or, The Children's Crusade

Audiobook, 285 pages

English language

Published Jan. 1, 1969

OCLC Number:

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5 stars (6 reviews)

A special fiftieth anniversary edition of Kurt Vonnegut’s masterpiece, “a desperate, painfully honest attempt to confront the monstrous crimes of the twentieth century” (Time), featuring a new introduction by Kevin Powers, author of the National Book Award finalist The Yellow Birds Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best novels of all time Slaughterhouse-Five, an American classic, is one of the world’s great antiwar books. Centering on the infamous World War II firebombing of Dresden, the novel is the result of what Kurt Vonnegut described as a twenty-three-year struggle to write a book about what he had witnessed as an American prisoner of war. It combines historical fiction, science fiction, autobiography, and satire in an account of the life of Billy Pilgrim, a barber’s son turned draftee turned optometrist turned alien abductee. As Vonnegut had, Billy experiences the destruction of Dresden as a POW. Unlike Vonnegut, he …

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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