Adapted by Ryan North, illustrated by Albert Monteys
This story starts out in World War II with a scrawny soldier, Billy Pilgrim, and three others, sneaking through Germany and trying to evade detection. There are some odd things about Billy, besides the fact that he's in the Army and has no muscle - Billy doesn't live his life entirely chronologically. He's become unstuck in time, and he periodically visits future points in his life, like after he's opened a successful optometry practice, or that one time he cheats on his wife, or when aliens from the planet Tralfamadore scoop him up in their flying saucer and place him in a zoo where they can view him like an exhibit. Billy learns much from his time amongst the aliens, like the saying "so it goes" after someone dies, or how they view time as if they are seeing a slice of the Rocky Mountains - kind of all at once. In between all of these moments, Billy is captured and center to a labor camp in Dresden - just before it is taken off the face of the map by the Allied Forces.
The essence of Slaughterhouse is an absolute distain for the concept of war, especially how we send such young folk off to die or participate in horrendous acts. North and Monteys, in this adaptation, skillfully capture all of the craziness of the time jumps Pilgrim lives through, as well as the horror of war. With North's comedic timing, he is able to handle Vonnegut's dark humor without it becoming too over-the-top or understated, as can sometimes happen with adaptations. There are several pages of story set-up in the beginning, including a timeline of what Billy looks like at different points in his life, so it's easy to follow the character throughout the story despite it being told in no sort of chronological order at all.
There are a few adult scenes, but there are no visible bits on the page. There is quite a bit of cussing, and drugs/alcohol are consumed throughout. This, like the original novel, would be best suited for older audiences.
Sara's Rating: 8/10
Suitability Level: Grades 11-Adult
Publisher: Archaia (BOOM! Studios)
Publication Date: September 15, 2020
ISBN: 9781684156252 (Hardcover)
Tags: Rating: 8/10, Suitability: High School, Suitability: Adult, Graphic Fiction, Adaptations, War, Science Fiction, BOOM! Studios
I've been reading manga and comicbooks for years. Now, I write reviews and other helpful things for School Librarians, teachers, parents, and students.
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