Slaughterhouse-Five is a satirical novel with science fiction and fantasy elements, written by Kurt Vonnegut and published in 1969. Set partly during the Dresden firebombings of 1945, the novel also features alien abduction and time travel.
Slaughterhouse-Five, or The Children's Crusade: A Duty-Dance with Death is an influential satirical, wartime novel with science fiction and fantasy elements. Written by Kurt Vonnegut and first published in 1969, the novel takes place partly in Dresden on the nights of the infamous firebombings, and was inspired by Vonnegut's own experiences in Dresden during that time. The hapless main character, Billy Pilgrim, is a veteran of the US Infantry and a survivor of the firebombings. Two years after the bombings, he is abducted and subsequently returned by aliens, an event which causes him to begin shifting through time. During the abduction, he was incarcerated for a time in an alien zoo. The novel is written with imperfect narration and laid out in such a way so as to blend fiction and reality. The plot is highly nonlinear and the novel was considered experimental for its time.
The novel includes character Kilgore Trout, a science fiction writer and alter ego of Vonnegut who makes cameos in many Vonnegut works. Comments by Vonnegut suggest that writing the novel was a catharsis that allowed him to deal with his memories of the events in Dresden.
The book was adapted into a film that was released in 1972.
Use this tag for questions about either the novel or the film adaptation.