Kurt Vonnegut: Slaughterhouse-Five (EBook, 1968) 4 stars

A special fiftieth anniversary edition of Kurt Vonnegut’s masterpiece, “a desperate, painfully honest attempt to …

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 readable, and feels at all points as though you've read it before, but can still be utterly disarming, especially when humor gives way to Vonnegut's most humane or damning observations.