Book Review: Slaughterhouse-Five

Slaughterhouse-Five, or the Children’s Crusade: A Duty-Dance with Death by Kurt Vonnegut (New York: Dell Publishing, 1969. 216 pp) Kurt Vonnegut was a fourth-generation German-American who lived in easy circumstances on Cape Cod (while smoking too much), who, as an American infantry scout hors de combat, as a prisoner of war, witnessed the fire-bombing of Dresden, Germany, “the Florence of the Elbe,” a long time ago, and survived to tell the tale. Slaughterhouse-Five is a novel somewhat in the telegraphic schizophrenic manner of tales of the planet Tralfamadore, where the flying saucers come from. Peace. The Muzzle of a Gun Despite the glorification of war on the silver screen, the principle of war is not only brutish and disheartening but… Read More →

Book Review: A Clockwork Orange

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1962. 220 pp) Born in 1917 as John Burgess Wilson, this English author, poet, playwright, composer, linguist, translator, and critic published under the name, Anthony Burgess. Though he dismissed it as a lesser work, Burgress is best known for A Clockwork Orange, more than likely due to the controversial Stanley Kubrick movie of the same name. In his youth, Burgess attended Xaverian College and later studied at Victoria University of Manchester receiving a B.A. in English. In addition to his publications, Burgess composed many musical pieces in his free time. During his career, Burgess was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and earned honorary degrees… Read More →

Book Review: All the Pretty Horses

All the Pretty Horses, by Cormac McCarthy (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1992. 302 pp) Cormac McCarthy was born in Rhode Island in 1933. One of six children, Cormac’s family moved multiple times in his childhood as his father accepted different occupations. In 1951, McCarthy attended the University of Tennessee majoring in Liberal Arts. Midway through his studies, McCarthy served in the Air Force for four years. After his service, McCarthy returned to college writing his first short stories. In 1959 and 1960, he won the Ingram-Merrill Award for Creative Writing. Mccarthy’s first novel, The Orchard Keeper, was published in 1965. Several years, grants, and fellowships later, McCarthy published Suttree, Blood Meridian, and All the Pretty Horses marking his rise… Read More →