KURT VONNEGUT: UNSTUCK IN TIME IS IN UK AND IRISH CINEMAS AND AVAILABLE ON ALTITUDE.FILM FROM 22 JULY.
Listen… literary fame came relatively late to author Kurt Vonnegut, with the publication, in 1969, of his anti-war novel Slaughterhouse-Five. The book, based on Vonnegut’s experiences as a prisoner of war in Dresden when it was bombed during World War Two, is an unclassifiable, iconoclastic masterpiece, a mixture of time travelling sci-fi, slapstick comedy, memoir, and moving meditation on existence, that propelled Vonnegut to superstardom, and hasn’t been out of print since. Anyone who has read it will understand why.
Informing the book was a peculiar incident – Vonnegut claimed to have hugged a tree, and, in that moment, to have witnessed everything that happened during the firebombing of Dresden – before the incident had even happened. Rather than write a typical war memoir – which he struggled to do – and wary of glorifying war, which he knew, from first hand experience, was anything but glorious, Vonnegut subsequently came up with a novel that The Guardian, in 1970, declared was ‘the oddest and most directly and obliquely heart-searching war book for years’.