Slaughterhouse Five was one more book by Kurt Vonnegut that made me want to be a writer. The book was deceptively simple, refreshingly bizarre, and its absurd elements in no way detracted from the book’s messages about violence, war, and human cruelty. It was a book I wished I had written, except that it was obviously the product of a mind which had been exposed to those very nasty elements which make the book so effective.
Who would go through those experiences with eagerness?
Quotes from Slaughterhouse Five don’t tell the whole story of the book–not even close, but they do paint a picture of the man behind some of the most wonderful and meaningful writing there has ever been. Kurt Vonnegut was an absolute master at his craft, and I’ve always felt fortunate to have discovered him as early as I did.
- The skyline was intricate and voluptuous and enchanted and absurd. It looked like a Sunday school picture of Heaven to Billy Pilgrim
- Billy licked his lips, thought a while, inquired at last: “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?”
- Everything was beautiful, and nothing hurt.
- How nice. To feel nothing–and still get credit for being fully alive.
I’m going to stop there for now. I’ll be reading the book again in the next couple of weeks and I’ll return to this post and add whatever else seems especially relevant to me at the time.
Feel free to add to the list.