Billy Pilgrim, a mild man in a violent universe, is a character beloved by Kurt Vonnegut fans. Slaughterhouse Five recounts the misfortunes of Billy, drafted into the army during WWII. During the Battle of the Bulge, Billy is taken prisoner by the Germans, and then transported to Dresden just before the city is bombed. He and the other prisoners are commanded to dig up corpses from the ruins, but are soon liberated by the Russian army. In response to wartime stress, Billy begins to time travel. He becomes an optometrist, and is then engaged to Valencia. Following a breakdown and shock treatments, Billy marries and becomes a suburban family man. However, reading the science fiction books of Kilgore Trout reinforces Billy’s recurring episodes of shellshock. “Unstuck in time,” Billy is kidnapped by the alien Tralfamadorians, who tell him that all time exists in simultaneity. A plane crash, brain surgery, and the death of his wife further unhinge Billy. He records his own death, traveling back and forth in time. High school readers will appreciate Vonnegut’s dark humor and astute sense of the absurd.