If you were expecting Slaughterhouse 5 to be a historical novel, you are half-right – you should also be warned that there are aliens, Trafalmadorians to be precise, in it. How is that even possible? Well Vonnegut offers it all in one book: life, death, love, hate, war, war crimes, ethics and aliens.
The novel is based on the author’s personal experience during the allied bombing of Dresden, where he was held prisioner in a slaughterhouse. This is an ode against war; it shows its cruelty and a sad true: sometimes humans are simply powerless and can’t change the way things are, and yet go on living.
The main character, Billy, is kind of weird, to say the least. He sometimes simply disconnects and time-travels through his life and that’s how we get to know him and what he went through. At times confusing, this is a raw story about the psyche of a veteran who has been to hell and back, who might be crazy, who might be suffering post-traumatic stress or he might just be talking to aliens. That’s up to the reader to find out and so it goes.
Review by Euge Robbio – From Marcelo T. de Alvear’s branch.
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