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Published on May 15, 2014
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In which John Green teaches you about Kurt Vonnegut's most famous novel, Slaughterhouse-Five. Vonnegut wrote the book in the Vietnam era, and it closely mirrors his personal experiences in World War II, as long as you throw out the time travel and aliens and porn stars and stuff. Slaughterhouse-Five tells the story of Billy Pilgrim, a World War II veteran who was a prisoner of war, and survived the Battle of the Bulge and the fire-bombing of Dresden, goes home after the war, and has trouble adapting to civilian life (this is the part that's like Vonnegut's own experience). Billy Pilgrim has flashbacks to the war that he interprets as being "unstuck in time." He believes he's been abducted by aliens, and pretty much loses it. You'll learn a little about Vonnegut's life, quite a bit about Dresden, and probably more than you'd like about barbershop quartets as a metaphor for post traumatic stress.