I cannot say this book was brilliant, because it wasn't. But, it was still pretty good. This book may be classified science fiction (just because an unheard of planet and life form is included in the plot), but I don't see it that way. In science fiction books, the setting (other planets), characters (non Earthly life forms), and technology beyond what's available today is a reality. I don't believe Billy Pilgrim actually went to Tralfamadore. I never got that impression. My impression, since he "time traveled" (which is really flashbacks), is that he invented Tralfamadore in his own mind, not that he physically went there. (It IS possible to have flashbacks AND also invent places to imagine you're at instead of where you really are.)There is honesty in this book. Yes, a war veteran might just have a breakdown once his coping mechanism stops working. It was called "time travel" in the book, but to me, it's more that he was merely remembering what had happened to him (flashbacks) and also allowing himself some respite from the trauma of it. While there were terrible flashbacks about horrible experiences, he also relived better moments in his life. And then, Tralfamadore was his escape for whatever he couldn't cope with. It was his relief; it's what settled him. It was what made him more important and more interesting than he really was. It might not be that great to be housed as if he was an animal in a cage at a zoo, but it was more attention than he had in reality. Tralfamadorans flocked to see him; that wasn't the case in reality. In reality, he was just a wimpy, surrendering, and ashamed war veteran. Sure, he was also an optometrist, but there was nothing intriguing about him. Yes, a man really does think filthy things about sex. In reality, Billy Pilgrim married a fat woman, and she is whom he was fated to make love to. At Tralfamadore, he was mated with Montana Wildhack, a svelte actress. He had better at Tralfamadore; it was better in his head that it would ever be in real life. Yes, he was a legend in his own mind, but it's what kept him alive.And, that is reality. The author of this book had the nerve to let his readers know that everything wasn't peachy keen upon arrival home from war. War really is dirty business and traumatic. We play tricks on our own minds, we believe lies we tell ourselves to keep us "sane."