Slaughterhouse-Five – Review

Flashback Friday

Perpetually Past Due

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

Published in 1969

Pages: 275

Genre: Satire, science fiction, dark comedy

“All this happened, more or less.”

Writers are told that the first sentence of their book should simultaneously catch the reader’s eye and set the tone for the story; Vonnegut has achieved both of these with the infamous opening line of Slaughterhouse-Five. Billy Pilgrim, the protagonist, is a man who has come unstuck in time. This doesn’t happen to him of his own accord but is simply something that does happen, will happen, and has always happened. The story of Slaughterhouse-Five flows in and out of time, can be confusing at parts, but finds its way back on course over the years of Billy’s life.

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Cat’s Cradle – Review

Flashback Friday

Perpetually Past Due

Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut

Published in 1963

Pages: 270

Genre: Satire

“Call me Jonah.”

Cat’s Cradle is a story of satirical strangeness and absurd action. A man who calls himself by another name writes in retrospect regarding his research for a book about the end of the world and unwittingly finds himself present at the subject of his novel. Fraught with sarcasm and sardonic criticism of science, religion, technology, war, and many other topics, Cat’s Cradle showcases Kurt Vonnegut’s knack for the nearly nonsensical. (I need to lay off on the alliteration…yeesh)

The book begins with the narrator, John, describing his attempts to write a book about the day that the atom bomb was dropped over Hiroshima; he decides to research Dr. Felix Hoenikker, who was regarded as one of the fathers of the bomb. Through his research, Hoenikker’s strange personality and life story are revealed as John is thrust into…

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The Sirens of Titan – Review

The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut

Published in 1959

Pages: 326

Genre: Science fiction

“Everyone now knows how to find the meaning of life within himself.”

This meaning is most likely less than one would hope after reading through the pages of Kurt Vonnegut’s 1959 novel, The Sirens of Titan. Taking a peak into the ridiculousness of self-imposed importance on the part of the human race, the novel asks the question: are humans as important as we believe we are, or are we simply a means to an end? The story travels around the Milky Way galaxy and beyond, pointing out the absurd and predestined in a sprawling tale that nearly loses sight of its ultimate goal. Continue reading “The Sirens of Titan – Review”

Slaughterhouse-Five – Review

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

Published in 1969

Pages: 275

Genre: Satire, science fiction, dark comedy

“All this happened, more or less.”

Writers are told that the first sentence of their book should simultaneously catch the reader’s eye and set the tone for the story; Vonnegut has achieved both of these with the infamous opening line of Slaughterhouse-Five. Billy Pilgrim, the protagonist, is a man who has come unstuck in time. This doesn’t happen to him of his own accord but is simply something that does happen, will happen, and has always happened. The story of Slaughterhouse-Five flows in and out of time, can be confusing at parts, but finds its way back on course over the years of Billy’s life. Continue reading “Slaughterhouse-Five – Review”

Cat’s Cradle – Review

Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut

Published in 1963

Pages: 270

Genre: Satire

“Call me Jonah.”

Cat’s Cradle is a story of satirical strangeness and absurd action. A man who calls himself by another name writes in retrospect regarding his research for a book about the end of the world and unwittingly finds himself present at the subject of his novel. Fraught with sarcasm and sardonic criticism of science, religion, technology, war, and many other topics, Cat’s Cradle showcases Kurt Vonnegut’s knack for the nearly nonsensical. (I need to lay off on the alliteration…yeesh)

The book begins with the narrator, John, describing his attempts to write a book about the day that the atom bomb was dropped over Hiroshima; he decides to research Dr. Felix Hoenikker, who was regarded as one of the fathers of the bomb. Through his research, Hoenikker’s strange personality and life story are revealed as John is thrust into a journey that will lead to the end of the world as we know it (If you feel inclined to listen to the R.E.M. song , go ahead. I’ll wait). Continue reading “Cat’s Cradle – Review”