Thursday, 13 August 2009

So It Goes

Finished Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut Jr. yesterday.

What a book. I confess that I have not read much Vonnegut (only this and Breakfast of Champions), but am very ready to read more.

Humour, sadness, profundity, poignancy. Each chapter of this novel is imbued with these things. Billy Pilgrim's (self-professed) journeys through time and space connect him to the us, the readers, as a simple man with profound beliefs.

The Guardian list classifies this as an anti-war novel - I agree with this, but would also class it as an anti-ignorance novel as well. The idea that if we ignore something, it will disappear is a dangerous and irresponsible one. We must face what is before us and not be afraid. Billy is not afraid of anything, even death, which makes him an unusual character.

Vonnegut also tackles the subject of fate...we cannot change our fates, but can live our lives to the best of our capability nonetheless. I feel that this is an important idea, especially for me right now.

There is nothing to be afraid of - so it goes.

Up next: The Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx...I am also reading a non-list book (The Story of Edgar Sawtelle), so might be a bit delayed in posting. Somehow, I doubt that, though. :)

1 comment:

  1. I have Slaughter-house Five in my bookcase, but I haven't read it yet. Glad to hear you like it. I have read Shipping News so I'm VERY excited to read soon what you think of that novel.