Episode 022: Slaughterhouse Five

Today we’re discussing Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

One of the world’s great antiwar books, centering on the infamous World War II firebombing of Dresden, it’s the result of what Vonnegut describes as a twenty-three-year struggle to write a book about what he witnessed as an American prisoner of war. It combines science fiction, autobiography, humour, historical fiction, and satire in an account of the life of Billy Pilgrim, a barber’s son turned draftee turned optometrist turned alien abductee. Billy Pilgrim’s odyssey reflects the mythic journey of our own fractured lives as we search for meaning in what we fear most.

In This Episode We Mention

Video clips of Kurt Vonnegut in Back to School

The Field Guide to Dumb Birds of North America by Matt Krach

Find great books through NoveList Plus

Great banned and challenged books like The Catcher In The Rye by J.D. Salinger, A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess, The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie and To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Can You Tell Me A Book You Would Also Like?

Erica: The Good Place TV show and The Sparrow and The Women of the Copper Country by Mary Doria Russell

Alan: I Never Promised You A Rose Garden by Joanne Greenberg and the Slaughterhouse-Five movie

Dennis: Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut and The Better Angels of our Nature by Steven Pinker

Trevor: “Story of Your Life” by Ted Chiang, found in “Stories of Your Life and Others” (basis for the movie “Arrival”)

Nerd Words for Word Nerds

Erica: Pandemonium

Trevor: Mutant (also Stephen King’s “The Institute” and Marvel Comics’ “The New Mutants”)

Alan: Heisenberg’s Uncertainly Principle (via Wikipedia) and the Quilted Universe

Dennis: Sleep

Many thanks to our online buds GMC Davis, Sindoyle, Christina, MindLandscape204, J Drosset, and Charlie Nellam for their comments.

Next month we’re reading The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro. We’re looking forward to hearing what you think about it. Find us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or email at wpl-podcast@winnipeg.ca.

Time to Read is a production of the Winnipeg Public Library. Our panel today included Alan Chorney, Dennis Penner, Erica Ball, and Trevor Lockhart. Kirsten will return in a future episode. Our webmaster is Arryn Seburn. Our social media guru is Reegan Breu. Audio production and music by Dennis Penner.

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