by Kurt Vonnegut
The Narrator Timeline and Summary
- The narrator talks about having been in World War II.
- He knows a guy who was shot for stealing a teapot, like Edgar Derby in the novel. He also knows a guy who threatened to have his enemies killed, like Paul Lazzaro.
- The narrator also witnesses the Dresden firestorm.
- He returns to the United States to study anthropology at the University of Chicago.
- After he finishes his degree, he becomes a journalist.
- He and his wife eventually move to Schenectady, New York, so that he can become a P.R. guy for General Electric.
- He starts planning his novel about Dresden by writing to the Air Force, which won't release any information to him because the raid is still top secret.
- Many years go by and the narrator becomes more successful. He has kids and makes money.
- The narrator finally signs a book contract with Seymour Lawrence to write three novels, one of which will be about Dresden.
- He goes to visit his old war buddy, Bernard O'Hare, so they can think up some stories about the war for him to write about.
- While he's visiting, Bernard's wife Mary tells the author not to write a book celebrating war.
- He promises Mary he will not: the narrator is going to write an anti-war book called The Children's Crusade.
- The narrator and Bernard O'Hare travel together to East Germany to look at the slaughterhouse where they stayed as prisoners of war.
- While there, they are driven in a taxi by a German veteran whose family died at Dresden. This guy's name is Gerhard Müller.
- The narrator dedicates Slaughterhouse-Five to Mary O'Hare and Gerhard Müller.
- And he publishes this very book.