Kurt Vonnegut: Slaughterhouse-Five (1969)

I was in Maastricht for a couple of days to give some workshops, and the last day, when waiting for the others to get ready after breakfast and having an hour to spare, I decided to go for a little walk around. That is when I discovered this awesome bookshop inside a catherdal, and acting upon emotions and feeling like I should treat myself, bought the book.


I’m surprised I had not got to Vonnegut earlier, because I remember a lot of my friends being fans of him during high school. When I started the book, I really enjoyed it and thought it would be good, but I guess I was somewhat disapointted when the “actual book” within a book started because AGAIN, it was more symbolic and sounded like a lot of gibberish at times. Nevertheless, I was devouring the book quite fast given the free time I had, so I can say I enjoyed it.

The main character of the book was Billy Pilgrim, who was a conflicting figure for me because I couldn’t decide whether I liked him or not. He was naive and stupid in war and seemed useless, but at the same time I felt sorry for him because no one is born to go to war, and he did not wish to live and be a burden so all of his survival is kind of an accident. His timetravel around and encounter with extraterrestrial creatures stating that everything is already ordered and cannot be changed added an interesting twist to the story. The book always spoilt the future by claiming things like.. this person is going to die then and there. So you would always have a glimpse into the timetravel and know what was the outcome, although not necessarily how it would happen. The book gave a really good idea what war can do to someone’s brain. Billy seemed damaged whereas others were trying to find profit in war and good things (looting off dead bodies and also writing a book on the bombing).


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