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photo 2015-12-14 17:29
The Fridgularity - Mark A. Rayner
Slaughterhouse-Five - Kurt Vonnegut

Having my novel next to Kurt Vonnegut's masterful Slaughterhouse-Five on the Amazon bestseller list for satire and humor is an early Christmas gift. 


You can get the Kindle edition now for 99¢!


Vonnegut is my literary hero, fyi :)

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review 2015-12-06 00:00
Slaughterhouse-Five - Kurt Vonnegut BLUF: Pass on this classic.

Um.. What?I’m not going to lie to you: I had to Google what makes this book so great. I still have no idea why it is popular. Maybe because it was a hit when it came out (for reasons unknown). Maybe it is because of the attempts to censor this book soon after. If you know, please enlighten me.

Plot: Slaughterhouse-Five follows Billy Pilgrim’s life in a haphazard manner. We are led in and out of his life, through good times and bad. We visit an alien planet where Pilgrim is set on display as an exhibit in the zoo. We learn about his time within the army. We even go through his post-army career as an optometrist. It’s a mildly entertaining take on a fictive autobiography.

My Take: I didn’t have a problem with the choppy writing or with its clarity. I didn’t have a problem with the science fiction or the way the novel skipped around. I did have a problem finding interest in this story, understanding its point, and, like most, staying sane through the excessive use of the phrase “So it goes”.

Disclaimer: The only disclaimer I can give is that I don’t do too well with older books.
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url 2015-09-25 02:34
The best novels in English: readers' alternative list
Beloved - Toni Morrison
The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
Infinite Jest - David Foster Wallace
Slaughterhouse-Five - Kurt Vonnegut
The Fellowship of the Ring - J.R.R. Tolkien
I, Lucifer - Glen Duncan
Harry Potter Boxset (Harry Potter, #1-7) - J.K. Rowling
Stranger in a Strange Land - Robert A. Heinlein

What a good title. An alternative list. That's my kind of list. 


I've read some of the books on the list, so I would list them out. 


3. Beloved by Toni Morrison  


Read it long ago. And it is a literature kind of book. Good read but painful. As the characters in the story were going through so much internal emotional pain. So not an easy read. 


4. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood 

At first, I dislike it so much. How do the future world fall into the hands of religious fanatics so much that women were used for sex and breeding. But then, I found out that it is a warning for people to not let religious fanatics run the world according to religious rule. Look at ISIS and you know that this kind of came to reality. Good people tolerate religious craziness without challenging them out of politeness. But then when this religious ideas went unchallenged for so long to reach the point of harm, it is too late. 


6. A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry 


A haunting book about poor in India. The cultural contexts imagined is so strange, and so based on mystery that you could not look away. 


7. Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace 


Great book that make you think and rethink about human, individual. It is like watching a man go naked and revealing himself, with all his vulnerability. In the end, you kind of comprehend, and get to know the character. Good book. Highly recommended. 


8.Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut


Another good book. Short and thoughtful. If you like the TV series M.A.S.H., you would probably love this one. 


9.  The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien 


One great book about a world where good and defeat evil. Where nature being destroyed by industry could fight back. It is a good story and the language of the book is great. Unforgettable characters, complex story, good read.


10. I, Lucifer by Glen Duncan 


So happy this make the list. I have this book and I like it. It is a story about the devil. The devil is not the cardboard character that many books describe, but the devil has a mind and his psychology and philosophy. 


11. Harry Potter series by JK Rowling


I love Harry Potter. Good story about a boy who lost his parents could grow up to become a a good person, a  sorcerer, a great friend. 


Book about magic, adventure and friendship. What's not to love?


12. Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A Heinlein


This is on my to-read pile. I got it already somewhere but now it make it to the list. I think I would move this one up. 


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review 2015-08-01 17:21
Review of Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Slaughterhouse-Five - Kurt Vonnegut

I am not sure why I had not read this book before now, but I am glad I gave it a shot. What a fascinating short novel about Billy Pilgrim and his experiences in World War II and his life after being at Dresden.  It is an interesting psychological look at what war can do to a person, and its take on the random fact of death during wartime and beyond - so it goes.  I can see why this is required reading at some public high schools, and I would recommend it for its perspective on life and death.

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review 2015-07-27 00:00
Slaughterhouse-Five - Kurt Vonnegut Billy Pilgrim has come unstuck in time. A veteran of World War II, an optometrist, and a survivor of an alien abduction, he travels back and forth through time. He opens a door into the past, closes his eyes and wakes up on another planet, has a nervous breakdown and discovers a two bit science fiction author who later becomes his friend.

To be honest, I didn't get it. I know it is supposed to be an anti-war novel, and I found the parts dealing with his wartime experiences quite good, but the Tralfamadorian storyline and the time travel didn't work for me. I am operating under the theory that the time travel was an excuse to write the story in a non-linear format and to highlight the confusion of a man who is clearly experiencing PTSD. It is my belief that the aliens work in much the same fashion, he is mingling the storyline of his life with that of a novel by his favorite author in order to make his own life bearable. I think that if Vonnegut had picked one or the other it would have made more sense to me.

Or maybe not. This is my second Vonnegut novel and I cannot say that one made much more sense to me. I just keep getting the feeling that I am missing something because his books go right over my head. He is an obviously skilled writer, and despite my confusion I will likely continue to read his books. I just don't think that Vonnegut and I are destined to be besties.
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