Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Review: Slaughterhouse-Five

Slaughterhouse-Five Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was one very unique read, hence why I gave it 4 stars despite feeling I really only kind-of enjoyed it. I'll address the positives first, then what took away from that.

Slaughterhouse-five is clearly this author's attempt to (if even for a moment) alter the reader's perception of time thorough a story that feels both fiction, non-fiction, meta, and memoir all at once, and I have to say, Vonnegut did that very well. I honesty can say that about halfway through this book the entire thing clicked and I understood the pure genius of this work. Vonnegut successfully structured and wrote a tale that truly did, if even for a moment, altered my perspective about time, events, life and death . . . so it goes.

And considering that was the goal of this novel, I can't help but feel it deserves 4-stars for accomplishing this monumental task. To alter a reader's thinking is the epitome of a great writer, in my opinion.

So why'd I knock off that last star? Well, because I was only slightly entertained. I didn't read this book thinking to myself, "This is astounding! This is art! This is wonder!" I was more like, "Heh, that's pretty cool. Nice job." Then I turned the page and felt nothing but shallow interest in all the characters, events, and places. Nothing about the world or feel of this book gripped me except the overarching concept. See, the novel's only pitfall in my opinion is that, in its pursuit of singular purpose and ideal, it let all the other fantastic parts of storytelling fall entirely by the wayside. No real character development or insight, flat people all around, conflict building and resolution felt minimal and/or trivial. While the time-altering storytelling was phenomenal, everything else was left to die . . . so it goes.

So yeah, interesting and unique read, but you'd be hard pressed to see me recommend this to anyone who wasn't specifically looking to have their mind bent.

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