Slaughterhouse Five

Author: Kurt Vonnegut

This is a book I read back in the late sixties and reread today, November 11, 2000, Veterans' Day – or Armistice Day. I was inspired to read it after hearing some veterans of World War II tell of their experiences on a local PBS television show called "In Touch." One of the guests was in the same group of war prisoners in Dresden as Vonnegut and tells an interesting story about him, which added to my respect for Vonnegut.

Slaughterhouse-five has been described as an anti-war novel, and by at least one critic it has been described as being "as important as any book written since 1945." It has been described as an absurdist classic, but its success rises perhaps from its devotion to reality rather than to glory.

Some have found it difficult to read. A reader of Slaughterhouse-five should relax and absorb the writing without trying to superimpose order on it. It is about the thoughts of a man looking back on his experiences in the war and his life after the war, and such thoughts do not come in chronological order. They just come – realities mixed with fantasy.