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am 8. Juni 2017
This book, among others, was on the agenda for the final year of Senior High, so I got it well ahead of time. At first reading, it was, from the emotional viewpoint, exceedingly difficult for me to read (the provenance of the soap and candles in the German P.O.W. camp; the bombardment of Dresden).
Billy Pilgrim, his entire life, childhood experiences, his battles with PTSD, his family life, the flashbacks to his wartime experiences, all combine to make the book a very good anti-war novel. The aliens who take him to their planet where he then lives a life of illusion, safe from the horrors on Earth, teach him a simple philosophy - time is a circle. Somewhere, at some moment, even loved ones you have lost are alive and well, bad experiences have no meaning, as they are also, at some point, lost in time. Ultimately, Billy Pilgrim preaches this philosophy, but it is not understood.
In essence, the hero of the novel is very much the anti-hero who never takes the initiative, but drifts from one phase to the next, haphazardly on his pilgrimage through life, as a normal, very unspectacular human being.
This book has to be read more than once to be fully understood, but the effort will be worth it.