Pages: 77 / 215; 36%
The Reason for the Reaping: As with any classic novel, it’s embarrassing that I haven’t read it yet. The war story of all war stories, the time for Slaughterhouse-Five—and always will be—now.
As I Lay Summarizing: A man named Billy Pilgrim is living in two worlds: his life as an optometrist, and his life as a soldier during WWII. What is past and what is present is mind-bendingly unclear. So it goes (Yes, that is from this book).
The Line That Killed Me: “And I asked myself about the present: how wide it was, how deep it was, and how much of it was mine to keep” (18). Death by deep existential awe.
Best Character: Billy Pilgrim
Why [As] You Like It: Vonnegut is truly a herald of the American war story. Any story with guns and wartime misery clearly has influence from this novel. Vonnegut = King. Start with stark, moody, and searing prose; add existential disillusion; and spread over time and space. Indeed, this is the war story of all war stories.
Why I’m Gone, Girl: Vonnegut is very clearly tapping into the consciousness of wartime and post-war America. As such, white male characters dominate the story, and the experiences of women and people of color are omitted and on some level dismissed. I’m calling you out, Kurt; this is 2017.
Last Line, Last Chance: “…would be another click.”
Will I turn the page, or toss it into Mount Doom?
Vonnegut writes with sensitivity and with purpose. This book put him on the map for a reason. The page has been turned. So it goes.