Classic book number 6: Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
I love Vonnegut. This may be only the second book I’ve read by him, but I thoroughly enjoyed both books.
To start this review, I want to quote the back of the book (of my copy):
“Slaughterhouse-Five, an American classic, is one of the world’s great anti-war 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.”
While I was reading this novel, I kept coming back to that end part – meaning in what we fear most. Immediately the first thing I think about is life. You always hear the phrase or question, “what is the meaning of life?”
While I think the novel heavily explores that question, I think it also explored death as well and the relationship between life and death. You actions matter in life, which will probably impact your ‘meaning’ of death, and life too most likely.
Another huge message that I took away from this novel, is that life can be short, sometimes cut too short and because of that, you should just be in the present and make every moment count. Because unlike Billy Pilgrim, we can’t continuously travel back and forth in time (not that we know of at least :) ).
It being an anti-war book, another message that I think the book gives is that there is a lot of ‘bad things’ that happen that we can’t really control, that sometimes more bad things happen to good people, rather than to bad people – however one defines good or bad.
In the end, while there are so many things that we cannot control, we have to remember that you can control the important aspects of your own life: your actions, your feelings, your thoughts, and your reactions. Make them positive, make them count :)