Customer Reviews for

Slaughterhouse-Five; or, The Children's Crusade: A Duty-Dance with Death

Average Rating 4.5
( 827 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(460)

4 Star

(220)

3 Star

(93)

2 Star

(30)

1 Star

(24)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

Most Helpful Favorable Review

24 out of 26 people found this review helpful.

Stimulating

I'm going into my junior year of high school in the fall, I read this book during the 1st days of my summer vacation because:
a) My English teacher told my class how amazing and absurb Vonnegut was and her plot synopsis captured my interest
b) The same English teacher...
I'm going into my junior year of high school in the fall, I read this book during the 1st days of my summer vacation because:
a) My English teacher told my class how amazing and absurb Vonnegut was and her plot synopsis captured my interest
b) The same English teacher spent all semester telling my class how are brains were turning to mush from reading Twilight/Harry Potter and that we should read more classics. So I decided to start reading CollegeBoard's 100 books for incoming college freshmen.

I was told from the get-go that this was a very very very eccentric novel and thats the kind of book I enjoy. I was very frustrated with myself up until about the last fifty pages because I did not understand the significance of the novel. However, the last fifty pages clicked all of the seemingly disconnected pieces together.

Mrs. Weil, my beloved English teacher, told us that if you cannot see the point of a piece of literature, you didn't read it carefully enough. This especially goes towards this novel, you have to read extremely closely if you want to understand or get something out of it.

In the end, the book was very insightful and I suggest that everyone read it.

posted by jp_the_bookie on June 21, 2009

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review

Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Not Reality

As a person who suffers from P.T.S.D., This book is ridiculous from that perspective. As is all Hollywood or written versions of it. As a science fiction book I think it is a good read, sometimes it is nice not to read to much into a book and just enjoy it. War is not s...
As a person who suffers from P.T.S.D., This book is ridiculous from that perspective. As is all Hollywood or written versions of it. As a science fiction book I think it is a good read, sometimes it is nice not to read to much into a book and just enjoy it. War is not something anyone wants especially the people who have to fight it. To read a book and think it can give you any understanding of what true violence is like is an insult. Read a book for the books sake

posted by Anonymous on April 11, 2008

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 93 review with 3 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 5
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2008

    Not Reality

    As a person who suffers from P.T.S.D., This book is ridiculous from that perspective. As is all Hollywood or written versions of it. As a science fiction book I think it is a good read, sometimes it is nice not to read to much into a book and just enjoy it. War is not something anyone wants especially the people who have to fight it. To read a book and think it can give you any understanding of what true violence is like is an insult. Read a book for the books sake

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2013

    Okay

    Entertaining but just not my cup of tea.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2013

    Finally finished this painful read.

    I am rating a 3 simply on scholarly merit I appreciate it as a landmark for the time period however, too off in left field for me. Wartime angst, aliens,time travel,fat wife, skinny husband, nerd, jock, two kids, two story house, white pickett fence and mid life crisis on top of genuine war time tradegy was like a long cliche of everything that happens after being sent to war as a teenager unprepared for what you are about to endure. Returning with the weight of guilt and acting as if nothing happened. 142 pages that never pulled me in. I never wanted to know what happens or why.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2012

    Odd

    From the perspective of a person who had this book on her highschool summer reading list:This book is probably the weirdest book I have ever read. The author has a very different style. I thought that there wasnt a really straight forward plot as it was kind of chopped up and the main character kep " traveling in time". Dont expect to become emotionally attached to the characters, you don't.

    I was actually kind of surprised they allowed us to read this book as it had a lot of perverted content. It was disturbing. Adults may enjoy this book and understand all the politics better but I would not recommend it to a friend.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 1, 2011

    Pretty good novel- check it out!!

    The novel Slaughterhouse-Five was overall a fairly solid novel. Kurt Vonnegut is a superior author. His style of writing made me enjoy this book tremendously, his use of metaphors, strange settings as well as his exotic pathos and anaphoras ideas made me wonder what was next. Many times throughout this book I was often questioning myself as to why in the world is he saying this here, however, other times I was entertained but still a little confused. I feel as though that Kurt Vonnegut was trying to establish an odd way of describing World War II because his style led me all over the place from in Dresden, Germany to the United States. It did not occur to me that Mr. Vonnegut had a set target audience that he was directing to give this story to. This audience could mostly be described as anyone who doesn't mind going on a wild goose chase in trying to guess where Billy Pilgrim was going to travel next. Vonnegut's idea of time traveling was outrageous, this kept me on my toes throughout the novel because it would never allow me to get a grap of what/where they were going to go/do next. The time traveling with Billy Pilgrim was an extremely interesting part of the book, this is a unique thing to occur in such a novel, the idea of time traveling is not relevant in many stories. The title Slaughterhouse-Five fits this novel because for most of the novel Billy considered the slaughterhouse to be home. This slaughterhouse was a place for the pirsoners of war to be held, meaning that it has significanse to the entire novel and should be brought forth as an idea for the title. This was truly a peculiar novel because of the way he changed what was going on, however, different can always be a good thing because it allows you to think outside of the box and to try things that people have never done before. This novel is the exact definition to the term "different", but it still intends to provide entertainment and has historical references which help serve as guides to his thought basis.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 19, 2011

    Hm.

    I finished this and walked away in puzzlement. It has acclaims and accolades all over the book. I wasn't particularily moved and I didn't completely hate it. That's the problem...I feel absolutely nothing for this book. Other people have opinions on it. Some I understand and others I have no idea where they came up with their interpretation. I didn't love it because I don't understand it. But that's just me.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 10, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    It wasn't a horrible book...

    The book had its moments. There were parts in the book where I could not put it down, specifically when it was about the Tralfamadorians. However, sometimes it got a tad bit confusing, thus making it a little boring. For instance, Vonnegut put himself in the novel which was a very interesting idea, and although he did not mention himself that often, it was still a little werid. I would recommend it to someone who really loves to read, but not to someone who rarely reads and is looking for a good book to read.

    I would actually give "Slaughterhouse-Five" 3.5 stars...

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 28, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Time Travel

    I thought Slaughterhouse Five was an okay book. It is very easy to read and it will hold your attention. The story is pretty unique, especially as far as war stories go. The first chapter is kind of hard to get into and the second chapter is also a little slow. The rest of the book is more put together and easier to enjoy. I didn't think this was a funny book as some people say. It wasn't sad by any means either. It was just a book. The whole point of the book is ant-war and it makes its point. This is a great read for highschoolers because it is short and matter-of-factly written. I did not find anything about it 'special' or 'moving', but it was a nice two day summer read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 16, 2008

    Never read Vonnegut

    I liked the characters and the middle of the book, the end just didn't seem like a very good one like what i was hoping for.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2008

    Yup, War is Bad.

    Billy Pilgrim is 'shell-shocked,' and forever traumatized by his POW experience during the bombing of Desden. The once laughable condition is now known as post traumatic stress disorder, and some of the fantasies that Billy experiences are particularly sad, because his sorrow overshadows his entire post war life. At one point reality and fantasy become one for him. Good, but it's about fifty pages to long. I thought Catch 22 was a better example of the absudity of war.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2007

    Bearable

    Kurt Vonnegut proves himself to be an exceptional writer in Slaughterhouse-Five. He is able to take the WWII literary genre, which generally glorifies war, and really demonstrate the mental effects of combat. Billy Pilgrim was just an average optometrist until he was drafted and began hallucinating and experiencing the effects of time travel. Although it was not Vonnegut¿s initial intention to make a political statement, the novel influences the reader¿s views about war in general. Vonnegut also employs and interesting writing style that allows the reader to laugh when the situation seems sad and sympathize with the characters, even if the situation seems hopeful. The writing style of the novel makes the uneven plot almost bearable. However, Slaughterhouse-Five is one of those rare books that you can enjoy while reading, but it fails to make any lasting impression on the reader. I found myself blankly scanning pages instead of concentrating on the plot of the story, because the book was written in such a haphazard and choppy manner. Had the novel been written in one time frame, it would have been far less confusing and more interesting. The reader could focus solely on Vonnegut¿s comical prose, instead of having to concentrate on what was actually taking place in the novel. It almost made me dizzy while reading, and it¿s almost impossible to recollect the actual plotline of the story because the setting and time frame changes almost twice a page. However, despite its general faults, I would recommend Slaughterhouse-Five for anyone who is looking for a new perspective on war, or on life.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2006

    Slaughter House Five

    Slaughter house five is a good book but in a way a very weired book. I mean I would recommand it on a good level to read on but I think he went a little crazy himself in the book. About what happen the people he met while in the war but other wise it's a pretty good book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2006

    One crazy book

    I had to read this book for my senior enligh class and let me tell you, this might be the most crazist book I ever read. Serious. I'm not personally used to reading satire but this book is one of those books that you have to pay attention to closesly or you will be lost. There are certain points where you can just pick the book up and know where you are but he is an amazing writer. So, if you're really interested in Satire this book is for you.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2005

    A Okay book

    Slaugter house five is one of the book that make me of monty pathon movies. It is very fuuny in some parts. If you read this book you would have to read it twice to really get it. I think anybody would enjoy reading this book

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2005

    Am I Missing Something?

    Slaughterhouse-Five was definately unlike any other book I've read. It starts out nicely, talking about how the narrator (Billy Pilgrim) is a war veteran and how everyone thinks he's crazy because he said he was kidnapped by aliens from the planet Tralfamadore. I enjoyed reading about his war experiences and the first couple of his time-travel experiences, but after that I got a little bit bored with the book. When I finished the book, I honestly had a tough time thinking of the point of the whole book. I understand the book was about his life, but I think the concept of becoming unstuck from time was too abstract for me and I couldn't relate to the main character at all. I felt like things were too scattered around and chaotic, going from one time in his life to a completely new one. I thought the ending was very disappointing, mainly because I thought it really wasn't an ending at all--just a continuum of the body of the novel. Yes, the war ended, but Billy's life didn't have any kind of closure to it. Most people I've talked to said they love this book, so maybe I am missing something, but I just found the book to be somewhat pointless. I'd rather read a more traditional book with a beginning, climax, and end.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2004

    Somewhat confusing....

    This is a good book yet somewhat confusing. It's all about Billy Pilgrim who is 'unstuck in time' which means he time travels. Billy goes from the World War I to being abducted by aliens to his childhood and back to present time. There is much to laugh about in this book and it says much about World War I and the Bookburning in Dresden. If you like adventureous stories, this one is for you.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2004

    good but i dunno.

    On a scale of 1 to 10 i'd rate it a 7. it has a good story and a good message. well, when i was reading it i kind of thought it had pointless parts but in the end it all came together and made me look at the book with an appreciation for this guy's life and the overall message and theme. It's a very interesting book because it has a lot of thought provoking subjects like time travel and death. I would recommend it because i liked the description of his experience in war and the science fiction aspect of it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2004

    Famously overrated

    I love Vonnegut's works and after reading several others his most famous work was lackluster. Entertaining at points, but too cagey, random and lacking the flow of story that his other works so excellently provide.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2003

    Not Bad

    I had to read this book for English 102, and I really did not like it while I was reading it. However, once I had to write a paper on it, I realized how Vonnegut used SL5 to paint a picture of how individuals in society will escape to a fantasy world, because their current world is awful. However, Vonnegut uses the death of Pilgrim, Wearly, and the Englishmen's fantasy of war to show how living in a fantasy world is detrimental, because it makes an individual or a group easier to manipulate or kill.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2002

    Ok, but not that great!

    Although I liked the way the book is structured and the way the whole story is told, I failed to see the greatness of this book. The author manages to keep a very fast-paced rythim which does not tire the reader and keeps his imagination from wandering. I appreciated the funny anecdotes and the way he manages to include himself in the book without becoming another character. Billy Pilgrim, a Forrest Gump-esque kind of character, is the regular Joe thrown into the battlefield..a pitiful excuse of a man, taking part in a war he does not want to fight. Maybe the fact that i don't appreciate books-without-and-ending is why I'm not so crazy about this book, although that would've been kind of unlikely because of the way the book was structured. What kind of got on my nerves was his ever present phrase: 'So it goes'... I think the book would've been better off without a couple of them. Anyway, this is just me... give it a try if you want to!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 93 review with 3 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 5