Slaughterhouse V

Isn’t it lovely to be sick on the first day of school? You’d think I plan these things. Well, at least I’ve set myself up with excuses to take advantage of.

Another book I read this summer was Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse V. I wanted to read it because that’s one of the more famous books by Vonnegut, and I remember reading another novel by Vonnegut in high school and really liking it. Of course Slaughterhouse V isn’t exactly an ordinary novel. Contrary to the sound of the title, it’s not a bloody slasher novel. It’s about the carpet bombing of Dresden in World War II, when the Allied Forces basically leveled the German city by bombing the entire city and forcing the city to burn to the ground. Citizens were trapped in bomb shelters and roasted alive from the intense heat. The devastation is comparable to Hiroshima.

Understanding all of that, you’d expect it to be a rather gripping novel that teaches you a lot about history. But I’m beginning to understand that Vonnegut isn’t a very predictable author. Slaughterhouse V has a very strange plot line, and for the first few chapters you’re not sure what’s going on. It’s a very interesting way to tell a story. I could explain some intricacies of the plot that you’ll find in the synopsis on the back of the book, but I think it makes it more interesting when you approach the book with little or no knowledge of what it’s about. By the time it was over I was a little surprised. It didn’t meet any of my expectations. But it made me think. And that’s why I read.

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