'The great, urgent, passionate American writer of our century, who offers us a model of the kind of compassionate thinking that might yet save us from ourselves.' George Saunders Prisoner of war, optometrist, time-traveller - these are the life roles of Billy Pilgrim, hero of this miraculously moving, bitter and funny story of innocence faced with apocalypse. Slaughterhouse Five is one of the world's great anti-war books. Centring on the infamous fire-bombing of Dresden in the Second World War, Billy Pilgrim's odyssey through time reflects the journey of our own fractured lives as we search for meaning in what we are afraid to know. 'An extraordinary success. A book to read and reread. He is a true artist' New York Times Book Review
A special fiftieth anniversary edition of Kurt Vonnegut’s masterpiece, “a desperate, painfully honest attempt to confront the monstrous crimes of the twentieth century” (Time), featuring a new introduction by Kevin Powers, author of the National Book Award finalist The Yellow Birds Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best novels of all time Slaughterhouse-Five, an American classic, is one of the world’s great antiwar books. Centering on the infamous World War II firebombing of Dresden, the novel is the result of what Kurt Vonnegut described as a twenty-three-year struggle to write a book about what he had witnessed as an American prisoner of war. It combines historical fiction, science fiction, autobiography, and satire in an account of the life of Billy Pilgrim, a barber’s son turned draftee turned optometrist turned alien abductee. As Vonnegut had, Billy experiences the destruction of Dresden as a POW. Unlike Vonnegut, he experiences time travel, or coming “unstuck in time.” An instant bestseller, Slaughterhouse-Five made Kurt Vonnegut a cult hero in American literature, a reputation that only strengthened over time, despite his being banned and censored by some libraries and schools for content and language. But it was precisely those elements of Vonnegut’s writing—the political edginess, the genre-bending inventiveness, the frank violence, the transgressive wit—that have inspired generations of readers not just to look differently at the world around them but to find the confidence to say something about it. Authors as wide-ranging as Norman Mailer, John Irving, Michael Crichton, Tim O’Brien, Margaret Atwood, Elizabeth Strout, David Sedaris, Jennifer Egan, and J. K. Rowling have all found inspiration in Vonnegut’s words. Jonathan Safran Foer has described Vonnegut as “the kind of writer who made people—young people especially—want to write.” George Saunders has declared Vonnegut to be “the great, urgent, passionate American writer of our century, who offers us . . . a model of the kind of compassionate thinking that might yet save us from ourselves.” Fifty years after its initial publication at the height of the Vietnam War, Vonnegut's portrayal of political disillusionment, PTSD, and postwar anxiety feels as relevant, darkly humorous, and profoundly affecting as ever, an enduring beacon through our own era’s uncertainties. “Poignant and hilarious, threaded with compassion and, behind everything, the cataract of a thundering moral statement.”—The Boston Globe
Slaughterhouse-Five is part autobiographical, part science-fiction, part sarcastic master work by Kurt Vonnegut. It is often assigned by college and high school reading and writing classes, especially when our President wants us to go out and kill somebody. Slaughterhouse-Five came out in 1969 near the height of the War in Vietnam. At that time, our President told us the Vietnam War was a war we had to fight to protect the freedom loving people of South Vietnam from being overwhelmed by the Communist North. We lost that war. Kurt Vonnegut's long awaited war novel proved to be a miracle of compression. It is a contemporary Pilgram's Progress with a hero named curiously enough Billy Pilgrim. He is the son of an American barber. He serves as a chaplain's assistant in the Second World War, is captured by the Germans, survives the largest massacre in European history, the fire bombing of Dresden. (Vonnegut, too, was a prisoner of war and saw that fire storm.) Billy Pilgrim becomes an optometrist after the war, makes a great deal of money, is kidnapped by a flying saucer from the planet Tralfamadore on his daughter's wedding night. He is mated in a public zoo on that planet - to a star of many Earthling blue movies, the gorgeous Montana Wildhack. And so on. Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. speaks to the younger generation. Once mistakenly typed as a science-fiction writer, he is now recognized as a main-stream story teller often fascinated by the magic and comic possibilities of the magazines. His books are widely used in college courses and the groundswell of his present popularity began on college campuses where he was in great demand as a speaker.
Essay from the year 2006 in the subject American Studies - Literature, grade: 1,3, University of Bayreuth (Lehrstuhl fur Amerikanistik), course: PS Representations of War in American Culture, language: English, abstract: The two novels A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway and Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut have a lot in common at first sight. Both are books about wars in Europe written by American authors, and although the protagonists in both novels experience things that are partly very similar to their authors' experiences, none of the novels is an autobiography, e.g. Hemingway's story ends about two months before he went to Europe (Cooper, 33). Both of the novels deal not only with war stories but roam around other genres, be it a science fiction story in Vonnegut's case or a love story in Hemingway's. Both authors had direct and severe experiences with war. Despite of all similarities we also find very big differences in the depiction of war and the way the two authors cope with their shocking experiences. Both of the authors use a very own and subjective depiction of war in their novels and we find big differences in the way they describe war. This essay will take a closer look on how the two novels depict war in different ways and the messages that we can draw from their works."
Shadows of Slaughterhouse Five chronicles the story of 150 American POWs captured in the Battle of the Bulge and eventually caught up in one of the greatest tragedies of World War II---the firebombing of Dresden. This collection includes oral histories, previously unpublished memoirs, and letters from home and from the front that together tell their compelling story in their own words. From simple hometown beginnings through the awakenings of military life in basic training, from assignment on the supposed "quiet zone" in Belgium to the unexpected Battle of the Bulge, from forced march and entrainment to eventual assignment on work details in Dresden --- the "Florence of the Elbe," to the inferno of Dresden on February 13-14, 1945, and the gruesome work details to follow, the individual and collective recollections and reflections of these 150 young men, the men housed in the famed Slaughterhouse Five, reveal a very personal side of war and the struggle for survival. Yet repatriation did not bring closure to this chapter of their young lives for like shadows their memories would forever be part of them. Today more than sixty years after the firebombing of Dresden, the statue of a steer wishing health and happiness to the citizens of Dresden still stands at the entrance to the public slaughterhouse, a silent witness to the maelstrom that descended upon Dresden and this group of 150 American POWs housed within, Now after more than 60 years of silence for most of these men, Kurt Vonnegut's fellow POWs tell their story of Slaughterhouse Five, in their words as they saw it --- dog face young soldiers assured that the war was soon to be over!
REA's MAXnotes for Kurt Vonnegut Jr.'s Slaughterhouse-Five MAXnotes offer a fresh look at masterpieces of literature, presented in a lively and interesting fashion. Written by literary experts who currently teach the subject, MAXnotes will enhance your understanding and enjoyment of the work. MAXnotes are designed to stimulate independent thought about the literary work by raising various issues and thought-provoking ideas and questions. MAXnotes cover the essentials of what one should know about each work, including an overall summary, character lists, an explanation and discussion of the plot, the work's historical context, illustrations to convey the mood of the work, and a biography of the author. Each section of the work is individually summarized and analyzed, and has study questions and answers.
Wide Ruled Notebook. Size: 6 inches x 9 inches. 55 sheets (110 pages for writing). Slaughterhouse Five - everything Was Beautiful And Nothing Hurt. 158403269332. TAGs: slaughterhouse, 5, five, everything was beautiful and nothing hurt, book, quote, literary, grave, death, so it goes, kurt vonnegut, vonnegut, fiction, story, pop culture, classic
This book raises questions about the just war tradition through a critical examination of its revival and by juxtaposing it with a literary phenomenology of war. Recent public debate about war has leaned heavily on a just-war tradition dating back many centuries. This book examines the recent revival of that tradition in the United States and Britain, arguing that it is less coherent and comprehensive as an approach to the ethical issues arising from war than is generally supposed, and that it is inconsistent in important ways with the theology on which it was originally based. A second line of criticism is mounted through close readings of modern texts in English - from Britain, Australia and the USA – that together constitute a more subjective, bottom-up understanding of the moral dilemmas of military life. In this second tradition the task of representing war is seen as more problematic, and its rationality more questionable, than in just war discourse. Works by William Shakespeare, Sir Walter Scott, James Fennimore Cooper, Stephen Crane, John Buchan, Robert Louis Stevenson, Joseph Conrad, Tim O’Brien and Kurt Vonnegut are featured. The book will be of great interest to students and scholars of security studies, military studies, theology and international relations.