians on Zircon 212.
  2. Time Travel:  Time is moved by the semioticians people who interpret the signs of the time and frames the time according to their purposes.   Vonnegut use time travel to allow the reader to compare different eras in the modern world.   

I cluck this book real high, just be prepared for a book that may move you down into the mucky reality of modern warfare/lifestyles.

AuthorKurt Vonnegut
CountryUnited States
Genre(s)Dark comedy
Science fiction
War novel
Publication date1969
Media typePrint (Hardback &Paperback)
Pages186 pp (first edition, hardback), 215 pp (Laurel/Dell Books paperback)
ISBNISBN 0-385-31208-3(first edition, hardback)
OCLC Number29960763
LC ClassificationPS3572.O5 S6 1994

Search This Blog