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It's just kind of odd.
on March 30, 2014
Sometimes one of the elements of the spice of life is to break out of one's box and try new things. Thus, in terms of literature, I decided to try a little bit of Kurt Vonnegut just to "mix it up" a little bit. While I certainly had heard of him for many years, I had never read any of his works. I recently read about his real-life experience of being an American soldier at the Battle of the Bulge in Belgium during WWII, where he was captured and taken prisoner of war. I then researched more about him and read he considered 'Cat's Cradle' to be one of his best books. Intrigued by the story line, I chose this as my first foray into Vonnegut's world.
The book is an easy read. The Kindle version I had was 287 pages and chapters are but a few pages at the most. The story flows and, if one's interest is maintained through the story, the book is read quickly. However, even as the story captured my interest at the beginning, by midway through the book it was becoming quite odd and I had difficulty staying committed to finishing it. Granted, I'm admittedly a Vonnegut novice but I am aware he's a satirist who's not afraid to voice his opinions and disagreements with many social and political issues from his time period. In terms of my perception of Cat's Cradle, I think - but am not entirely certain - the oddities of the story, it's characters, the backdrop of the story on a fictional island nation, the influences of a fictional religion made up by an old man considered an "enemy of the state" (in a tongue-in-cheek sort of way), and a few other subplots, all seemed to have passed me by and I failed to understand the significance of what Vonnegut was trying to get across to me. Perhaps one must be more studied in his style, his life, him as a person, and the social climate and issues of his times to ultimately understand the morals of his stories. Would I read Vonnegut again? Yes, but I'm in no hurry.