Review: Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut


Title: Slaughterhouse-Five
Author: Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Dial Press
Publication Date: January 12th 1999
Page Count: 275

Rating: 4/5

This is my first time reading Kurt Vonnegut, and well, it was definitely one hell of a ride. The story follows Billy Pilgrim a war veteran who has “come unstuck in time”. The novel jumps back and forth between times of the present and past as he travels through time, a symptom that he possesses after being abducted and studied by aliens from a planet called Tralfamadore. Believe me, it gets even crazier.

Vonnegut’s writing style is simple in that it delivers the story easily. I found it easy to go through the book.

I enjoyed the read, but it wasn’t until the last few chapters where I finally had a grasp of what Vonnegut was trying to portray with Billy Pilgrim’s travelling through time. It appears to be such a simple absurdist story that purely jumps from one plot line to the next, yet it also hints at a deeper theme of trauma and the nihilistic acceptance about the passage of time, which is portrayed through the passiveness and indifference of Billy towards everything that is thrown at him.

To be honest, none of these thoughts hit me until I had a few pages left of the novel. The dark humor towards death and the bizarreness of everything that happens is what makes it such an effective satire, and probably why it’s one of the most successful anti-war novels of all times.

Slaughterhouse five was an engaging read and I definitely plan to read it again in the future through a more of a analytical lens (cue in grade 12 literary analysis 😂)

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