Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut (1969, Delacorte; 288 pages)
Kurt Vonnegut's absurdist classic introduces us to Billy Pilgrim, a man who becomes unstuck in time after he is abducted by aliens from the planet Tralfamadore. In a plot-scrambling display of virtuosity, we follow Pilgrim simultaneously through all phases of his life, concentrating on his (and Vonnegut's) shattering experience as an American prisoner of war who witnesses the firebombing of Dresden during World War 2.
Vonnegut exquisitely tells a war-time tale that is resonant and intriguing, and that focuses on human emotion and incentive, not just on gruesome facts of war.
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Recommended by: Ariadne