Just giving a feminist critique of the books I read. Pretty simple!
My views don't represent all feminists, as we're all different. There are liberal feminists, eco-feminists, radical feminists . . . and so on. I consider myself an anarcha-feminist, which means that I'll also include critiques of capitalism and neoliberalism in my analysis.
Additionally, I don't think feminism is just about gender -- it's about race, class, sexuality, etc.
I'm also not here to engage with anti-feminists, sorry!
Review from June 2010:
[I originally got started with Vonnegut on the recommendation of an on-line...acquaintance? I was forewarned of his eccentric style and unconventional themes, and was told to start with Slaughterhouse-Five. I didn't, and read Cat's Cradle instead, and Breakfast of Champions and Sirens of Titan soon followed. I finally picked up Slaughterhouse-Five, expecting a master-piece. Well, that's not quite what I received.
It's a rather quick read, which I think is part of the problem for me. I wanted more of the story, though I'm thinking now that the point really isn't with the plot but more the ideas behind the work, which is something I should know by now, after reading some of his other novels. Perhaps I was over-hyping the book; I expected some sort of time-travel epic (ugh, I hate that word now, thanks worthless internet nerds!) and instead got a concise story with a distinct aftertaste. I'm told that this story is one of the great anti-war reads, but I'm not quite sold on that claim.
Yet, I did enjoy it. For instance, the repetition of "So it goes" found a fan in me. Vonnegut's simple style belies his universal and terribly important themes. However, I feel that his ideas are better realized in Sirens of Titan, a favourite of mine. Though not just focusing on war, it had a much bigger impact on me than this book did.
Another selling point! What I often find so annoying in other works is not to be spotted here: unnecessary information. Vonnegut gets straight to the point, though perhaps not chronologically. He doesn't waste words, and every paragraph is an investment to your pleasure and enlightenment. Even the books I've liked least (Cat's Cradle) were worthwhile.
Ultimately, I'd recommend Slaughterhouse-Five just as my friend did. It would surely be an excellent litmus test for whether one would enjoy Vonnegut's style. I've many of his works left to read, so I may change my mind about some of what I've said here. But I think the basic ideas will stay the same: this is a necessary, enjoyable read, but definitely not the only work one should read of this wonderfully imaginative author.
"Another time Billy heard Rosewater say to a psychiatrist, "I think you guys are going to have to come up with a lot of wonderful new lies, or people just aren't going to want to go on living."
"One thing was clear: Absolutely everybody in the city was supposed to be dead, regardless of what they were, and that anybody that moved in it represented a flaw in the design. There were to be no moon men at all."]