Sunday, February 21, 2010

Book Club Meeting

Tomorrow night, one of my book clubs is meeting to discuss Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five.

Great book. Wierd, but great writing. And fascinating concept. I read this book and it put into a bit different perspective the plot of another of my favorite contemporary novels: Audrey Niffenegger's The Time Traveler's Wife.

One word review of Slaughterhouse Five: Poo-tee-weet!

... so it goes!

1 comment:

eric said...

Vonnegut, especially his early stuff, has always had a lot of appeal to me. He has a humanistic quality to his thinking that sometimes borders on annoying hippy-dippy sentimentality, but his wit and well-honed cynicism are irresistable.

My favorite of his novels is one that consistently gets poor reviews: Slaptsick. I thought this book contained his best explanation and defense of secular humanism. After that it would be a tie between Sirens of Titan and Breakfast of Champions.

Slaughterhouse-5 seems to be his best known and most loved novel, but it always kind of fell flat for me because he never seemed to decide if he was writing a thinly-veiled autobiography, a humanitarian manifesto, or a sci-fi thriller. The books makes stabs at being each of these, but never really commits, and in my estimation failed at each of them, even though it was written in an interesting way.

To me though, the real treasures of Vonnegut's writings are in his non-fiction. If you've never done so, I would reccomend picking up his non-fiction books and reading them in order:

-Wampeters, Foma and Granfalloons
-Palm Sunday
-Fates Worse Than Death
-A Man Without a Country (This one was written in response to the Iraq War and was almost wholly political, making it my least favorite, but as a liberal you'd love it, and even I have to admit it is chock full of memorable quotes, such as "There is a tragic flaw in our precious Constitution, and I don't' know what can be done to fix it. This is it: Only nut cases want to be president.")

And so on.