Slaughterhouse-Five – Review

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

Published in 1969

Pages: 275

Genre: Satire, science fiction, dark comedy

“All this happened, more or less.”

Writers are told that the first sentence of their book should simultaneously catch the reader’s eye and set the tone for the story; Vonnegut has achieved both of these with the infamous opening line of Slaughterhouse-Five. Billy Pilgrim, the protagonist, is a man who has come unstuck in time. This doesn’t happen to him of his own accord but is simply something that does happen, will happen, and has always happened. The story of Slaughterhouse-Five flows in and out of time, can be confusing at parts, but finds its way back on course over the years of Billy’s life. Continue reading “Slaughterhouse-Five – Review”

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The Graveyard Book – Review

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Illustrations by Dave McKean

Published in 2008

Pages: 312

Genre: Fantasy, horror, children’s literature

“There was a hand in the darkness, and it held a knife.”

A man stalks up the stairs of an English house, searching for his final victim. Blood drips from the knife in his hand as he nears the finish of his dark deed. Victory, however, is not to be his. So begins The Graveyard Book, the tale of a baby toddling into a graveyard and being taken in by those who walk (0r float) in the twilight. Setting the tone for the book, the opening details a killer known as the man Jack who looks for the remaining child of a family of four who were fated to fall to his blade; or so he thought. Continue reading “The Graveyard Book – Review”

Cat’s Cradle – Review

Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut

Published in 1963

Pages: 270

Genre: Satire

“Call me Jonah.”

Cat’s Cradle is a story of satirical strangeness and absurd action. A man who calls himself by another name writes in retrospect regarding his research for a book about the end of the world and unwittingly finds himself present at the subject of his novel. Fraught with sarcasm and sardonic criticism of science, religion, technology, war, and many other topics, Cat’s Cradle showcases Kurt Vonnegut’s knack for the nearly nonsensical. (I need to lay off on the alliteration…yeesh)

The book begins with the narrator, John, describing his attempts to write a book about the day that the atom bomb was dropped over Hiroshima; he decides to research Dr. Felix Hoenikker, who was regarded as one of the fathers of the bomb. Through his research, Hoenikker’s strange personality and life story are revealed as John is thrust into a journey that will lead to the end of the world as we know it (If you feel inclined to listen to the R.E.M. song , go ahead. I’ll wait). Continue reading “Cat’s Cradle – Review”

Snuff – Review

Snuff by Terry Pratchett

Published in 2011

Pages: 470

Genre: Fantasy, satire

“The goblin experience of the world is the cult or perhaps religion of Unggue.”

Commander Samuel Vimes is being pushed out of the very occupation he lives for by the one thing a career criminal catcher fears the most: vacation. In Snuff, this catalyst sends Vimes and his family off to their country estate so he can take a much needed holiday. Well, much needed in the opinion of everyone except Sam Vimes. However, it isn’t long into the trip that trouble rears its ugly head in the shape of a mysterious murder. True to his nature, Vimes jumps at the chance to bring justice to the ne’er-do-wells among the knolls. Continue reading “Snuff – Review”