Boozy Books: Slaughterhouse-Five, or The Children’s Crusade: A Duty-Dance with Death

Happy Friday, readers! It’s time again for Boozy Books Friday! C and I have officially reached the point where coming up with pairings off the top of our heads is… difficult. To say the least. So after a thorough examination of my bookshelf I came across a favorite of mine that I can’t believe I never paired. Slaughterhouse-Five!

I love Kurt Vonnegut and am particularly fond of his short story, Harrison Bergeron, but as far as his novels go it’s hard to beat Slaughterhouse-Five. It is a satiric masterpiece as well as a beautifully crafted puzzle, exploring how inconsistent and confusing our human reality is by pairing the normal with the absurd, the mundane with the fantastic. Billy Pilgrim, the novel’s protagonist, time jumps, gets abducted by aliens, and is placed in psychiatric care, but the realities of his service in WWII and the bombing of Dresden appear just as wild and inconceivable as the rest. The saying “so it goes” is used constantly throughout, reminding us that death, war, revenge, and human stupidity are inevitable.

Admittedly, it’s a difficult novel to follow, but the result is something truly unique that makes you think. Because of the non-linear pattern of the book the timeline does not become immediately clear, but as the pieces fall in place the portrait is that of a man dealing with PTSD, guilt, and anger throughout his post-war life. Read it. It’s not a very long novel and I truly believe that it is one of those rare books that reveals something new with each read.

I am pairing Slaughterhouse-Five with a deep red Bordeaux blend. It needs time to breathe, is complex, and sometimes blends wines you wouldn’t expect into a single unique bouquet. All in all very fitting. So it goes.




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