By Kurt Vonnegut o-o-o-o-o
Finally got around to reading SLAUGHTERHOUSE-FIVE by Kurt Vonnegut after every goddamn American I know recommended it to me upon finding out about my travels to Dresden. And for good reason. THIS BOOK IS FANTASTIC!
This has got to be the most non-linear thing I've ever read in my life, but it is not the least bit confusing. Also one of the most engrossing. I don't remember being so engrossed in a book since THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF KAVALIER AND CLAY.
It may also be one of the most quotable books. It is also a book with a heart, a book with a mission. It's an anti-war book. And one that manages to be laugh-out-loud funny.
But perhaps most astonishingly is that its an anti-war book that has no villains. This is World War 2. There are Nazis.
When was the last time you read or saw anything WW2-related that contained no villains to speak of? And the book is perfect, I tell you. Perfect!
Vonnegut even comments on that in the book.
I think about my education sometimes. I went to the University of Chicago for a while after the 2nd World War. I was a student in the Department of Anthropology. At that time, they were teaching that there was absolutely no difference between anybody. They may be teaching that still.
Another thing they taught was that nobody was ridiculous or bad or disgusting. Shortly before my father died, he said to me “you know – you never wrote a story with a villain in it.”
I told him that was one of the things I learned in college after the war. SLAUGHTERHOUSE-FIVE by Kurt Vonnegut. Everyone should read it.