Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
A Novel

80%

28 Critic Reviews

It is an anti-war novel that doesn’t wear its position on its sleeve. There are many moments of laugh-out-loud hilarity. It reads so fluidly that it is hard to stop during the more poignant moments to feel the sting of emotion.
-Blog Critics

Synopsis

Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best novels of all time

Slaughterhouse-Five, an American classic, is one of the world’s great antiwar books. Centering on the infamous firebombing of Dresden, Billy Pilgrim’s odyssey through time reflects the mythic journey of our own fractured lives as we search for meaning in what we fear most.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Kurt Vonnegut

See more books from this Author
Kurt Vonnegut was a master of contemporary American literature. His black humor, satiric voice, and incomparable imagination first captured America's attention in The Sirens of Titan in 1959 and established him as "a true artist" with Cat's Cradle in 1963. He was, as Graham Greene declared, "one of the best living American writers." Mr. Vonnegut passed away in April 2007.
 
Published August 5, 2009 by The Dial Press. 285 pages
Genres: History, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction, War, Children's Books, Humor & Entertainment, Education & Reference, Religion & Spirituality, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Arts & Photography. Fiction
Bookmark Counts:
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Critic reviews for Slaughterhouse-Five
All: 28 | Positive: 25 | Negative: 3

NY Times

Good
on Mar 31 1980

It sounds crazy. It sounds like a fantastic last-ditch effort to make sense of a lunatic universe. But there is so much more to this book. It is very tough and very funny; it is sad and delightful; and it works.

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Blog Critics

Good
Reviewed by Mat Brewster on Apr 21 2005

It is an anti-war novel that doesn’t wear its position on its sleeve. There are many moments of laugh-out-loud hilarity. It reads so fluidly that it is hard to stop during the more poignant moments to feel the sting of emotion.

Read Full Review of Slaughterhouse-Five: A Novel | See more reviews from Blog Critics

Examiner

Excellent
Reviewed by Whitney Bell on Nov 15 2013

This conversation...nonfictional first chapter of Slaughterhouse Five...should move any living, breathing reader. When a first chapter does that, you should read the book.

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Examiner

Excellent
Reviewed by Alexis Latshaw on May 03 2012

Slaughterhouse-Five is one of those novels that people either love or hate, which usually indicates excellence.

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Patheos

Good
Reviewed by Coyle Neal on Jan 28 2013

Slaughterhouse-Five is a chance for us as Christians to watch a non-Christian struggling with all of these issues, and in doing so hopefully gain a better understanding of what it means to view humanity without the Gospel.

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Nights and Weekends

Good
Reviewed by Garvan Giltinan on Jan 27 2014

What makes Vonnegut’s work so provocative and intellectual is his ability to weave theme and imagery together. Only when it’s viewed as a whole can one see a pattern, pushing through the fog of war and words.

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Dominion of New York

Good
Reviewed by Greg Zimmerman on Oct 30 2012

Slaughterhouse-Five, first published in 1969, is one of the goofiest, but most profound, anti-war novels of all time.

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Arlington Library

Above average
on Aug 22 2014

While it may be hard to figure out, if you wrap your head around it, you will be enlightened. Yes, if you read this book it will open your minds to things you never dreamed of, etc., etc.

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W. 11th & Bluff

Good
Reviewed by Michael May on Aug 22 2011

I hope Slaughterhouse-Five is taught in the high school curriculum...I enlisted in the Marine Corps through a delayed-entry program when I was still in high school, and the idea that it would have been inappropriate for me to read one of the most important American war novels at the same time as I signed my enlistment papers is disturbing.

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The Times Literary Supplement

Good
Reviewed by Thomas Meaney on Mar 07 2012

...Vonnegut continues to be a writer embraced by teenagers; his novels somehow perform successful reconnaissance missions behind the lines of each new generation.

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Teen Ink

Good
Reviewed by Kerri O. on Aug 28 2014

Through humor, as well as other emotions and symbolism, the book forms a negative view of war. Slaughterhouse-Five combines many aspects of life and is a great read for all. I highly recommend it.

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Teen Ink

Good
Reviewed by Bapalapa2 on Aug 27 2014

Slaughterhouse-Five is an incrediblenovel that I strongly recommend. It is filled with extraordinarycharacters, unexpected settings and hilarious situations that allcontribute to the many reasons I urge you to read it.

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Teen Ink

Good
on Aug 27 2014

Even though its complicated, anyone who wants to read Slaughterhouse-Five would probably like it, regardless of age. I know I did.

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Teen Ink

Good
Reviewed by MetalHead202 on Jan 27 2014

I would definitely recommend Slaughterhouse-5 to a friend even though there is some explicit material I think that the allurement of the book makes up for the unreserved portions of the novel.

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Brothers Judd

Below average
on Aug 28 2014

I suppose that once upon a time, this novel must have seemed terribly arch or ironic. Perhaps it is simply a function of living in the Decade of Irony, but now it just seems fairly sophomoric.

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Parental Book Reviews

Good
on Aug 28 2014

I was thoroughly impressed with Kurt Vonnegut’s novel. It was intriguing as I could not put it down...He induces emotion out of the reader, and that is my number one goal when I am reading a novel.

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Inverarity is not a Scottish village

Below average
on Sep 18 2011

This is a great novel that deserves to be read. Some people will love it. I did not so much. It's only nominally science fiction, and more of a satirical condemnation of war in the same vein as Catch-22, with doses of time travel and aliens.

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Lit Lovers

Excellent
Reviewed by Molly Lundquist on Dec 01 2012

Slaughterhouse-Five is not only a funny, potent read, it also poses profound questions about the human capacity for good and evil. This is a must read for everyone at some point in life, a beloved classic for good reason.

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https://suite101.com

Above average
Reviewed by Jenny Evans on Nov 27 2009

There is no other war (or anti-war) book quite like Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five. The novel follows chaplain's assistant Billy Pilgrim through the events of World War II, with an unusual twist: time travel and alien abduction is used to explore themes like time, death, and the absurdity of war.

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The Nature of Things

Good
Reviewed by Dorothy Borders on Feb 03 2014

I suspect the book would have had even greater power if it were read close to the time of its publication, but it holds up well even forty-five years later. Tragedy and absurdity are still the stuff of life. And so it goes.

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Musings of a Literary Dilettante's Blog

Above average
Reviewed by musingsofaliterarydilettante on Feb 22 2010

Slaughterhouse-Five is a great read, though it is a love-it-or-hate-it thing...Thankfully we are left with a glimmer of hope in an ending the narrator promised us at the close of the opening chapter...

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Bea's Book Nook

Good
Reviewed by Jillian Lauren on Sep 24 2011

After 20-odd years, it was a pleasure to revisit Vonnegut. His unique voice was transformative for me as a young reader and has remained influential to me as a writer.

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Where Pen Meets Paper

Excellent
Reviewed by Donovan Richards on Jul 06 2011

Just as many find hope in an excellent war story, others flourish with a well-told anti-war novel. Slaughterhouse-Five is a brilliantly written book. If you have yet to read it, please do so.

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Pages Unbound

Good
Reviewed by Briana on Feb 04 2012

War is not glorious. It was fought by infants. Some of them were ruined...Slaughterhouse-Five is a great, thought-provoking classic that is also a quick read.

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Wicked Awesome Books

Excellent
Reviewed by Nikki on Sep 17 2010

This book is Vonnegut’s anti-war proclamation and it’s exquisite in both its complexities and ambiguities. I have a feeling that I’ll read it again and again.

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Alex in Leeds

Above average
Reviewed by Alex on Dec 12 2012

Having read it twice I can see why it had the impact it did in martial America in 1969 and clearly the simple prose and short length keep it a particularly accessible book, especially for teens approaching sign-up age.

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https://www.worldswithoutend.com

Good
Reviewed by emil on Dec 20 2010

The reader can be fooled by the ease of reading, the humor and various anachronisms of the fast-paced telling, giving the subject matter a unique poignancy. But this is no comedy

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Elementary, My Dear Reader

Above average
on Feb 23 2011

This is a good book. I would not necessarily read it for pleasure, but it raises some important notions that bear pondering.

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Reader Rating for Slaughterhouse-Five
81%

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