A war satire that hides its black, bloody teeth behind amusing anecdotes, absurd comedy, and peculiar threads of deconstructionist literature. A fun time for all!
The narrator is writing a book; this book is about Billy Pilgrim, who was at the WWII massacre at Dresden -- as was the narrator (and as was Kurt Vonnegut himself). Billy Pilgrim has the curious ability to mentally travel to different times in his life. He was also abducted by aliens at one point. "So it goes," as the narrator would say.
Billy's unique perspective on life renders him somewhat numb and casual when it comes to all the tragedies and horrors he witnessed in the war, and it wasn't until a later chapter it really sank in for me how sad his life was -- he knows the exact moment of each major moment in his life, and he just quietly flows through the sea of time, back-and-forth, back-and-forth, but ultimately powerless to effect any real change on the events of the world. Oh, and he might just be plain nuts.
I genuinely enjoyed this book and Vonnegut's sly, quiet way of eviscerating any romantic notion about WWII. My only real reticence about it is the inherent, post-modern jumbled narrative leaves behind a novel of disconnected vignettes; some are potent pieces of satire, while others feel like some of the more drawn out bits of a Twilight Zone episode. Not all of his methods of transmitting the moral quite landed.
That said, it delivers its message dutifully, and when absorbed as a whole (as the Tralfamadorians would encourage), it's marvelous how the pieces come together. This book's influence on both the anti-war novel and post-modern storytelling is clear, and I reckon it will continue to be held as a gold standard for a long, long time (for whatever 'time' means).
事情就是這樣。(so it goes)
An interesting book. Much different than I expected with its time traveling and Trafalmadore tangents. Even though I found it odd, I still found it very readable. I'd heard about this book and expected more of an historical recounting of the authors time in Dresden during the firebombing, and while he does discuss it, it doesn't seem to be the main point of the book. Maybe the focal point but not the main point, if that makes any sense....Continua
The funniest way to tell one of the biggest and of the most infamous massacre in the history of the mankind: the firebombing of Dresden in 1945. Funny and bitter as the many character is, the ingenuous, fatalistic odd optometrist Billy Pilgrim, who experienced abduction by aliens, unpredictable time travel which occurs in the most crucial moments of his life, such as being captured by Germans during the WW II, or being ill-treated by his fellow prisoners in a slaughterhouse in Dresden.
The narrative is strongly discontinuous, because we follow randomly different scenes from Billy’s life: the main thread is the experience of war, from when he was captured by the Germans while his buddy Roland Weary was bullying him , through the accommodation in the Slaughterhouse 5 in Dresden to the firebombing caused by the Allied, that he inexplicably survived. The second thread tells of Billy being captured by aliens and taken on a planet called Tralfamadore to be shown as an exotic attraction in a zoo together with another Earthling, the porno star Montana Wildhack.
The third thread follows the life of Billy after the end of the war, starting from when he tries to recover from a post-traumatic disorder becoming a fan of an obscure science-fiction writer, through a plane crash he is the only to survive, till the journey to New York City where he tries to tell his story about time travel and aliens in a radio show. He know a secret, indeed, he wants to share with the rest of the world, having learned it by the Tralfamadorians: the unpleasant events in life, death itself, are nothing else but moments in time which are always existed and will exist forever; so you have just to skip from an unpleasant to an happier moment whenever you want.
All that could sound crazy or silly: but, how the narrating voice (the alter ego of Vunnegut himself) says at the beginning of the book, “there is nothing intelligent to say about a massacre”.
Vonnegut tramite i trafalmadoriani, e la loro visione del tempo, e quindi della vita, opposta rispetto alla nostra, fa riflettere sull'impossibilità, inopportunità e assurdità, di dimenticare, o anche solo evitare di pensare, a eventi drammatici....Continua