by Kurt Vonnegut
Few authors can claim to have changed my life, but even fewer can make that claim on separate instances with different works. Kurt Vonnegut is one of the few, first with Breakfast of Champions––which flipped the whole notion on how you can tell a story on its head––then, again, with Slaughterhouse-Five. I absolutely loved the novel and have so much to say about it, but I will limit that in lieu of those who may want to go into it, the story unspoiled.
Knowing this was based off of Vonnegut’s real-life experience made the jump into science-fiction territory so surprising to me. Skimming the surface of the story gives you something akin toThe Time Traveler’s Wife, with the protagonist jumping through time all ‘willy-nilly’. That being said, however, I’m still deciding how much of the story was truly science fiction. Were there actually aliens abducting the protagonist, or was this his way of coping with the horrible experiences he lived through? Was he really time travelling, or was Vonnegut saying that these moments stay with you, and you relive them all throughout your life?
Slaughterhouse-Five is an absolutely unique piece of literature. I want to go out and recommend it to everyone I know, but I fear not everyone has the same capacity to appreciate a healthy dose of strangeness as I do.