Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Slaughterhouse 5 - Kurt Vonnegut

Imagine you're on the Titanic.  All the life-boats have left and the ship is sinking.  You can dress in an expensive Oscar-gown if you like, or a tuxedo that gives you the suavity of a Bond, James Bond.  Next, fill your glass with some cocktail, or champagne, or spirits - any sort or measure; the bar is free and credit is cheap.

On the stage is Kurt Vonnegut and his famous Slaughterhouse 5.  You have wanted to see them perform for years; and here they are in the exclusive and intimate surroundings of the Titanic's emptying ball-room.  When they sing - Vonnegut does a Tom Waits rasp, an intense and somewhat delicious misery - their lyrics remind you that you are on a sinking ship, a ship believed to be unsinkable, a ship that is sinking indeed because it almost crossed the Atlantic in record time.  (What a story that would have been.)

Personally, I prefer more optimism.  Slaughterhouse 5 is well-written; Vonnegut tells a storblade's too blunt to slit my wrists sort of way.  Then, having been forced to live, I fall off a platform and under a train.
y that spans several decades, and he does so using simple devices that kept me engaged, though he was telling his multi-decade story simultaneously.  His lead character, Billy Pilgrim, is intriguing, amusing in a

Anyway, I won't recommend this book - it has too many fans already.  Instead I will call it a period piece - published during the Vietnam War and it keeps one eye on the fire-bombing of Dresden.  I am glad that I have read it, however; and having finished I am going to ask the band to play a different tune.  I'm drowning out here.

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