the problem with life is
that you can only understand it
but must live it as it happens.
i am going to cheat, today.
slaughterhouse five isn’t actually the last book i read.*
still, i choose to write about this one. i have already published a post on kurt vonnegut’s novel, where you will find most answers to today’s daily prompt questions.
what you will not find, though, is my concluding recommendation, and i thought i would use the opportunity to make up for that.
i hate that i finished slaughterhouse five.
i miss reading it.
admittedly, the structure is a little confusing, at first, and the hero’s thoughts seem bizarre and unreal. what i never would have guessed, though, when i began reading it in august, was that the little random snippets of him “being unstuck in time” would actually fall into place, eventually, and make more sense than the majority of books i have read in my life.
if i had to explain this novel’s enchantment to someone else, who would never be able to hear the actual story, i would say, perhaps:
slaughterhouse five has no conventional plot. there are hooks, like world war two and billy getting unstuck in time. but it doesn’t focus on any specific topic.
instead, it’s a series of tiny episodes, carefully woven together, in a way
that appears random to the brain, but very intuitive to the heart.
when i had read halfway through the book, billy’s views began to make sense, and with every turning page, i knew this story would take me to beautifully tragic places, which only my subconsious seemed to comprehend.
billy – according to common sense – is a failure,
an old, weakling dreamer who has given up and been given up by everyone.
and yet, i learned to love his ways, his chain of thoughts, free of pity.
because all that matters to us – subjectively or objectively – all is touched and held in this story, without the need to be exposed or analyzed.
that’s what i would try to explain.
now, i know this must all sound very paradox and unlikely.
so, if you get the chance to, go buy a copy and see for yourself.
and to conclude my august post: it is really worth it to see through the gory stuff.
*why i cheated:
i began and finished reading slaughterhouse five, last year. more recently, i read one day by david nicholls, a beautiful novel that left me sobbing. it is the last book i finished, so far.
and ever since, i have grown very fond of simultaneous reading.
on my nightstand – and scattered in various purses/backpacks – are:
lone wolf (jodi picoult),
the great gatsby (scott f. fitzgerald),
of mice and men (john steinbeck),
on the road (jack kerouac)
and canada (richard ford).
this, however, makes timely completion a difficult goal to achieve,
since (unfortunately) i do not get paid for reading.
as a matter of fact,
i do not get paid for anything, right now.