Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I’m not sure I can write a review that really does Slaughterhouse-Five proper justice. Vonnegut says so much about war and humanity in this short novel–I just don’t feel like I was able to process it all in my first read. There was no fluffy prose at all; each word was part of a larger message.
I make no claims about my skills of literary analysis. Most of the novels that I’ve been asked to break down and write about, whether it was in high school or college, I came to dislike, even if I might have enjoyed them in other circumstances. I read this novel for leisure, but I actually feel like I would enjoy further analysis in this case. At some point, maybe in a few years, I think I would like to re-read it and see what I take from it in a second read, see what I take from it after another few years of life experiences.
What I did take from the novel pretty much boils down to this: war is senseless. It’s full of death and atrocities for no good reason. I don’t think you could read Slaughterhouse-Five and NOT pick up on that.
However, I believe that Vonnegut was saying lot more than that. His points also seemed to imply that life in general can be random, perhaps even stemming on pointless, and full of its own little horrors.
Even though the time travel aspect of the novel was not the focal point of Vonnegut’s statement, I enjoyed how he employed it to support his message nonetheless.
Honestly, I think I would recommend Slaughterhouse-Five to anyone. It’s the kind of work that says so much about life–I feel like it’s an essential read for all people, not just science fiction fans.