Not sure I really understand the mass appeal of this book. Also, though I'm shelving this as science fiction, it really isn't science-fiction, it's more like some guy hallucinating or experiencing PTSD.
The book has many settings as the main character, Billy, time travels to and from them. The parts where he is on Tralfamadore were very interesting and decently done. Especially at the time this novel was published when most science fiction was cheesy, low budget, and stereotypical. It seems Vonnegut definitely brought some fresh material to the genre.
The Tralfamadorian's culture and philosophy were very interesting. So were the stories of the fictional writer Kilgore Trout. Trout was definitely an interesting character.
The rest of the novel primarily takes place in WWII, and is quite frankly pretty boring and nothing new really. Then there are parts that take place when Billy is older... also pretty bland.
Some say it's an anti-war book... actually the cover calls it an anti-war book. I hardly see that if at all.
The book really did have potential, if only it focused more on mind stimulating ideas and maybe a bit more on the aliens. Also, the plot really didn't go anywhere, which I suppose is appropriate since the whole fourth-dimension everything-happens-at-once philosophy is there. But many things, to me at least, were left unexplained.
I did, however, feel a slight sense of charm while reading it and I did quite enjoy myself while reading it, but that's just not enough to do it for me.
I stand by my rating of 2 stars, "It was ok," maybe I'd even go as far as giving it 2.5 stars.
I really do adore this quote though:
“Trout, incidentally, had written a book about a money tree. It had twenty-dollar bills for leaves. Its flowers were government bonds. Its fruit was diamonds. It attracted human beings who killed each other around the roots and made very good fertilizer.”