I finished reading Slaughterhouse-Five last night.
Slaughterhouse-Five hit me differently this time, but it’s still good. In fact, if I were to try something as crazy as making a top 10 book list, Slaughterhouse-Five would almost certainly be on it. It’s odd that a novel about WWII should be a favorite of mine. I don’t generally like war books. Violence upsets me. So why do I like this book?
It’s just that good. Vonnegut somehow makes the most horrific events palatable, and by making them palatable, he makes them all the more horrific. I don’t know how else to describe the conflicting emotions I felt while reading this book.
I consider myself lucky to have been assigned this novel in high school. It’s the kind of book that gets banned. Yet, if my teacher hadn’t introduced me to it then, would I be interested in reading it now? Would I even enjoy reading so much if teachers hadn’t given me this kind of thought-provoking literature to chew on?
These questions are especially important in light of a recent news story. A local high school banned a book after parents complained about it. I haven’t read the book in question, but I will, and if I find that it’s a good book, then the superintendent will get an earful from me.