Classic Book Review: Slaughter House Five

Kurt Vonnegut, author of many books, including his most successful, Slaughter House Five, had a career as an author that spanned over fifty years. For more information Wiki-pedia link to short bio.
I recommend reading the Wiki article. I've read bio's on the internet, about Kurt Vonnegut, that used the character from the book as source for his bio.

Slaughter House Five 

I can only imagine that if an author wrote a query letter to a publisher today and it stated that, "I'm going to tell a story, but I'll be captured by aliens, and I'll fictionalize my name but not all of my life. I'll throw in bits of interest, but mainly I'm still dealing with PTSD and I need to get it out of me. Will you publish it?" What do think the answer would be?

Billy Pilgrim is the central character of Slaughter House Five. Billy gets captured early on by the Germans in this recounting of not only Billy's experience in the war, but also his personal, and extra-terrestrial life as well. His recollection ties three fates, the war, his marriage, his time as a guest on Tralfalmadore.

Slaughterhouse-Five, Billy Pilgrim Gets captured by German Scouts. He meets up with two american scouts, and another enlisted soldier, Roland Weary,who insists on mocking and bullying Billy. The Scouts abandon Billy and the bully. The scouts get caught and shot. Billy and the bully are left to fend for themselves. They eventually get captured. At this point through trains, unpleasant at best, that transfer them to prison camps, Billy and the bully, rest. The bully doesn't make it. And Billy goes on to a prison camp that houses a meat packing facility three floors below ground level. During the bombing, Billy and other prisoners are three floors down in Slaughter House number five, in a refrigerator. Captors, and captee's  survive together. When they emerge after the bombing stops, they all fend for themselves through a city in ruins. Vivid descriptions abound, taking you through scene after scene. SH5, doesn't end with closure for the characters, some die, some live in shock. It is up to you as the reader to develop your opinion of war, its costs, both mentally and physically, to the human spirit.
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For More on the Bombing of Dresden, I recommend this non-fiction book, published in 2014, a few years after many documents were de-classified. Firestorm: The Bombing of Dresden, 1945

Kurt Vonnegut, in my youth, was our counter culture, war is hell, let's not romance it, go to guy.  Vonnegut felt he had to write about the misalignment of humanity. It's failings. It's traps. And he did it with odd human behavior, dead-pan humor, and an inner voice that pushed him onward, from his experience, with the pen. 

My Next Post Will Be On 03/01/2017

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