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Slaughter house - Five

by Kurt Vonnegut


Don't let the ease of reading fool you-Vonnegut's isn't a conventional, or simple, novel. He writes, "There are almost no characters in this story, and almost no dramatic confrontations, because most of the people in it are so sick, and so much the listless playthings of enormous forces. One of the main effects of war, after all, is that people are discouraged from being characters..."Slaughterhouse-Five (taken from the name of the building where the POWs were held) is not only Vonnegut's most powerful book, it is as important as any written since 1945. Like Catch- 22, it fashions the author's experiences in the Second World War into an eloquent and deeply funny plea against butchery in the service of authority.

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...all upstairs to play games and watch television. It was only after the children were gone that I sensed that Mary didn't like me or didn't like something about the night. She was polite but chilly. ''It's a nice cozy house you have here,'' I said, and it really was. ''I've fixed up a place where you can talk and not be bothered,'' she said. ''Good,'' I said, and I imagined two leather chairs near a fire in a paneled room, where two old soldiers could drink and talk. But she took us into the kitchen. She had put two straight-backed chairs at a kitchen table with a white porcelain top. That table top was screaming with reflected light from a two-hundred-watt bulb overhead. Mary had prepared an operating room. She put only one glass on it, which was for me. She explained that O'Hare couldn't drink the hard stuff since the war. So we sat down. O'Hare was embarrassed, but he wouldn't tell me what was wrong. I couldn't imagine what it was about me that could bum up Mary so. I was...

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11 Jan 2011 03:18:14

awesome book

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67. It looked a lot like Dayton, Ohio, more open spaces than Dayton has. There must be tons of human bone meal in the ground. I went back there with an old war buddy, Bernard V. O'Hare, and we mad


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And I asked myself about the present: how wide it was, how deep it was, how much was mine to keep.


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So then I understood. It was war that made her so angry. She didn't want her babies or anybody else's babies killed in wars. And she thought wars were partly encouraged by books and movies.

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