Literary reviews by Tim Love.
Warning: Rather than reviews, these are often notes in preparation for reviews that were never finished, or pleas for help with understanding pieces. See Litref Reviews - a rationale for details.

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

"Slaughterhouse 5" by Kurt Vonnegut Jr (Vintage, 2000)

First published in 1969. It's been on my reading list for months. It's worth reading. It includes some basic line drawings. It flirts with autobiography, beginning with "All this happened, more or less" (p.1). Later it says "That was I. That was me. That was the author of this book" (p.91).

There are lots of jokes on the way - "Like so many Americans, she was trying to construct a life that made sense from things she found in gift shops" (p.28) - and some literary twists and turns - on p.53-54 the Dresden bombings are recounted as if time was reversed.

One character believes in aliens. The Tralfamadorians live in 4 dimensions. Their works of literature are fragments designed to be seen all at once. There are 5 sexes on Tralfamadore. They have identified 7 sexes on Earth, each essential to reproduction. Like many of the character's apparent fantasies, this one has its basis in his past experiences and readings - "The book was Maniacs in the Fourth Dimension, by Kilgore Trout. It was about people whose mental diseases couldn't be treated because the causes of the diseases were all in the fourth dimension" (p.75).

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