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Book 6: Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (reading notes and musings on Vonnegut's other books)

- My first introduction to the weird and wonderful world of Kurt Vonnegut Jr. was God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, which I read as a teenager and can remember little about. Since Mr. Rosewater is mentioned in Slaughterhouse-Five, I really should go back and read it again, in English this time around.

- I have since read Welcome to the Money House, Deadeye Dick and Cat's Cradle, and have Hocus Pocus and The Sirens of Titan on my TBR list. Cat's Cradle is the one that affected me the most and is the best apocalyptic novel I have read.

-It was fun coming back to Vonnegut's sometimes biting humour and revisiting places (Ilium) and characters from other books (Eliot Rosewater, Kilgore Trout).

- The mixture of realism and fantasy in this novel makes for an interesting and sometimes shocking juxtaposition, as protagonist Billy Pilgrim slides between different eras of his life, from war-torn Germany near the end of World War II, to different parts of his marriage and life in Ilium, to his time as a zoo exhibit on the planet Tralfamadore.

- The concept of time in the book is scary and comforting at the same time - scary because it implies predestination and immutability, i.e. we have no control over our lives and even if we were unstuck in time like Billy Pilgrim, we would be powerless to do anything to change our futures; comforting because it implies a kind of immortality, at least for those who are unstuck in time like Pilgrim.

- Strangely, although the book doesn't really have an ending, at least not in the "everything is resolved" sense, it doesn't feel incomplete but instead it's like it gives us a satisfying glimpse into the life of the protagonist.


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