It really is amazing how much Dickens made this an autobiography that feels so much like he was speaking of himself. The memoirs and imagery is incredible. And Vance really is one of the greatest narrators out there. All of the characters breathe life and emotion and you really actually gain so much more from him reading it to you than you could ever get by yourself. Great stuff.
Never read the print but Tim Robbins did a wonderful job of reading it for me.
With legendary novels like The Great Gatsby it is very difficult to pick out the memorable moments but rather than going with instances like Daisy hitting Myrtle Wilson but I remember most the feeling I had after Nick blew off Jordan at the end. It really just capped off a story in which every single character had such a beautiful light shown on them at the very beginning and throughout the book, one by one, the lights begin to go out and I really began to hate the characters. And when Nick, himself, was fed up with the dispicableness of his peers, it only made sense that rather than step up and be the only hero of this book, he just acts like a dick to his girlfriend and lets his light go out with the rest.
You can actually come to believe that Tim Robbins must absolutely love this book. He reads with such enthusiasm and breathes so much life into these characters that every moment is a joy for what he'll do with the words just as much as what the words are going to convey.
This book made me laugh and go "WHOA!" It's a very emotional story that throws very disconcerting twists. Its probably an important book for kids to read so that they can learn about the things in life that we would never condone but still would never disclose.
How many books have been written? Millions? If you take the time to think about that and then have the realization of how outstanding this book is, you may begin to understand the differences between writing and literature; between something interesting and something artful; between something worth remembering and something unforgettable.
So it goes... At first it seems kind of comical how Vonnegut has his hero say "so it goes" every time that somebody dies in this book but by the end of this too short a story, you really do feel the damage done to a soldier that had to endure the firebombing of Dresden and all the other horrors of war before anybody had any real grasp on the reality of PTSD.
Other than that little quip after anybody dies, I love the escape that the hero takes into Tralfamadore. Maybe I'm going too "high school english class" here but, to me, the whole alien aspect of this story was really just a way to make a crazy man feel better about his plight. It doesn't matter if he was really abducted or not; what matters is that this man is unwell; and for the reader, the story that this sick man tells us is so extraordinary that one cannot help but sit there and listen all the way through.
I loved everything about this story, especially the performance by Hawke. I may listen to these 6 extraordinary hours straight through a hundred times and I already know that I will love this book just as much each time.
So it goes...
Ethan Hawke's performance is one not to be missed and certainly one never to be forgotten. I sometimes get apprehensive when actors take on narration of novels but after what Hawke did here with Slaughterhouse Five, I feel compelled to experience anything that has the potential to be as much a true performance as simply a good reading.
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