My Favorite Books

The Walking Drum
Ender's Game
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
The Curse of Chalion
The Name of the Wind
Chronicles of the Black Company
The Faded Sun Trilogy
The Tar-Aiym Krang

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Review: Slaughterhouse-Five

Slaughterhouse-Five Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Okay ... I am not a big fan of the fractured narrative style (jumping back and forth through time). That said … Vonnegut pulls it off better than most. I can't really say that I enjoyed it that much; however, it has been awhile since I have encountered the supporting pseudo-stream of consciousness writing style and I found it mildly entertaining … Vonnegut’s sardonic humor helped immensely here.

Of the story itself … the book is characterized as an anti-war book; however, I felt it had more of an amoral tone then anything (with the possible exception being his discussion with his sons concerning massacres). That is, it was more of an eye witness report then a heart felt condemnation, leaving the reader free to impose whatever moral framework desired so long as the factual events were not dismissed. In that respect, I found myself draw into the story with a rubbernecker’s morbid sense of curiosity where it was safe to look because I was not actually involved. This was where the fractured narrative style really helped; it allowed the reader to explore events that were obviously tragic without overwhelming the reader with an extended emotional response … Vonnegut would just barely touch the ‘dark-side’ before zooming away toward lighter faire.

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My Ratings Explained ...

  • [ ***** ] Amazing Read - Perfect story, exciting, engrossing, well developed complex characters, solid plot with few to no holes, descriptive environments and place settings, great mystery elements, realistic dialogue, believable reactions and behaviors; a favorite that I can re-read many times.
  • [ **** ] Great Read - Highly entertaining and enjoyable, exciting storyline, well developed characters and settings, a few discrepancies but nothing that can’t be overlooked. Some aspect of the story was new/refreshing to me and/or intriguing. Recommended for everyone.
  • [ *** ] Good Read - Solid story with a 'good' ending, or has some other redeeming feature. Limited character development and/or over reliance on tropes. Noticeable discrepancies in world building and/or dialog/behavior that were distracting. I connected enough with the characters/world to read the entire series. Most of the books I read for fun are here. Recommended for fans of the genre.
  • [ ** ] Okay Read - Suitable for a brief, afternoon escape … flat or shallow characters with little to no development. Over the top character dialog and/or behavior. Poor world building with significant issues and/or mistakes indicating poor research. Excessive use of trivial detail, info dumps and/or pontification. Any issues with the story/characters are offset by some other aspect that I enjoyed. Not very memorable. May only appeal to a niche group of readers. Recommended for some (YMMV).
  • [ * ] Bad Read - Awkward and/or confusing writing style. Poor world building and/or unbelievable (or unlikeable) characters. Victimization, gaslighting, blatant abuse, unnecessary violence, child endangerment, or any other highly objectionable behaviors by Main characters. I didn't connect with the story at all; significant aspects of this story irritated me enough that I struggled to finished it. Series was abandoned. Not recommended.