Book Club: Slaughterhouse 5

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you’ll know by now that it hasn’t got much of a theme. Well, other than being a running list of things I like and things I do. But that’s ok, right? I hope so because we’re off on a different angle again today. Book club.

Yes, I am in a book club. I didn’t do it to find another hobby, make friends or learn about books though. A group of my friends from uni find it hard to keep in touch and get together enough with us all having busy lives and varying working hours so we decided to create more of a regular event to keep our get-togethers more frequent, and the book is a bit of a sideline to this.

Whoever hosts does the food and gets rewarded by being able to choose the next book. I hosted so dinner was steak on a sweet potato rosti, followed by brownie, ice cream, fresh raspberries and raspberry sauce. I need to pick up some tips from Trinity restaurant on presentation tips. I also need to pick the next book, so suggestions below please….

20130810-131136.jpg

20130810-131143.jpg

We don’t like the book chat to distract from having an actual catch up so held this off until after dinner. The book up for discussion this week was Slaughterhouse 5, by Kurt Vonnegut, chosen by Fi on recommendation from a colleague.

20130810-131350.jpg

It’s actually been my favourite book so far. The basic storyline is that this bloke, Billy Pilgrim, has lived through the war so writes about it. The twist is that every paragraph or page his thoughts time-travel to different points in his life, including the time he was supposedly abducted by aliens. Between us we raised some really interesting points and it was a great book to discuss. Unfortunately if you’ve not read it this wont interest you, but I had two particular favourite parts which I really want to share.

The first is where Billy asks the Aliens how they prevent war and stay so happy on ‘planet Tralfamadore’. He is told, “on other days we have wars as horrible as any you’ve ever seen or read about”, “we ignore them. We spend eternity looking at pleasant moments.”
I love it because I try and do a similar thing. It’s why my blog is called Something I Like rather than Things I Don’t Like And Are Miserable. Everyone has good and bad days but the ones who appear to be having the best time are those who embrace the best bits, live life to the full and get through the bad bits quietly without making too much fuss.

My second fave bit of the book is when Billy sees WW2 movie backwards. I need to quote the whole section in full in order to do it justice, but it’s a fantastic and strangely beautiful paragraph which I will leave you with…

“American planes, full of holes and wounded men and corpse took off backwards from an airfield in England. Over France, a few German fighter planes flew at them backwards, sucked bullets and shell fragments from some of the planes and crewmen. They did the same for wrecked American bombers on the ground, and those planes flew backwards to join the formation.
The formation flew backwards over a German city that was in flames. The bombers opened their bomb bay doors, exerted a miraculous magnetism which shrunk the fires, gathered them into cylindrical steel containers, and lifted the containers into the bellies of the planes. The containers were stored neatly in racks. The Germans below had miraculous devices of their own, which were long steel tubes. They used them to suck more fragments from the crewmen and planes. But there were still a few wounded Americans, though, and some of the bombers were in bad repair. Over France, though, German fighters came up again, made everything and everybody as good as new.”
“When the bombers got back to their base, the steel cylinders were taken from the racks and shipped back to the United States of America, where factories were operating night and day, dismantling the cylinders, separating the dangerous contents into minerals. Touchingly, it was mainly women who did this work. The minerals were then shipped to specialists in remote areas. It was their business to put them into the ground, to hide them cleverly, so they would never hurt anybody ever again.”

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s