Or, The Children's Crusade, A Duty-dance With Death

Vonnegut, Kurt

(Paperback - 1999)
Average Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5.
Billy Pilgrim returns home from the Second World War only to be kidnapped by aliens from the planet Tralfamadore, who teach him that time is an eternal present.
Publisher: New York : Dell Pub., 1999, c1969
ISBN: 0385333846
Branch Call Number: FIC V
Characteristics: 275 p. ; 21 cm.


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Oct 17, 2014
  • kurthallsman rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

One of the best (among many) of Vonnegut's books. The beginning of his mature snippet (I'm going to describe to you what happens in this book before it actually happens in this book) writing style. And So It Goes. p.s.: The movie is great too.

The first time I started reading this book, I thought it was random and boring, but as I got in to it I greatly enjoyed it. Don't just read because the prestige will make you sound smart, it's not a tough book. It's an enjoyable book that comments on the absurdity of life without ever saying pointless and is empathetic. Favorite war novel after Catch 22, maybe even before it.

May 17, 2014
  • JCLBeckyC rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Billy Pilgrim is a World War II soldier with what we would today call post-traumatic stress disorder. He has flashbacks to his time as a prisoner of war during the fire-bombing of Dresden. He loses his grip on reality, believing he has become unstuck in time and has been abducted by aliens. Based on Vonnegut's experiences in the war. My favorite book by one of my all-time favorite authors. Highly recommended.

May 02, 2014
  • EMF1226 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Very odd writing style but I found it to be awesome. I found myself smiling and feeling sad all at once throughout the entire book. I didn't know I could feel that way...totally worth cranking this out when you have some time. This book is amazing, simply put.

Jan 26, 2014
  • Lauraparr rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

Not particularly keen on this book. I know it's a classic and maybe that's why I had higher expectations. I found it hard to get into, slow paced with characters hard to get attached to. I wasn't moved.

Nov 22, 2013
  • KRockstar10 rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

A powerful anti-war story. Liked it, didn't love it, but would highly recommend it. Very, very sad, in a way that leaves you thinking about the residual sadness for hours after you read it.

Oct 09, 2013
  • britprincess1 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

This book is very complicated to explain. If you're looking for some grand statement, some deep message about war or time travel or any of the elements scattered throughout, you're not going to find it, because, as Vonnegut sees it, what can you say about war? There are no statements that explain it all, make it all better, bring it all together. Hence, the final word of the bird, "Poo-too-weet?" The bird can say just as much as any of us, that's how much sense it will make in the grand scheme of a discourse on war. I didn't like the immediacy of the ending, but I think that was simply because I just wanted more. It was so well written, so natural, flowing organically from pen to page to the reader's very eyes. I found this book really interesting, and, reading it following DEATH OF A SALESMAN (which I did not like at all), it felt like a breath of fresh air. There's a lot to think about and so much to say, but there are no answers and there are no heroes when it comes to war. That's what I liked about this novel, SLAUGHTERHOUSE-FIVE, and I greatly appreciated its few wise truths. Vonnegut sums it all up in the first chapter, but the story past there is just a way for Vonnegut to vent from behind a disguise. The science fiction elements are just a representation of how we cope. Some people knit to deal with stress, some cook, some go out dancing or gossiping with friends on a Sunday morning. Whatever it is you need to do, you do, and for the protagonist Billy, that was time travel. Some may believe that he really did visit Tralfamadore; others may say that it was his imagination, a dream, a mental break from reality. The truth doesn't really matter. It's the experience, and if you're content to just read about Billy's experience (a veil for Vonnegut's real-life experience in Dresden), then you'll enjoy this book. If you don't like it, well, so it goes.

Jul 19, 2013
  • rstucke35 rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

This book was a giant let down. I am not sure how this has been termed a "Classic". No real climax or continuous plot. Very confusing story telling. Yes it is anti-war, but the book was boring.

Jul 18, 2013
  • Limboden76 rated this: 1.5 stars out of 5.

As a bookstore wage slave, I've read over a hundred books, but I will never understand why some books get to be called "classic" and others do not. This is one of those that I question.
Slow paced, repetitive prose, and characters that you never really like made this a VERY painful read. For me, finishing a book I am not invested in halfway through is like taking a hard bowel movement.
Outside of a few classic quotes (i.e. "Everything was beautiful & nothing hurt", "So it goes"), I wouldn't recommend this as Vonnegut's best work. I've gotten way more enjoyment out of his other works. Give "Thank You Mr. Rosewater" a try.

Jun 16, 2013
  • ddmyres rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

A very interesting book. A quarter of the way through I was still wondering what it was even about. The dry humor and satirical style of the novel made it an enjoyable read.

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Jun 16, 2013
  • ddmyres rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

"Everything was beautiful, and nothing hurt."

May 22, 2013
  • 3038462sme rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

"So it goes."


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Sep 08, 2009
  • Anarchy_Bunny rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Anarchy_Bunny thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over


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