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(The full title reads "Slaughterhouse-Five; or, The Children's Crusade: A Duty-Dance With Death")

Slaughterhouse-five, or in German, "Schlachthof-fünf", is the place where Billy Pilgrim was taken as a prisoner-of-war in the World War II European campaign, and where he witnesses the bombing of Dresden.

The book is a great read, considered a classic in modern American literature, and is also regarded as one of Vonnegut's most popular. This probably stems from the autobiographical nature of the work, since by reading the details, one would NOT doubt that this was written by a veteran.

Vonnegut also experiments with the non-linear approach to storytelling, as he employs the time-travel element to make the narrative jump backwards or forwards. It actually works to achieve the stream of consciousness effect, sans the confusion.

It would also be interesting to note how Vonnegut incorporates characters from his other novels, creating one solid universe of memory (one would actually think of them as having really existed). Watch out for Howard W. Campbell, Jr., the American Nazi from the "Mother Night" novel.

Let us all pay tribute to one of the greatest writers of American fiction, who passed away last April 11, 2007. So it goes.

Four stars.


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