Wednesday, May 4, 2011

#82 Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

On February 13, 1945 British and American Air Forces bombed the city of Dresden into ruin. This historical event plays a central role in the unhinging of Billy Pilgrim’s mind in this semi-autobiographical novel. Vonnegut, like Billy, was a soldier during WWII. And also like Billy, Vonnegut witnessed the firebombing of Dresden. But unlike Billy, Vonnegut never traveled through time, nor did aliens from the planet Tralfamadore ever kidnap him. Least ways, if these last did occur, Vonnegut never told anyone, unlike Billy who tells of these experiences, much to his daughter’s outrage, on late night radio. War. What is it good for? Throughout this book, Vonnegut vehemently shouts, “Absolutely nothing!”

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