Sunday, 8 June 2014

Book #16 Slaughterhouse 5 by Kurt Vonnegut

Slaughterhouse 5

Slaughterhouse 5 has long been pinned in the back of my mind as 'To Read'. It appeared on that bygone BBC list of books that must be read for a start, and that came out when I was still at school. A friend of mine is a massive Vonnegut fan and I ended up buying it for a train journey a while ago.

There the problem started, I read about half of it on that journey, and at roughly 173 pages it shouldn't have been hard to finish at yet somehow it was.

About the serious folly of war and the damage that it inflicts on the individual fighting it, the novel has a lot of merit; even the science fiction element wasn't what grated because I thought it was a clever way of illustrating the nature of PTSD and its feeling of being outside your linear chronology.

I couldn't and in many ways still can't explain why I couldn't engage with this book, why its prose disengaged me so. At one point, with all the restarts I must have read the section where Billy wakes up to find his 'fat, ugly' fiance Valencia, at the bottom of his bed eating chocolate FIVE TIMES.

This book took me with about 4 restarts and one mid book reconvene about 8 weeks to read, twice I went to my monthly book club and told my friend 'still haven't finished  Slaughterhouse 5' and seriously that must be some kind of record for me.

With that, I acknowledge the importance of the book and its message. So why didn't I like it? Why did it get on my nerves so much?  I still don't know. If you've also read Slaughterhouse 5 and didn't like it, I'd love to hear from you.

Verdict : 4/10

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