08 July 2011

Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut

Slaughterhouse Five

Rated- *****
I read this book earlier this year and I have to say it was rather incredible. Personally, I don't care for war, I think that murder in any way is morally reprehensible. That being said, Vonnegut has written a great fictionalized biography. It is both funny and painful, beautiful and sickening. I was not sure if such a thing can be accomplished, but Mr Vonnegut has proved me very wrong.

Written when the Cold War was in it's height, Vonnegut showed the world how he survived World War II, similar to the manner that the crew of M*A*S*H had in Korea. The brutal honesty of this novel makes you hate the idea of war being anything but a horrible idea. He shows us all that there is no glory in going to war, only nightmares and death.  We are taken for a short walk through his memories and are shown that there is no such thing as a fair war.

Slaughterhouse Five has been touted as the first of the anti-war novels. I'm not sure if this is true, but certainly was the first one I'd read. And I am glad of that. I don't think any other novel could have captured the true grit and horror that is war.

While at times, he seems to ramble on and digress, Vonnegut uses this as a way to compare "normal" to "horror". Sometimes they are starkly different, sometimes they are reflections of each other. There are moments in which we, as readers, are unsure where the story is going and why, but then no one really knows their path. I believe that Vonnegut was trying to show us that. To me, he succeeded with flying colours

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