Slaughterhouse Five Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Slaughterhouse Five

"Billy Pilgrim has come unstuck in time," kidnapped by space aliens, and put in a zoo/museum on the planet Tralfamadore with an adult film star named Montana Wildhack.
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Slaughterhouse-Five is a classic anti-war novel about the firebombing of Dresden during World War II. However, most of the book jumps around through time: Billy as a senile widower, Billy on his wedding night, Billy as a soldier, Billy on Tralfamadore.

The book starts out during World War II, which is where Billy first becomes unstuck in time, and ends with the reader never quite sure of Billy's age, whether Billy is really unstuck in time, or this is the result of a nervous collapse.

The review of this Book prepared by Joseph DeMarco

The atrocities of war have never been easy for a person to explain. However, in Kurt Vonnegut's "Slaughterhouse Five", Billy Pilgrim takes a journey through worlds made possible only by war. It all circles around the infamous fire bombings of Dresden, Germany in WWII. By these journeys, the reader gains a clear idea of exactly how much war can break down and degrade a man mentally. The reader sees to what lengths a person would go to to escape the horrors of war.
The review of this Book prepared by Anthony Selbe

Billy Pilgrim, a weak young man from Ilium, New York, is a prisoner of war in the non-military city of Dresden when the Allies firebomb it. Germans try to kill him, and American soldiers and pilots try to kill him. He meets young Kurt Vonnegut, also a prisoner of war, in Dresden. Pilgrim becomes "unstuck in time," traveling back and forth between the Second World War, his postwar life as an optometrist (and a nearly fatal plane crash in the mountains), and the planet Tralfamadore, where the local aliens have brought him to mate with porn star Montana Wildhack -- and he comes to understand basic truths about life, time, and human decency.
The review of this Book prepared by David Loftus

Chapter Analysis of Slaughterhouse Five

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Descript. of chases or violence 10%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 60%Descript. of society, phenomena (tech), places 30% Tone of book    -   depressing/sad FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?    -   part earth & part fantasy world Time Travel:    -   into past and future equally Inner Struggle    -   Yes Plotlet:    -   mental illness/nutsophrenia Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Time Travel story?    -   Yes Story largely takes place in    -   1900-1960's

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Age:    -   long lived adults


Earth setting:    -   20th century A substantial portion of this book takes place on a non-Earth planetary body:    -   inhabited by friendly aliens Takes place on Earth?    -   Yes Planet outside solar system?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment scientific jargon? (SF only)    -   none/very little science jargon needed Sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   impregnation/reproduction How much dialogue?    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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Kurt Vonnegut Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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