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اثر کورت ونه گات از انتشارات یوبان - مترجم: طاهره عباسی-داستان علمی تخیلی

Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best novels of all time, Slaughterhouse-Five, an American classic, is one of the worlds great antiwar books. Centering on the infamous firebombing of Dresden, Billy Pilgrims odyssey through time reflects the mythic journey of our own fractured lives as we search for meaning in what we fear most.

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A re-read.
Loved this so much better the 2nd time around.
Great unique story. Addictive.

مشاهده لینک اصلی
“How nice -- to feel nothing, and still get full credit for being alive.”

The author was taken as prisioner of war and was in Dresden (Germany) when it was bombard. So it goes. Having failed to write a book on his war experiences - probably because of psychological stress involved in it ; he veils himself in character of Bill:

“Every so often, for no apparent reason, Billy Pilgrim would find himself weeping. Nobody ever caught Billy doing it, only the doctor knew. It was an extremely quiet thing Billy did and not very [email protected]

The transition from writer to character happens within the book and thus loosing the point where reality ends and fiction starts. This in fact, is beauty of book – it is not the best war novel, but it shows beautifully how easy it is for a disturbed person to lose her/himself into world of fiction.

When I saw aliens in it and easy, frequently funny narration - I start doubting the truth of Billys war experiences as well but “All this happened, more or less.” The aliens are in fact are result of Billys schizophrenia.

His sufferings, desire to escape and sexual desires combined to create a world of illusions, where he created for himself the answers to problems that tormented him in real life. (the sci-fiction he liked to read gave him material for same)

The so called time travel are the old memories that keep imposing themselves upon him. There is no escaping those old memories (which is veiled in forever existence of time): “All moments, past, present and future, always have existed, always will exist.”

The determinism, in above quote, which is just fancy word for fatalism, is a recurring theme in this book:

“Among the things Billy pilgrim could not change were the past, present, and future.”

“- Why me?
- That is a very Earthling question to ask, Mr. Pilgrim. Why you? Why us for that matter? Why anything? Because this moment simply is. Have you ever seen bugs trapped in amber?
- Yes.
- Well, here we are, Mr. Pilgrim, trapped in the amber of this moment. There is no why.”

When asked if he was happy in his prison in alien planet, he replied ‘about as happy as he was on Earth. Such fatalism stop him from taking any stand, through out the book Billy is like fish caught off water – just struggling to stay alive.

“One of main effect of war, after all, is that people are discouraged from being characters.”

And not to mention, Vonnegut’s usual satire on general stupidity of humanity (particularly war), his questioning of assumptions we hold (specially that seven parent thing) etc.

“Like so many Americans, she was trying to construct a life that made sense from things she found in gift shops.”

مشاهده لینک اصلی
Don’t be fooled: this is a short novel, but a pretty difficult one! Kurt Vonnegut, like his protagonist, Billy Pilgrim, witnessed long ago one of the most dreadful (and now almost forgotten) events during the crepuscular spring of 1945, when the Allies, pretending to eradicate Nazism, utterly destroyed the German city of Dresden and killed tens of thousand of civilians (comparable to the Hiroshima bombing). This event is the bleeding core of the novel. So it goes.

What is more bewildering about this book is its disjointed time structure: very soon in the story, Billy Pilgrim, a former prisoner of war, gets “unstuck in time”, thanks to the intervention of a Tralfamadorian flying saucer. He then keeps travelling in time from one paragraph to the next, going back and forth from the days before the Dresden destruction, to his childhood years, to his postwar life as an optometrist who is writing a book about Dresden and suffers a plane crash, to the time of the Vietnam War and Ronald Reagan (the present time when Vonnegut was writing), to a geodesic sphere on the far-off planet of Tralfamadore, to Times Square, and back to the firestorm of World War II.

In doing so, we get to know a gallery of quaint yet pitiful characters Billy meets along the way: Weary the bully, Lazzaro the enraged sadist, Campbell the American Nazi, Kilgore Trout the crook sci-fi writer, the Spinozist four-dimensional Tralfamadorians, Montana the porn star, the rich and fat Valencia who dies in her car, Derby the teacher who dies before a firing squad, Jesus Christ a “nobody” who dies on a piece of wood. So it goes.

Added to this sense of disorientation (which indeed is that of Billy/Kurt), Vonnegut uses a dry, detached and fatalistic humour, when describing the most unspeakable, even unthinkable, moments of this war experience, that, if amusing, truly conveys a sense of utter despair. So it goes.

مشاهده لینک اصلی
Update: I decided to upgrade the rating to 5*. Still on my mind after more than 1 year.

This was such a pleasant surprise. This book has been on my to-read list since the beginning of my activity on Goodreads and I did a good job avoiding to read it. I was sure I would not like it since: 1. I am not a fan of books/movies about war and 2. I thought this science-fiction satire style was not for me. I only wanted to read it because it is a classic and I resolved to read more of those (modern or not). This book kept bumping on different lists so I could not escape its lure.

Oh, I judged this book so wrongly. Actually, I liked it a lot. I thought the time travelling, the fractured prose and the detached tone of the narrator were very effective to portrait the Dresden atrocities and how to witness this can impact your life forever.

مشاهده لینک اصلی
Ive only just finished this, literally minutes ago - look I had no idea this was going to be nearly so good. When he died last year I read some of his short stories, which were okay, but nothing to write home about. This was something else.

A friend of mine I dont talk to any more by a strange form of mutual agreement / obligation (though, now I’ve worked out how this all works, perhaps we’ve found an alternative means of one way communication?) – was thinking of starting up a science fiction reading group for people who don’t read science fiction. Now, this is exactly the sort of book that would be great for that.

What I liked most about it was that the aliens did not have to be real – there was a bump on the head that could explain much. This is an interesting book and like many interesting books it can be read on many levels.

It is an anti-war story that is both confronting and stunningly well written. I really loved the time travel sequences – how the novel told itself in much the same way that it wanted to explain what fourth dimensional living would be like. The structure of the story is very interesting – brilliantly clever. There is also a lot of very black humour – my favourite kind.

Every time someone dies in the book – and it is about (in part) the bombing of Dresden, so there are plenty of opportunities for people to die – the narrator says, “so it goes”. If you had asked me before reading this if I would have thought this would work as a device I would have said that it definitely would not – that soon it would be a pain in the bum. But I would have been wrong. It was inspired – catching me in much the same way every time and making the deaths more ‘real’ each time. Even when I knew they were coming their iteration was a mantra and one that worked for me in that it did focus my attention. This, even though the stated intention was to do the opposite.

There is, of course, a logical flaw in the aliens seeing all times but making the same mistakes every time which isn’t really covered over by saying all times need to correspond to their inherent structure – but this is a novel and this was not a flaw that annoyed me enough to stop me reading.

This is a humorous book, it is a book that stops you reading and makes you think of the implications of what you are reading. It is a book that is not seeking bland ‘realism’ – at no time is the reader unaware that this is art, rather than ‘life’ (whatever that is) – but this is its power – this is what takes the breath away. What is artifice comments on the real and shows it to as again as new.

I really had not expected this book to be nearly as good as it was. It is one of those books I’ve always known was there, but thought it would be just another science fiction novel. This is anything but ‘just’ anything. A remarkable book I might force my daughters to read.

مشاهده لینک اصلی
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