Slaughterhouse-Five is the first book I read by Vonnegut, and I read it as a junior in high school. My English teacher assigned it, and I thought she was the coolest teacher in the world. We read about war, about bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki, about abortion. I’d never had a class like hers. She had a little bookshelf behind her desk that I borrowed from for the next two years. I think Anthem and Youth in Revolt were two of her books I read.
I loved rereading S-5. I forgot that Kurt is one of the characters in the story. I remembered the line “Billy Pilgrim has come unstuck in time” but forgot that it’s the first sentence of chapter two instead of chapter one’s. I forgot how horrific the firebombing of Dresden was, even though I knew that was a main part of the book. And I forgot why the alternate title is The Children’s Crusade: A Duty Dance with Death.