Slaughterhouse-Five is the now famous parable of Billy Pilgrim, a World War II veteran and POW who has, in the later stage of his life, become "unstuck in time" and who experiences at will or unwillingly all known events of his chronology out of order and sometimes simultaneously. Traumatized by the bombing of Dresden at the time he had been imprisoned, Pilgrim drifts through all events and history, sometimes deeply implicated, sometimes a witness. He is surrounded by Vonnegut's usual large cast of continuing characters notably here the hack science fiction writer Kilgore Trout and the alien Tralfamadorians, who oversee his life and remind him constantly that there is no causation, no order, no motive to existence.
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Kurt Vonnegut's absurdist classic Slaughterhouse-Five introduces us to Billy Pilgrim, a man who becomes 'unstuck in time' after he is abducted by aliens from the planet Tralfamadore. In a plot-scrambling display of virtuosity, we follow Pilgrim simultaneously through all phases of his life, concentrating on his and Vonnegut's shattering experience as an American prisoner of war who witnesses the firebombing of Dresden. Slaughterhouse-Five is not only Vonnegut's most powerful book, it is also as important as any written since Like Catch , it fashions the author's experiences in the Second World War into an eloquent and deeply funny plea against butchery in the service of authority. Slaughterhouse-Five boasts the same imagination, humanity, and gleeful appreciation of the absurd found in Vonnegut's other works, but the book's basis in rock-hard, tragic fact gives it unique poignancy, and humor. Follow Us On. Search Go Advanced Search. Buy from a third party:.
Many of us grade the books we read, but Kurt Vonnegut graded the books he wrote. I am comparing myself with myself. You can, of course, read these books yourself — or you can hear them read aloud, at least in abridged versions, for free on Spotify. The recordings come from the label Caedmon, pioneers of the vinyl-album proto-audiobook beginning in the s with a record of Dylan Thomas reading his poetry. Their Vonnegut-reading-Vonnegut releases came out through the s.
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