My experience with Vonnegut is limited. Specifically, I have two experiences with his works. I own, and have read a bit of, Breakfast of Champions. What I have read of that book, I have really enjoyed.
My second experience was in high school. Freshman or Sophomore year we had to read Slaughterhouse for Academic Team (Academic Decathlon? I don’t know what these things are called anymore). I remember disliking the book. As a matter of fact, I remember really disliking the book. I can’t remember why I had such a negative opinion regarding it, however. I have just chocked it up to angsty, “I don’t like this because I have to read it” teenage stuff. Now that I’m older, more refined, and not quite as ignorant (just a tad less ignorant), I have decided to give it another shot.
The Wabash Society for the Furthering of the Liberal Arts (whew, that made my fingers have to stop and take a breath) is the organization, on campus, that is reading this book right now. WSFLA is an organization that is dedicated to extracurricular, peer learning. We teach each other things that are not readily available as classes at Wabash. Earlier this semester, we ordered a few copies of the mass-market paperback edition of Slaughterhouse. Patrick Stroud ’14 decided to head the project as it is one of his favorite books, and because he has put a lot of time into reading, rereading, and thinking critically about it.
Today was our first “meeting” regarding the book, and the thoughts that other guys had concerning just the first chapter were very interesting. This is one of the benefits, in my opinion, of reading and discussing a book as a group. There are such wide discrepancies in interpretations that it is almost like freshly rereading passages over and over again. It’s practically magic.