Prisoner of war, optometrist, time traveller…these are the life roles of Billy Pilgrim, the hero of this moving, bitter and funny story of innocence faced with apocalypse. One of the world’s great anti-war books, this centres on the infamous bombing of Dresden  during Word War II, Pilgrim’s odyssey through time reflects the journey of our own fractured lives as we search for meaning in what we are afraid to know. Slaughterhouse-Five made Kurt Vonnegut a cult hero in American literature, a reputation that only strengthened over time, despite his being banned and censored by some libraries and schools for content and language. But it was precisely those elements of Vonnegut’s writing – the political edginess, the genre-bending inventiveness, the frank violence, the transgressive wit – that have inspired generations of readers not just to look differently at the world around them but to find the confidence to say something about it.