Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Things that make sense confuse me

I’ve spent a couple hours the last few nights re-reading Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut (the house I live in has no internet, which means I don’t have Netflix to help me sleep). I don’t have a huge repertoire of literature under my belt, so I know I should be branching out, but now that I know I want to read more literature, I figured I’d start with something I knew I would enjoy re-reading.

Slaughterhouse Five is a science fiction satirical historical novel that confuses me in that somehow it all makes complete sense.  The book takes place, for the most part, over a period of half a century, but simultaneously.  It’s science fiction as the soldier Billy Pilgrim, zips around from one point in time to another, and also between the planet of Tralfamadore and Earth, but historical while a central event in the plot is the Dresden Bombings during World War II, which Kurt Vonnegut witnessed while in the military. The book is satirical of war, as Billy doesn’t want to fight. He is actually a bit of a wuss, a refreshing change from the usual glorification of fighting and war. The list of seemingly incongruent elements goes on. But it works so well! 

After I finish Slaughterhouse Five, I’m moving on to books I haven’t read.  I think a terrific choice for my next book would be Catch-22, yes? I look forward it.


  1. OH. Perfect. I've been wanting to read Slaughterhouse for a while, but I couldn't think of the book title the other day! It was killing me. Thank you.

    Also, thank you for including the ethos bit about Vonnegut. His military experience. I appreciated that.

  2. I am in the same boat as you in needing to branch out. But re-reading favorites is still entertaining and at least you know you'll enjoy it!

  3. Rereading is a great way to get into literary analysis, and can actually be a way to branch out. What are novels like this or by this author? Is this a work that responds to another or else to which others have responded?