RSS

Category Archives: Kurt Vonnegut

Thoughts: Slaughterhouse Five

Slaughterhouse-FiveSlaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

“Ladies and gentleman, welcome to this evening’s show! We are delighted, no, elated, to bring forth to you this wondrous human specimen for your viewing pleasure! Make of him what you will, but be warned…you will most likely be wrong.”

A tall, lanky man with overly exaggerated good posture lunged before the crowd from stage-right. His dark hair was cropped neatly against his scalp, his chest was slightly concave with snake-like arms reaching nearly to his knees. He was not an all together ill-proportioned sight since his legs seemed to stem from his sternum. If he would have placed his palm flush to his face, his fingers may have reached to the crown of his head and his feet were like skis. With each step he waved to different portions of the crowd; imparting a thin grin which bore no teeth. As he reached the master of ceremonies, a faint crush was heard below his frame. The beat of the crowd’s “Ooo’s” and “Ahhh’s” drummed in unbroken rhythm while the MC’s open arms and shiny smile embraced them without a twitch. The man had stepped on a large beetle and when he quickly and dramatically crossed himself, uttering “So it goes”, the crowd bellowed with laughter and applause.

The narrative of Slaughterhouse-Five was wildly entertaining. I don’t think I’ve ever taken a quirk-ridden piece as seriously as I had this. Kurt Vonnegut presents a new and somewhat tangible view of psychological derangement. The manifestation of Pilgrim’s derangement, at first, is nonsensical beyond the vague and meaningless statement that soldier’s get mentally scarred from enduring war. Yet we see a link between the Tralfamidorian’s non-linear perspective on time and how a soldier views his experiences from memory. Those wartime memories never cease to be real, since they are experienced over and over again, so time traveling through them is just as reasonable in explaining their reality as trying to convince oneself of their harmless existence in the past in order to crawl back into the safe, maternal arms of the present. The narrative, in its language and tone, mirrors this theme perfectly and playfully.

There were a couple things I haven’t worked out yet. The narrator, as a character, randomly appears in his own narrative which caused me to wonder how he knew so much about Billy Pilgrim’s life, since he had become a distant and meaningless prop in his own story, twice I think, and not just its teller. Also, the very last section of the book, which I will not ruin for you here, caused me to doubt assumptions I had made about the narrator’s role all together.

I must say, aside from the craftiness of the narrative, I found Slaughterhouse-Five descent but by no means amazing. For one who is always looking for a fresh voice and crafty prose, look no further.

Now I’ve finished my review. So it goes.

View all my reviews

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 25, 2012 in Kurt Vonnegut

 

Tags: ,

 
Celia Fitzgerald

"All we need to do is want to achieve something great and then simply do it." - Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

The Life and Adventures of a Bibliophile

A Love of Language Put Into Words

Lipsyy Lost & Found

Judging books by their covers since the 90s

746 Books

Confessions of a Book Buying Addict

Exploring Classics

Exploring Literary Classics From Around The World

The Five-Eyed Bookworm

Eclectic Reader. Lover of beautiful book covers.

Redline: Live to Drive!

To share my passion of motorsports to all my readers! To get people of all ages and income levels into the absolute best vehicle possible for their specific needs and to make driving enjoyable every single day!

Consumed by Ink

A word after a word after a word is power. --Margaret Atwood

The Blerd Book Club

Many minds wrapped around a good book.

BLURBNSTUFF

BLURBS ABOUT BOOKS

adoptingjames

Read our Mission. Find out how you can help us adopt James.

Hesperus Press

Independent publishers of both contemporary and classic, neglected and translated books.

Nishita's Rants and Raves

about books, movies, restaurants, and anything else under the sun...

This Is Where The Magic Happens

Literature & Other Loves

Tasseled Book Blog

I read, therefore I am

Stories by Mercilo Daviss

Worlds and moments in just a few words. Have a look around and stay awhile.

pulitzerschmulitzer

My project to read the Pulitzer winners for fiction

The View From Sari's World

Where History & Literature Meet

Stuck in the South

If your into books, movies, celebrity gossip, and love hearing about it from a college senior stuck in MS then this is the blog for you!

%d bloggers like this: