Kurt Vonnegut
Slaughterhouse-Five Cover

Slaughterhouse - Five


I have a friend who reads lots of books about WWII. That's not my favorite genre, so after I finished the acknowledged classic Slaughterhouse Five, I was excited to finally have a book we could discuss together. Imagine my surprise when I found out she hadn't read it! Turns out she thought it was science fiction, so didn't feel compelled to read it. What a mistake. Why are we (myself included) so afraid to step outside of our boundaries and read something different? No wonder many authors, Vonnegut included, chafe so at being classified as this-or-that genre. So limiting. Even my scifi book club, for which I read Slaughterhouse Five, was mixed over whether this book was scifi or not. But we agreed it didn't matter. It is simply a Great Book. And Great Books are Great no matter what their subject, genre, or era. The genre thing comes down to this: I do not want to spend my precious time reading mediocre works about WWII, and the same goes for my friend vis-a-vis scifi. But brilliant works like Slaughterhouse Five or The Left Hand of Darkness (which won the 1970 Hugo Award over Slaughterhouse Five) really should be read by everyone. Yes, that means YOU!