Monday, May 30, 2011

Slaughterhouse-Five - Book Review

For years my only association with Kurt Vonnegut was from the Rodney Dangerfield movie Back to School. In case your husband hasn't forced you to watch it numerous times (help me!), I'll give you a quick synopsis. Dangerfield plays the part of a successful and rich business owner who goes back to college to help support his wimpy and struggling son.  Only, Dangerfield discovers that he prefers college-style partying to studying so he pays Vonnegut (playing himself in the movie) to come and write a paper about himself for his English course. He fails the assignment because as the professor (and love interest) claims, obviously Dangerfield didn't write the paper himself and whoever did write the paper didn't understand the first thing about Vonnegut.

My long-distance book club that I maintain with former college roommates added Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five to our reading list last summer, but we fizzled out and didn't get to it. So we decided to try it again this year. I didn't know what to expect. Honestly, because of the title, I have confused it with Sinclair's The Jungle for years. Surely it has something to do with our meat industry. Right?

It's not like that. At all.

Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five is funny and irreverent and shocking and hysterical and moving and poignant and seriously disturbing. I enjoyed every minute.

And just so you know, Vonnegut is a creative genius nutcase. Oh and he swears. A lot.

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