Slaughterhouse-five, Or, The Children's Crusade

The Children's Crusade: A Duty-Dance With Death

275 pages

English language

Published Aug. 18, 1999 by Dial Press..

OCLC Number:

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5 stars (6 reviews)

Slaughterhouse-Five, also known as The Children's Crusade: A Duty-Dance with Death is a science fiction infused anti-war novel by Kurt Vonnegut, first published in 1969. It follows the life and experiences of Billy Pilgrim, from his early years to his time as an American soldier and chaplain's assistant during World War II, to the post-war years, with Billy occasionally traveling through time. The text centers on Billy's capture by the German Army and his survival of the Allied firebombing of Dresden as a prisoner of war, an experience which Vonnegut himself lived through as an American serviceman. The work has been called an example of "unmatched moral clarity" and "one of the most enduring antiwar novels of all time".

42 editions

Unexpected, familiar, and humane

5 stars

It's a little embarrassing to confess that I'd never read Vonnegut. That's not true. I read Harrison Bergeron in some sort of enrichment reader in 6th grade. I thought that was pretty great, and the only story I remember fondly from that age outside of an Edgar Allen Poe collection that I probably read until the cover came off, and then read again. Somehow I always expected this book to be some kind of hippie acid trip because the people I knew growing up who read it had black light posters and blew smoke into their iguanas' faces to give them a contact high. I did not expect the book to be about WWII, to play with time the way it did, or to make me cry, not for anything in particular, but just a little catharsis for a moment after the book was finished. The book is lively and …

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  • World War, 1939-1945 -- Fiction