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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.
Don't let the ease of reading fool you--Vonnegut's isn't a conventional, or simple, novel. He writes, "There are almost no characters in this story, and almost no dramatic confrontations, because most of the people in it are so sick, and so much the listless playthings of enormous forces. One of the main effects of war, after all, is that people are discouraged from being characters..." Slaughterhouse-Five (taken from the name of the building where the POWs were held) is not only Vonnegut's most powerful book, it is as important as any written since 1945. Like Catch- 22, 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 a unique poignancy--and humor.
"Listen: Billy Pilgrim has become unstuck in time." So begins Vonnegut's absurdist 1969 classic. Hawke rises to the occasion of performing this sliced-and-diced narrative, which is part sci-fi and partially based on Vonnegut's experience as a American prisoner of war in Dresden, Germany during the firebombing of 1945 that killed thousands of civilians. Billy travels in time and space, stopping here and there throughout his life, including his long visit to the planet Tralfamador, where he is mated with a porn star. Hawke adopts a confidential, whisper-like tone for his reading. Listening to him is like listening to someone tell you a story in the back of a busthe perfect pitch for this book. After the novel ends, Vonnegut himself speaks for a short while about his survival of the Dresden firestorm and describes and names the man who inspired this story. Tacked on to the very end of this audio smorgasbord is music, a dance single that uses a vintage recording of Vonnegut reading from the book. Though Hawke's reading is excellent, one cannot help but wish Vonnegut himself had read the entire text.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Slaughterhouse Five was a very informing and interesting book. It was a tough book to put down because of its intense content. Read morePublished 16 hours ago by John Ross
Slaughterhouse Five is a novel that doesn't neatly fit into a specific genre but includes dark
humor, war stories, and even aliens. Read more
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut is one of the most absurd, ridiculous, fantastic, and powerful books written in the last century. Read morePublished 21 hours ago by Brian Ziegler
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut is a fantastic novel and an amazing piece of American literature. Read morePublished 22 hours ago by Jan A. Becker
Slaughterhouse Five, a book that will no doubt live on forever in literary history. There is nothing about this book that I did not love, it’s not the most straightforward book,... Read morePublished 1 day ago by Nick
Kurt Vonnegut is an artist when it comes to writing and Slaughter House Five is his master piece. This book grabbed onto me from the sat like a sticky hand toy you get from a... Read morePublished 1 day ago by ryan bergin
Read it for American Literature. I really like it. Great writer, written very differently than most books. Be ready to pay attention.Published 4 days ago by Jennifer Nollie