Slaughterhouse 5 by Kurt Vonnegut

I basically picked this book up because someone on my English course basically made me promise to read it in exchange for him reading The Fault in Our Stars by John Green on my recommendation. I bought the Random House Vintage Classics edition because it is my favourite edition of the book and also it matches all of my other Vintage editions of classics.

At only 177 pages, Slaughterhouse 5 is a semi-autobiographical account of World War II with focus on the Dresden bombings. I have never read many war novels so this was a new topic for me and I found the way this book is written to be very easy to get into and surprisingly humourous.

One part that really struck me was about a third of the way through when narrator Billy Pilgrim describes a film he’s seen about the war backwards, with the bombs being extracted by the planes from the burning cities to the bombs eventually being turned into minerals and buried so no one can use them. This was an interesting way of getting the anti-war message across and it struck me as a poignant motif in the novel.

The time travel aspect of this novel was seamless and beautifully executed with Billy traveling from one time to another within paragraphs. It never felt jarring or unnecessary and I think that this is one of the main things that kept me reading through the book.

The quirkiness of this book was unexpected, I had heard little about it before reading. The themes discussed were vast yet remained entertaining throughout and I think that my reading of it would definitely benefit from a reread. Overall I absolutely loved this and I pretty much read it in one sitting. It is definitely one of my favourite modern classics.

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