Tag: Science FIction

Audiobook Review: Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut

Slaughterhouse Five
Author: Kurt Vonnegut

Narrator: Ethan Hawke
Published: March 31, 1969
Audiobook: 6 hours 2 minutes

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Listened To: August 3-7, 2023
Jessica’s Rating: 2 stars

Book Description:

Slaughterhouse-Five, an American classic, is one of the world’s great antiwar books. Centering on the infamous World War II firebombing of Dresden, the novel is the result of what Kurt Vonnegut described as a twenty-three-year struggle to write a book about what he had witnessed as an American prisoner of war. It combines historical fiction, science fiction, autobiography, and satire in an account of the life of Billy Pilgrim, a barber’s son turned draftee turned optometrist turned alien abductee. As Vonnegut had, Billy experiences the destruction of Dresden as a POW. Unlike Vonnegut, he experiences time travel, or coming “unstuck in time.”

Jessica’s Review:

“And so it is”… Slaughterhouse Five was not for me. For me it seems that Vonnegut is an acquired taste. Slaughterhouse is a short book but also a very hard read. I only finished it because it is a book club read, I most likely would have never picked it up otherwise.  Maybe my opinion of it will change after we have our meeting on this one and I hear what the other ladies have to say.

Maybe it was that I did not know the history of Dresden or I am not a fan of symbolism, but it just did not work for me.  The novel was also non-linear which can make it harder to read if you are not enjoying it. And then there are aliens and time travel….  Slaughterhouse is a classic that most people seem to enjoy but I just really struggled. It is semi- auto biographical for Vonnegut as he served during WWII. 

I listened to an older audiobook version which was narrated by Ethan Hawke. His narration was fine, and it actually helped me get through listening.  There was also an interview with Vonnegut. The main thing I got from that interview is that Vonnegut is NOT Billy Pilgrim. Billy Pilgrim was based off of a real person: Edward R Crone Jr, who actually died at Dresden.  That was interesting to find out. 

Though not for me, maybe this classic will be for you. “And so it is”…

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Book Review: The Wild Robot by Peter Brown

The Wild Robot
Series: The Wild Robot #1

Peter Brown

Published: April 5, 2016
279 Pages

Reviewed By: Cristina

Book Description:

Can a robot survive in the wilderness?

When robot Roz opens her eyes for the first time, she discovers that she is all alone on a remote, wild island. She has no idea how she got there or what her purpose is–but she knows she needs to survive. After battling a violent storm and escaping a vicious bear attack, she realizes that her only hope for survival is to adapt to her surroundings and learn from the island’s unwelcoming animal inhabitants.

As Roz slowly befriends the animals, the island starts to feel like home–until, one day, the robot’s mysterious past comes back to haunt her.

From bestselling and award-winning author and illustrator Peter Brown comes a heartwarming and action-packed novel about what happens when nature and technology collide.

Cristina’s Review:

What would happen if a robot with AI (artificial intelligence) capabilities was washed up on an island with no humans? It would become a WILD robot, naturally! ROZZUM unit 7134–Roz for short–finds herself in a world unlike the one she’s been programmed for. Roz must learn how to communicate with all the animals on the island in order to survive. She eventually becomes part of the island family, but Roz knows something her animal friends don’t. She knows that the factory that made her will eventually figure out she’s missing. And they will send something to find her. How will Roz protect her new family and keep her freedom? Read The Wild Robot to find out!

I really enjoyed this story. Peter Brown did a great job of exploring two really thoughtful topics: community and self-awareness. Roz is originally viewed as a monster by the animals on the island, but as she helps the various animals in different ways, they slowly change their opinions. There are some moments of humor, like when Roz first meets Pinktail the opossum. There are some incredibly tender moments, like when Roz explains to her adopted goose son what happened to the rest of his family. And throughout it all, there is a sense of wonder and discovery as Roz learns and grows.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK


Happy Halloween!! And a Review From Kim

Happy Halloween! It is a Monday, so it’s a work day for Jessica, but we celebrated over the weekend watching scary movies! I love this time of year!!!! And we all know how much Kim loves it and seemingly celebrates year round with her collection of scary dolls!…..

In the spirit of the day, we bring you a review from Kim, this one a classic:
Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury!

Something Wicked This Way Comes
: Green Town #2
Ray Bradbury

Published: September 17, 1962
293 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4.5 stars

Book Description:

For those who still dream and remember, for those yet to experience the hypnotic power of its dark poetry, step inside. The show is about to begin. Cooger & Dark’s Pandemonium Shadow Show has come to Green Town, Illinois, to destroy every life touched by its strange and sinister mystery. The carnival rolls in sometime after midnight, ushering in Halloween a week early. A calliope’s shrill siren song beckons to all with a seductive promise of dreams and youth regained. Two boys will discover the secret of its smoke, mazes, and mirrors; two friends who will soon know all too well the heavy cost of wishes…and the stuff of nightmares.

Few novels have endured in the heart and memory as has Ray Bradbury’s unparalleled literary masterpiece Something Wicked This Way Comes. Scary and suspenseful, it is a timeless classic in the American canon.

Kim’s Review:

I just love Bradbury. He’s the true definition of a diverse author. So far we’ve seen sci-fi, political dystopia, and now soft horror.

While I admit that I didn’t get all the metaphors in this book, the plot and characters alone carry this book. They’re real and relatable and by the time you’re done, you want to live in Green Town every year at Halloween. Jim and Will are boys as boys should be. Their curiosity and courageous fear drive them through this story with reckless and responsible abandon. I know that sounds paradoxical, but isn’t that what little boys are?? And Mr. Halloway might be the most relatable character in literature. He works his way through reconciling his age with his position in life. And in the end, he is content. I really loved watching his journey and I love and respect him! I’ll admit that the carnival is where I get a little lost, but even without any complicated metaphors, the carousel is a terrifying prospect!!

Overall, this is a great Halloween read and I absolutely recommend it!!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK