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  • Slaughterhouse-Five

  • By: Kurt Vonnegut
  • Narrated by: James Franco
  • Length: 5 hrs and 13 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (771 ratings)

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Slaughterhouse-Five

By: Kurt Vonnegut
Narrated by: James Franco
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Publisher's Summary

Slaughterhouse-Five is the now famous parable of Billy Pilgrim, a World War II veteran and POW who has, in the later stage of his life, become "unstuck in time" and who experiences at will (or unwillingly) all known events of his chronology out of order and sometimes simultaneously.

Traumatized by the bombing of Dresden at the time he had been imprisoned, Pilgrim drifts through all events and history, sometimes deeply implicated, sometimes a witness. He is surrounded by Vonnegut's usual large cast of continuing characters (notably here the hack science fiction writer Kilgore Trout and the alien Tralfamadorians, who oversee his life and remind him constantly that there is no causation, no order, no motive to existence). The "unstuck" nature of Pilgrim's experience may constitute an early novelistic use of what we now call post-traumatic stress disorder; then again, Pilgrim's aliens may be as "real" as Dresden is real to him.

Struggling to find some purpose, order, or meaning to his existence and humanity's, Pilgrim meets the beauteous and mysterious Montana Wildhack (certainly the author's best character name), has a child with her, and drifts on some supernal plane, finally, in which Kilgore Trout, the Tralfamadorians, Montana Wildhack, and the ruins of Dresden do not merge but rather disperse through all planes of existence.

Slaughterhouse-Five was hugely successful, brought Vonnegut an enormous audience, was a finalist for the National Book Award and a best seller, and remains four decades later as timeless and shattering a war fiction as Catch-22, with which it stands as the two signal novels of their riotous and furious decade.

©1969 Kurt Vonnegut (P)2015 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"James Franco is an inspired choice as narrator for this anti-war classic. While still young, he still manages to sound world-weary.... Franco has fun with the offbeat characters and Vonnegut's quirky text but keeps the overall tone thoughtful.... Franco's reading gives the 1960s classic a freshness that will appeal to both new listeners and Vonnegut's many fans." ( AudioFile)

What listeners say about Slaughterhouse-Five

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    5 out of 5 stars

Great American classic

Delighted to "read" this classic again. Franco did a good job but must learn to pronounce the word "cavalry" correctly. It was a Calvary hearing his mispronunciation- twice.

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1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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So It Goes

This book is hard to categorise but importantly it is anti-war among a lot of other things - So It Goes.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Excellent detail and black humour

I thought James Franco's voice and readiig style suited this book perfectly. An interesting and engaging alternative treatment to the topic of war , especially those who survive it.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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amazing and chilling

confusing at first. you'll get it later. great anti war and sci Fi mixed book. defs recommend

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Terribly good

A joy! Deservedly a classic, performed flawlessly with pathos. I can imagine the never to be Del Toro/Kaufman film with precision.

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Billy Pilgrim and the Serenity prayer.

I enjoyed the pace of the reading and the novel itself was for me an exploration of trauma, done with dark humour and poetry!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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A kaleidoscope of a story. Fractured yet brilliant! Compelling and frank.

There is so much you could say about this story. One of those high school books your supposed to read but in my case, never did.

I'm glad I waited until now. It's so fractured and compelling. Only 5hrs of audio so got through it quickly. I think reading it would have been harder unless you read it in one sitting.

The frankness in Kurt Vonnegut's writing about WWII POW's before and up to the bombing of Dresden, Germany through the eyes of one or many people from moment to moment was so brutal, genuine and heartbreaking. Particularly, the portrayal and stark differences of humanity. Whether you were a US, British or Russian POW, Nazi or civilian in Germany during that time.

Most of the story though was seen mainly through the eyes of one US would be optometrist, Bill Pilgrim. He stretches constantly through space and time, quite literally but most often back to WWII as a US POW before, after and the aftermath of the bombing of Dresden. One thinks often that his behaviour is likened to PSTD, which at the time of WWII was seen as cowardice and odd. Such a fractured human being but brilliant mind.

I recommend this book definitely. There's so much in it!

James Franco was great as the narrator with his approach but was lacking also. The story nonetheless was brilliant on its own. Amazing, sad, atrocious, frank and brilliant! Totally an unexpected read. Blew my mind in so many directions!

Thank you to all for their contributions. Especially, making classic reads available on audio!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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so it goes

There are affections that I want to remember as they were simply stunning. So it goes

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Really good!

I really enjoyed listening to this audio book, would recommend to a friend and and family members

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Ben
  • 06-05-2021

Beautiful story

Francos monotone is a terrible fit for this amazingly told story. Vonnegut was a genius.

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