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Cat's Cradle: A Novel by Kurt Vonnegut
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Cat's Cradle: A Novel (original 1963; edition 1998)

by Kurt Vonnegut (Author)

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19,068245154 (4.11)373
Vonnegut's satirical commentary on modern man and his madness. An apocalyptic tale of this planet's ultimate fate. Features a midget as the protagonist; a complete, original theology created by a calypso signer; and a vision of the future that is at once blackly fatalistic and funny.
Member:pangurb
Title:Cat's Cradle: A Novel
Authors:Kurt Vonnegut (Author)
Info:Dell Publishing (1998), 304 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:**1/2
Tags:Eng, Original

Work details

Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut (1963)

Recently added byjordekfluffball, Erik39, private library, BookHavenAZ, nadineeg, agh19, Andes42, Alex.Foster, RyanCSmith
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1960s (23)
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English (238)  Catalan (2)  Italian (1)  French (1)  Swedish (1)  Spanish (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (245)
Showing 1-5 of 238 (next | show all)
A perfect novel for these times. I'm now a devout Bokononist. ( )
  duke_1138 | Sep 15, 2020 |
of the vonnegut i've read, this is easily the best so far. i laughed a bit, and definitely appreciate his take on religion (that it's all lies). still, i expected to like it more, and to be more excited by what he's doing. like i think i've felt before, he reads to me quite a lot like tom robbins, except not with as much depth. so i find my self interested, but a little disappointed and wishing for more. but i do like what he's doing here, and found it engaging enough.

i think that while what he's saying about religion is more obvious (and also contradictory, as he seems to also acknowledge the draw to and the comfort people get in the philosophies or proverbs of religion), that he's saying the same thing (or at least something similar) about government. he also brings up the morality of science, without really discussing it. maybe, actually, that's more his thing - to put certain topics to the reader without getting too deeply into them, to let the reader do that on their own. maybe that's a main difference between him and tom robbins, i don't know.

"'People have to talk about something just to keep their voice boxes in working order, so hey'll have good voice boxes in case there's ever anything really meaningful to say.'"

"'Well, when it became evident that no governmental or economic reform was going to make the people much less miserable, the religion became the one real instrument of hope. Truth was the enemy of the people, because the truth was so terrible, so Bokonon made it his business to provide the people with better and better lies.'"

"'Science is magic that works.'" ( )
  overlycriticalelisa | Aug 17, 2020 |
Every time I read Vonnegut, I expect something weird, and I always underestimate how weird it will be. His absurd satirical style can be kind of exhausting at times, but entertaining nonetheless. This was a really interesting read.

His satirical takes on science, politics, religion, and mutually assured destruction were entertaining, and pretty on the nose. The culture he creates in San Lorenzo, and the religion he creates in Bokononism were fascinating. I found myself engrossed in these things. I was kind of wishing the Books of Bokononism were real so I could read more about it.

The plot itself isn't really anything to write home about (pun intended). However the main driving narrative device for this is that it's a book, about a book, about a book, which is kind of hilarious. I wish there would have been a little more after the Ice-9 incident, however I realize that the point is that it happened, not what happens afterwards. ( )
  Andjhostet | Jul 27, 2020 |
I'm half tempted to read up on this book to figure out some things that puzzled me. But I won't. I'll just let it dwell in the back part of my mind until those things make sense. Then I'll come back here and write a review like I knew all the time. It's not that I don't understand what happened, and a large part of it has to do with religion, but there's something I haven't put together quite yet. ( )
  billycongo | Jul 22, 2020 |
Reread, still one of my all time favorites ( )
  audsreads | Jul 19, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 238 (next | show all)
"Cat's Cradle" is an irreverent and often highly entertaining fantasy concerning the playful irresponsibility of nuclear scientists. Like the best of contemporary satire, it is work of a far more engaging and meaningful order than the melodramatic tripe which most critics seem to consider "serious."
 

» Add other authors (21 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Vonnegut, Kurtprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Curtoni, VittorioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
House, JulianCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kapari, MarjattaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Koeppl, LíviaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kunkel, BenjaminIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pelham, DavidCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Roberts, TonyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vezzoli, DelfinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Original title
Alternative titles
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People/Characters
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Epigraph
Nothing in this book is true.
'Live by the foma* that make you brave and kind and healthy and happy.'
The Books of Bokonon. I:5
*harmless untruths
Dedication
For Kenneth Littauer

a man of gallantry and taste.
First words
Call me Jonah.
Quotations
"No wonder kids grow up crazy. A cat's cradle is nothing but a bunch of X's between somebody's hands, and little kids look and look and look at all those X's..."
"And?"
"No damn cat, and no damn cradle."
'Aamons, Mona', the index said, 'adopted by
Monzano in order to boost Monzano's
popularity, 194-199, 216n; childhood in com
pound of House of Hope and Mercy, 63-81;
childhood romance with P. Castle, 72f; death of father, 89ff; death of mother, 92f; embarrassed
by role as national erotic symbol, 80, 95, 166n.,
209, 247n., 400-406, 566n., 678; engaged to P.
Castle, 193; essential naivete, 67-71, 80, 95f,
116n., 209, 274n., 400-406, 566n., 678; lives with
Bokonon, 92-98, 196-197; poems about, 2n., 26,
114, 119, 311, 316, 477n., 501, 507, 555n., 689,
718ff, 799ff, 800n., 841, 846ff, 908n., 971, 974;
poems by, 89, 92, 193; returns to Monzano, 199?
returns to Bokonon, 197; runs away from
Bokonon, 199; runs away from Monzano, 197;
tries to make self ugly in order to stop being
erotic symbol to islanders, 80, 95f, 116n., 209,
247n., 400-406, 566n., 678; tutored by Bokonon,
63-80; writes letter to United Nations, 200;
xylophone virtuoso, 71'.
I showed this index entry to
She hated people who thought too much. At that moment she struck me as an appropriate representative for almost all mankind.
,"...I was very upset about how Americans couldn't imagine what it was like to be something else, to be something else and proud of it."
"The highest possible form of treason," said Minton, "is to say that Americans aren't loved wherever they go, whatever they do. Claire tried to make the point that American foreign policy should recognise hate rather than imagine love."
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Vonnegut's satirical commentary on modern man and his madness. An apocalyptic tale of this planet's ultimate fate. Features a midget as the protagonist; a complete, original theology created by a calypso signer; and a vision of the future that is at once blackly fatalistic and funny.

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Book description
In Vonnegut's satirical commentary on modern man and his madness. An apocalyptic tale of this planet's ultimate fate, it features a midget as the protagonist; a complete, original theology created by a calypso singer; and a vision of the future that is at once blackly fatalistic and hilariously funny. A book that left an indelible mark on an entire generation of readers, Cat's Cradle is one of this century's most important works...and Vonnegut at his very best.
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Penguin Australia

3 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141189347, 0141045442, 0241951607

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