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Cat's Cradle: A Novel Paperback – September 8, 1998
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A network of beacons allows ships to travel across the Milky Way at beyond the speed of light. The beacons are built to be robust. They never fail. At least, they aren't supposed to. Learn more
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Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Cat's Cradle is narrated through Jonah, an author who aims to write a book on the single day the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. On investigating the atomic bomb's main founding father (and his three children) he is told about a *non-existant* substance with the capacity to provide all water on earth with a different molecular structure, turning it into Ice 9 (ie, a substance that could bring about the end of the world) A different assignment takes Jonah to the small island of San Lorenzo where he encounters Felix Hoenikker's three children and a society where the religion of choice (a religion that everyone knows is based on lies, yet still has utter faith in) is punishable by death, for the simple fact that it adds excitement to the dull lives of the inhabitants. I won't go any further...
The thing that delighted me most about this book was the way in which it was written. A lot of great and influential books are ones that (on the whole) you enjoy, but take a while to get into, and at times you feel like giving up on: you know the book in question is good literature, but the style and plot make finishing it seem a chore.
Similarly, a lot of fast-paced books hold little impact, don't challenge the mind and are forgotten the instant you read them.Read more ›
The narrator (first-person incompetent) is somewhat vacant, and being so, maneuvers the story the best way possible.
The narrator is writing a book on the atomic bomb and he travels about meeting strange people who know the creators of the bomb. The characters he meets are funny and strange (You would have to be an oddball to be toying with doomsday.). In his journey he finds the sons and daughter of the inventor of the A-bomb. He finds that these three are an eccentric and foolish trio. The daughter and sons hold with them ice-nine, a weapon that makes the a-bomb seem infantile. Ice-nine was an attempt by their father to make battlefields (mud) solidify, making battle easier on soldiers. It winds up making any moisture it touches solid and blue, but its one flaw is, once put into the atmosphere it regenerates without stopping, freezing everything in its path(including human beings).
Vonnegut throws in the element of Bokononism, a quirky, weird religion spawned by an eccentric, self-made prophet named Bokonon. This angle plays in the mind of the reader as it debases the relevancy of all religions, thus, for example, making Catholicism or Islam just as strange as Bokononism. Bokononists chant about man being born of the "mud."
Symbolically the three children holding ice-nine, a single flake of which will end mankind as we know it, stand for three world superpowers. It shows that anyone, no matter how high in power, can be foolish, and should have no access to such an element of destruction.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you don't laugh when reading this, you have no brain. If you don't cry while reading it, you have no heart. And, this is the book where Vonnegut tells us the Meaning of Life...Published 1 day ago by Janice M Wethington
Another one of Vonnegut's satirical novels that's engaging and thought provoking. A well-spun story of eccentric humor and insight.Published 1 day ago by Rebecca Ann Sandoval
If you like dark humor, this is the book for you. My new favorite.Published 2 days ago by Amazon Customer
Cat's Cradle is a brilliant work, and a must-read. Kurt Vonnegut is brilliant in his creation of a religion with the complexity of Bokonism. Read morePublished 2 days ago by Amazon Customer
An odd tale full of odd people with many twists and turns in location and content of the plot. Curious enough to be interesting but not my idea of great story telling.Published 4 days ago by Kathy Files
Apparently I read this book before and really didn't remember. As I read it this time I kept thinking, that kinda seems familiar, but I also really couldn't recall what came next... Read morePublished 12 days ago by C. Kirk
Vonnegut craftfully uses fiction to expose dark realities. Cats Cradle succeeds by walking the careful line between fiction and nonfiction. Read morePublished 21 days ago by Kindle Customer
Second time read, still the best ever written. Vonnegut's finest. Incredibly powerful, the writing is at its peak of humor and insight. A true masterpiece.Published 24 days ago by Justin Bar