All this happened, more or less.
Two people close to me told me they weren’t sure this was a book I was going to like. One of them said I shouldn’t count the ‘So it goes’. The text on the back warned me for potential philosophic babble.
This all accounted to me expecting an not-understandable mass of deliriously written paragraphs without a (satisfying) end. I braced myself.
For me – and I realize that I might be looking at this story in just one dimension – Slaughterhouse-5 wasn’t a mess. In fact, it was pretty coherent and I enjoyed several parts of it.
Protagonist Billy Pilgrim survives World War 2 and a plane crash, travels through time, is abducted by aliens and is -by a lot of people- seen as an idiot. The reader follows his travel and his thoughts and as Pilgrim isn’t much impressed with either, nor is the reader.
What I like most, or can appreciate about this book, is that you can take several things from it. Is it but a fantasy in the mind of the ‘I’ person? Is Vonnegut ‘I’ or Pilgrim? Is this nothing more but a War Is Bad message with a lot of pomp? Do you believe Billy Pilgrim or is he sorriest sod alive? Is this even a book? If the reader wants to, it can create different puzzles from the same pieces.
I recommend this novel. It isn’t too crazy, too plain, too fantastical or too boring. It’s a nice puzzle, for the reader to decide what to take away from it.
Slaughterhouse-5, Kurt Vonnegut, Dell 1991 (repr.)