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  Grade 10 Reviews
  Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

Review by: Ryan F.
Georgia, Grade 10

Vonneguts novel was centered aroun world war two, specificaly the fire bombing of Dresden

I have always held science fiction close to my heart. This genre opens the eyes of the reader to new ideas, and fantastic futures. As such, I read Slaughterhouse 5, a novel written by the critically acclaimed science fiction writer Kurt Vonnegut. I was let down.
Slaughterhouse 5 is a novel based on the irrationalities of war. Throughout the novel, Vonnegut shows his distain for the war and wars lack of reason. He picks a mentally deranged soldier who is spastic in time and space as the main character. I must applaud Vonnegut, for through Billy Pilgrims eyes, the eyes of a madman, can we see the true lack of sense in all war.
I also appreciate the lessons and morals Vonnegut teaches us through his use of the aliens Billy is abducted by. They show Billy that life is designed to be lived, and that everyday should be lived to the fullest. Vonnegut does a very good job in doing this, as he hints to the lesson behind the novel throughout the book, and then blatantly tells all of those who have yet to grasp the idea at the end of the novel.
What I do not like in the novel is Vonnegutís writing style. He is very good at creating an image of a place or person, but the way he develops a plotline is despicable at best. He describes the future of Billy Pilgrim, expecting you to know the past, when it has yet to be discussed. He jumps around chronologically, and while this fits with the message Vonnegut is trying to express, it makes the book difficult to follow.
Not only is his distinct writing style grating, but his book is not a classic science fiction. His books have little to due with portraying the future, as most science fiction, but rather focus on the past. He also has a very grim outlook for the universe, and while this can be common in science fiction, I prefer a positive outlook.
Overall, the book is an eye-opening experience, filled with wonderfully constructed settings, lessons everyone can use, and a first person view of the irrationality of war. Although it was not to my taste, I suggest anyone interested in a refreshed look at life should pick up this book.

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