Con-nerd-sseur Log Book #8/9- Dune/ Slaughter-House Five

 Books: Dune, Frank Herbert and Slaughter-House Five, Kurt Vonnegut

Time Period: January 1st-January 7th (late in the evening)

Source: Audiobook-Westminster Library

This post account for both the 8th and 9th books of my literary taste testing NPR‘s list of the top 100 Science Fiction and Fantasy Books. The majority of the reading time was taken up by Dune, but I finished it so early in the morning that I had to listen to Slaughterhouse while I was still in such a good mood. I find that the further I get in this list, I either have less to say about each book or I am just too much in awe and internalizing what I just read to have much to say. But maybe commenting on two books instead of one will spice up this little situation. So let’s get down to it.

The pairing of the two made a very interesting and satisfying combination because of the differences of the two. Dune was phenomenal, there is no question about it…it’s really no wonder this is the highest selling science fiction novel to date. Herbert’s world creation, character development and exploration of themes (particularly politics, religion, and time) were all executed well throughout and kept me immersed in this book right to the end. Conversely, the considerably smaller scale of Slaughter-House, the great humor, and the pace of causality (like all moments happening at once and Billy traveling in-between them) were my favorite points in Slaghter-House.

The world of Dune is hard to put into words for those who haven’t read it. The connection of all the characters, the rules and social structure, the wholeness and humanity of the characters and anything else having to do with Arrakis was intricately crafted. The depth of these characters was also quite good, Herbert capitalized well on characterization in this story. Lastly, themes like the mixing of religion and politics (that we see quite a bit of today) and time (like all moments happening at once, etc.) are well done as well. My words can’t do this novel justice. Just read it. If you have, read it again. I certainly will.

Slaughter-House was also quite incredible. The thing I enjoyed most about Vonnegut (this is my first novel with him) was his shifting between events and his humor. The switching between Tralfamador and Earth are quite interesting because the meaning of events are paralleled on the two places. I enjoyed very much the discussion of time and the end of the world with the Tralfamadorians. Their characterization of living creatures as machines, their perspective on war, free will, and Earth’s role in the universe was enlightening and added to the experience of the read. I’m not sure what else to say on this as well. The humor of Vonnegut is on point and off kilter enough to keep my interest. One thing I found particularly amusing and enlightening was the idea that making an anti-war movie (or book) is like making an anti-glacier movie, glaciers aren’t going to stop being their no matter how much you don’t want them to be. There isn’t much else to say about this book either. Just another great read.

These two are great complementary reads because the differing scope and style of the two authors give two well-paired perspectives on similar things such as humanity, tim, and causality. These books were two more reasons I am glad that I started working on this list. They are great, certainly worth re-reads-especially Dune. If you have any comments or concerns, please voice them so I can shape these responses better for you guys. Also, likes and shares are always appreciated. Until next time, hope you guys find something interesting to read or write!

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~ by theblogofmatthew on January 9, 2012.

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