Slaughterhouse-Five

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Slaughterhouse-Five
Or The Children’s Crusade, A Duty-Dance with Death

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Delacorte Press, Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc, 1994, 25th Anniversary Edition

Originally published in 1969

This is one trippy book (and movie – but more about the movie later). Very easy to read – I read it in a day; but not necessarily easy to follow. No, I take that back, it was easy to follow, just not easy to understand at first. The story jumps back and forth through time, following its main character, Billy Pilgrim. Billy has become “unstuck in time.”  In the blink of an eye or a heartbeat he travels at various points in this life, both in the past and in the future. While the story of Billy opens in the 1960s, the reader spends most of the time during World War 2 in the couple of months before the bombing of Dresden, Germany.

Main Character

*Billy Pilgrim, described as “a funny-looking child who became a funny-looking youth—tall and weak, and shaped like a bottle of Coca-Cola.”{pg 22}  He is a bystander in his own life, observing it rather than participating in the events that happen to him.

Secondary Characters

*Edgar Derby, high school teacher, friend of Billy during WW2, shot for absentmindedly claiming a teapot that looked like one at home.
*Montana Wildhack, Billy’s shapely companion in the zoo set up on the planet Tralfamadore where the creatures set up a geodesic dome for them live and be observed in.
*Lazzaro, self-proclaimed enemy of Billy’s during WW2. He promises to kill Billy one day in the distant future, and he actually does.
*Valencia Merble, Billy’s wife who “was rich. She was as big as a house because she wouldn’t stop eating.”
{pg 102}

The book is supposed to be a treatise against war, and it certainly accomplishes that purpose. The time-jumping lends a disjointed-ness to the story, which may what being in a war is like (I’ll never know). At least anyone who has suffered any type of trauma has felt that disjointedness or, disassociation with life at times. Even though the book is easy to read, it is hard to read as well. If you aren’t focused in the beginning or have a short attention span this is not the book for you. The movie is worse – not that the actors do a bad job – it’s just that so much is left out that if you haven’t read the book the movie won’t make a bit of sense to you. I read the book and the movie barely made any sense to me!

I did love the way the author describes Billy’s mom – so classic: “It wasn’t that she was ugly, or had bad breath or a bad personality. She was a perfectly nice, standard-issue, brown-haired, white woman with a high school education.” {pg 97}

Rating: 3 out of 5 paws because it is a classic American novel, it is well written for all it’s trippiness and it does show the horrors of war; however, it is just not a book I will read again.

jack 071115aaReviewer: Jack

Banned book info –

This book was published in 1969 and between 1972 and 2010 it has been banned, challenged, restricted and/or burned  18 times – at least that is the officially reported number. The book isn’t everybody’s cup of tea, but everyone – including high school students – should be free to discover that themselves. So it goes. . .

Movie cover & posters

   

Alternate Covers

             Slaughterhouse-Five  9246791

Cover Makeover Golden Valley Silver Flowers

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This week’s Cover Makeover Challenge is for the recently published book Golden Valley Silver Flowers.

This is the published cover.
This is the published cover.
This is the base photo before it cropping. Since the book involves subject of war, I went with this ghost forest, the remnants of an earthquake in Alaska. It has a certain desolate and destroyed look about it.
This is the base photo before cropping. Since the book involves subject of war, I went with this ghost forest, the remnants of an earthquake in Alaska. It has a certain desolate and destroyed look about it.
I cut this house out of the photo and placed it in the original photo. Then I took a second house, placed it upside down in the lake and faded it a bit to make it look like a reflection.
I cut this house out of the photo and placed it in the original photo. Then I took a second house, placed it upside down in the lake and faded it a bit to make it look like a reflection.
These white azalea blooms are from this spring in the front yard, cut from the photograph and placed in the sky to add a touch of life in the midst the death of war.
These white azalea blooms are from this spring in the front yard, cut from the photograph and placed in the sky to add a touch of life and romance in the midst the death of war.

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Sponsored by Lucile de Godoy and DesleyJaneGo HERE for all the cover’s for last weeks challenge!   

library croppedCover Makeover Artist: Toby

The Prophet of Yonwood

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The Prophet of Yonwood, the third book of Ember

Jeanne DuPrau

Yearling, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, 2007

This is the story of a pre-teen girl who visits Yonwood, North Carolina just after an elderly resident has had a terrifying and fiery vision of the future of the world (it all ends in a terrible “bang”). With that vision the thought of the end of the world becomes a reason for hunting down sinners who would go against the word of God and prevent Yonwood from being saved in the coming war. Mrs. Beeson takes the lead in hunting down these poor folks and misinterprets the ramblings of The Prophet as the Word of God.

Nickie lives through a couple of months of this crisis and learns to trust herself to do the right thing rather than have someone else tell her what the right thing is. The crisis is eventually alleviated, this time, and Nickie goes back to Pennsylvania with Crystal. But the events that happened during those few winter months changed her and she would remember them until the end of her life.

Main characters

  • Nickie Randolph, young girl of 12 that has 3 goals: 1. To save Greenwood (her great-grandfather’s house) from being sold; 2. To fall in love; 3. To help the world.
  • Grover Persons, a boy of 14 who becomes unlikely friends with Nickie
  • Otis, a scraggy dog Nickie keeps hidden from her aunt.

Secondary characters

  • Althea Tower, The Prophet, an elderly woman who has a terrible vision of the future.
  • Brenda Beeson, self-appointed interpreter of The Prophet.
  • Crystal, Nickie’s aunt who comes to Yonwood with Nickie to clean out and sell Greenwood.
  • Amanda Stokes, teenager who took care of Nickie’s great-grandfather, then The Prophet.

Other characters

  • Hoyt McCoy, creepy man who lives in a run-down house who tries to keep away from everybody
  • The Terrorist in the Woods, the unknown person who lives in the woods that everyone talks about, has never seen and who is afraid of.

Written as a prequel to The City of Ember and People of Sparks, there is no connection to those two books until the very last page. When the connection is finally made known, the book makes sense, although I would have preferred reading it first (but as it was written 3rd, that would have been impossible). It was a well written story and the plot lines were well conceived but it was wrapped up all too easily and I am not likely to read it again. I will keep it on our shelves for a while, but the whole set will probably not survive the next round of donation purge.

 

Rating: 2 paws because I just didn’t like it as well as Ember and Sparks.

bobbiesue pawbobbiesue paw

Reviewer: BobbiSue bobbiesue headshot

Images courtesy Pinterest

Otis. Check out Brigette's review of Jeanne DuPrau's The Prophet Of Yonwood here: http://chaptersandscenes.wordpress.com/2014/02/20/brigette-reviews-the-prophet-of-yonwood/ Otis

 Scarlet Kingsnake/Milksnake - North Carolina. Check out Brigette's review of Jeanne DuPrau's The Prophet Of Yonwood here: http://chaptersandscenes.wordpress.com/2014/02/20/brigette-reviews-the-prophet-of-yonwood/

 a milksnake like Grover’s

 Albino Black Bear. Check out Brigette's review of Jeanne DuPrau's The Prophet Of Yonwood here: http://chaptersandscenes.wordpress.com/2014/02/20/brigette-reviews-the-prophet-of-yonwood/ 

the terrorist in the woods 

North Carolina mountains. Check out Brigette's review of Jeanne DuPrau's The Prophet Of Yonwood here: http://chaptersandscenes.wordpress.com/2014/02/20/brigette-reviews-the-prophet-of-yonwood/ mountains of North Carolina  

Check out Brigette's review of Jeanne DuPrau's The Prophet Of Yonwood here: http://chaptersandscenes.wordpress.com/2014/02/20/brigette-reviews-the-prophet-of-yonwood/ Jeanne DuPrau