BOOK REVIEW. SLAUGHTERHOUSE-FIVE.

BOOK REVIEW. SLAUGHTERHOUSE-FIVE.

I just finished Slaughterhouse-five for the second time. What a rush. What a book. What a writer.

Slaughterhouse-five pulls you in and doesn’t let you go. The book is charming, full of wit and dark humor. The book is sad, full of war and death. So it goes.

This book is about Dresden getting bombed into a trillion little pieces. It’s about the cruelty of war. It’s about the mind of a broken man.

It’s about getting abducted by aliens and put into a zoo on Tralfamadore.

I’m going to say the same thing I say before every book review: I’m a blogger, not a literary critic. I read this book. I think it’s good. Here’s why:

After putting down Slaughterhouse 5 I immediately picked up Our Mutual Friend By Charles Dickens.  I was immediately bored to tears. It’s not Chuck’s fault; Chuck is a genius. It’s Vonnegut’s fault. Vonnegut is also a genius.

Vonnegut’s writing is a unique style called Postmodernism. The way I would describe it is that the story is disjointed and nonlinear. It jumps around different points of the story, and it is connected by the writing style. Even though something completely different may be happening in the next paragraph, it doesn’t feel out of place, because the paragraphs are connected by the way the author is writing. You never feel like you’re lost while reading it, and you never feel like the moments where you transition from different points in the story are jarring. Everything feels natural and entertaining.

The story still feels as though it progresses, even though it’s being told in this strange manner. It has a beginning, a middle, a climax, and an end. Even though you know exactly what’s going to happen throughout the story, you have a insatiable desire to keep reading. Vonnegut crafts his paragraphs in such a sharp rhythmic way that it is such a pleasure to read.

There are moments where you will be on the verge of tears, or laughing out loud. The story is grounded, yet at the same time it is fantastic and strange. It takes you from these surreal scenes of a boy who is hardly a man taken prisoner by the Germans in the war, to scenes with the same character being abducted by a spaceship decades later. Literally, these two story points happen paragraphs apart, and it flows perfectly.

I’m sure this book isn’t for everyone, though.

I gave one of my sister’s another book called Breakfast for Champions by Vonnegut once.

She didn’t like it.

I was furious.

Vonnegut isn’t for everyone. I guess everything isn’t for everyone. Some people don’t like chocolate. Some people don’t like summer. Some people don’t like the smell of the ocean.

So if you’re one of those crazy people, maybe don’t read Slaughterhouse-five.

In a more serious tone though, this book is violently sad and darkly humorous. If you can’t stand harsh language or serious tones (like war. Like World War 2)  then maybe it’s a better idea to stick with something a bit more light-hearted. Like The Princess Bride.

This book is immensely difficult for me to describe. So I apologize if this review has confused you at all. All I mean to say is that this is one of the most entertaining books I’ve ever read. It’s a little over two hundred pages long, and you could get a copy for under ten bucks.

Get this book. Read it. Let me know if I was right to say it’s one of the most entertaining books you’ll ever read.

Because it’s one of the most entertaining books you’ll ever read.

“If you’re ever in Cody. Wyoming, just ask for wild bob.”

BOOK REVIEW. THE PRINCESS BRIDE.

Here I am again, I read another book. This is my second time reading The Princess Bride. Revisiting a good book is like reminiscing with an old friend. You go over experiences you loved, and you learn new things.

 

The Princess Bride

S. Morgenstern’s

Classic Tale of True Love

and High Adventure.

This is a book that wants to be read. Right there in the title: True Love and High Adventure. What’s better than that?

And it delivers.

From swashbuckling sword-fights to daring escapes, from life to almost-death, from the zoo of death to the Princes castle, this book has heart and style in the way that not many books have.

It’s hilarious and heartwarming. A tale of true love in it’s purest form, told by a man who still want’s to believe that true love exists in his world.

While True Love may be the focus of this story, it’s not the theme. The theme of Princess Bride is pain. Specifically, life is pain.

That doesn’t sound like a heart warming or uplifting subject, it’s not, but in the pen of William Goldman the harshness of this theme is told with a smiling face and laughing lips. He tells the truth, too. Life is pain. In life, we all have to endure pain along with the joy and happiness. Pain is huge part of life. Without it, we wouldn’t really be alive.

This fact is exemplified in the fantastic characters in this story. Inigo, who commits his life to revenge after the pain of losing his father. Fezzik, who while strong and undefeatable, deals with the pain of not really getting to think for himself. Buttercup, the most beautiful girl in the world, who has the pain of having her only true love torn from her again and again.

Then there’s Westley. Westley almost seems as if he’s immune to the pain of the heart. He has endless hope and truly believes that love conquers all. He then experiences the worst pain of all.

This book may sound like a bit of a downer. It’s not. It shows how through pain, we all become better. And striving to conquer pain, we reach higher and better things. Like love.

This book shows that even though life is pain; it’s worth living.

This book is a blast to read. It will constantly have you laughing, and maybe even bring a tear to your eye.

I highly recommend it.

If you’re looking for a fantasy novel that breaks the fourth wall a lot and has you laughing the whole way through. Look no further. If you have a couple days and want to go HAM on a book. Go buy this right now.

10/10.

Would read a third time.

Photo by Simson Petrol on Unsplash

BOOK REVIEW. BROTHERS KARAMAZOV.

BOOK *CLAP* REVIEW *CLAP*

I’m not a critic. I’m especially not a literary critic. Those fools spend so much time tearing apart literature in order to get to deeper (and certainly more contrived) meanings. I’m going to tell you what I thought about a book. At face value. From a regular Joe. I mean Johnson. A Johnson who’s a regular Joe.

It took me well over a year to finish this book. I’ll credit that to being busy, poor time management, and having a girlfriend. And let’s be honest, if you want to relax and read a book, Dostoyevsky’s books aren’t exactly gripping in the same way that modern books are.

This is a book about characters. A clash of ideals; where every one of them has their world view challenged, and all of their lives are shaken to the very core.

Shockingly, this is a slow moving book with lots of characters involved in a very intense story. All of it revolves around the three sons, Alyosha, Ivan, and Dimitry. All of the characters have a different way of dealing with their father, and adjusting to life without him. Alyosha is a devout priest whose faith gets challenged. Ivan is the atheist who loses all sense of meaning and hope in the world. And Dimitry, at the center of it all, gets framed for his father’s murder.

That’s it. That’s basically the entire book. The way that it twists and turns, and slowly worms it’s way through the story is amazing. Every action of every character means something, and the consequences for their words and actions are often surprising.

While the content of the book is heavy and complicated, you never feel like you are in the dark about what’s going on, because the plot itself is very simple: The Father is dead. Someone killed him. It was probably Dimitry.

While the premise is simple, the characters are complicated. Dostoevsky has a special ability of being able write complex and emotional characters that just seem so real. Alyosha is so committed to the church, and has such a vast love for God, but at the same time he has inner demons and doubts that he is constantly dealing with. He calls this turmoil his inner “Karamazov” that seeks to turn him like his father. Then, on top of all this his faith becomes challenged by an external event.. He isn’t perfect, and his faith has  to go through a crucible of doubt.

The same can be said for Ivan: Who is so tormented by his choices that he becomes physically ill. He believes that since God does not exist,  everything is permitted, so it blurs the lines of morality. This belief becomes challenged, and we don’t know whether he keeps this belief, or it grows into something better. I hope that he changed his ways.

What I loved so much about this book is all throughout it, it taught me about humanity, and about myself. It is a story that looks at the soul of a man, and asks questions that we will often ask ourselves in our own lives. The characters are constantly second guessing their own actions, and hoping that they are making the right choice.

In your life, your beliefs will constantly be challenged. This story is a great example of why that’s a good thing. Alyosha’s faith was challenged, and in the end he became wiser and stronger in his faith. It grew him as a person and pushed him forward in life. When Ivan’s belief was challenged, it showed him where he was wrong. When Dimitry was thrown into prison for a crime he did not commit, he became better through the trial of belief. Because even though he did not physically kill his father, he was shown how he was partly responsible.

This book is like looking into the soul of humanity. It shows you what drives us, and how ideas or beliefs alter our entire lives for better or for worse. If you read this book I hope it makes you just as introspective as the characters in it.

It’s an opportunity to strengthen your beliefs

Read this book. It’s good.

Photo by Simson Petrol on Unsplash