This book was fairly difficult for me to read. On one hand, yes, it some sort of brilliant anti-war message about the futility of war and how it destroys people; people who are just bits of refuse thrown to and fro, with no actual say in how they are used, what they feel, or where they go.
The mind-numbing futility of it all.
I get it.
But I just don't enjoy the writing. I could have liked this book a lot more if Vonnegut was just a decent writer. I know he even admitted to being a crappy writer... I just don't get the accolades.
So Billy Pilgrim becomes unstuck in time. He gets unstuck and goes to and fro in his life, from the end of his life to the beginning, from war to school, through all of these different parts in the most non-linear fashion possible. It makes for interesting story telling, because it tells stories as little vignettes instead of just a long narrative, and some of those vignettes are pretty decent.
But what is it really about? A man who survived WWII, the Bombing of Dresden, the Battle of the Bulge, being a POW, and how he came to cope with that (basically - not well). Being at the mercy of PTSD so severe that he becomes a character in sci-fi stories that he has read. It's not a sci-fi story, at all
, and I don't think it should be thought of that way. Just a book with the most unreliable narrator ever, living his life by gobbling up and regurgitating bits and pieces of his memories from bad pulp-sci-fi.
It gets a resounding 'meh' for me, and worries me, because I have another Vonnegut book I was looking forward to reading (you know, before I tripped through this).
This book does have a metric tonne of awesome quotes, though. Incredibly quoteable, and my favorite is -
"And Lot's wife, of course, was told not to look back where all those people and their homes had been. But she did look back, and I love her for that, because it was so human. So she was turned to a pillar of salt."