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Cat's Cradle by Kurt Jr. Vonnegut

Cat's Cradle (original 1963; edition 1973)

by Kurt Jr. Vonnegut

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17,206214100 (4.11)350
Title:Cat's Cradle
Authors:Kurt Jr. Vonnegut
Info:Dell (1973), Edition: 28th printing, Mass Market Paperback
Collections:Your library
Tags:20thcentury, american, scifi, classic, menandwomen, america, authority, breakingthelaw, apocalypse, sex, sexuality, religion, travel, firstperson, influential, xy

Work details

Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut (1963)

1960s (36)
Satire (14)
Read (42)
Unread books (1,020)

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» See also 350 mentions

English (207)  Catalan (2)  Italian (1)  French (1)  Swedish (1)  Hebrew (1)  All (213)
Showing 1-5 of 207 (next | show all)
Hate it
  margaretfield | May 29, 2018 |
My reread of Vonnegut continues with one of my favorites by him. His structure and storytelling were brilliant. I am reading his books in the order he published them and you can really see him settling into his style in this book. ( )
  CSDaley | Mar 28, 2018 |
La historia de la estupidez humana. Para matarse de risa y morirse de pena. ( )
  andresborja42 | Mar 24, 2018 |
In true Vonnegut fashion, this is a weird little book. It includes a fake religion known as Bokononism and a scientist who develops a means to destroy the entire world. No big deal though, since he didn’t tell anyone about it before he died, right? The narrator is working on a book about the day the atomic bomb dropped in Hiroshima, and interviews those who knew Felix Hoenikker, one of the scientists who designed the bomb. In his investigation, he finds out that Hoenikker had also been working on something purely theoretical called ice-nine­ which could turn water into ice immediately and had a melting point of well over one hundred degrees Fahrenheit. Thing is, he succeeded in creating it and now his three children each have a piece of ice-nine.

All throughout the book, the narrator (who identifies himself as Jonah in the first chapter, and then his name is not mentioned again by him or anyone else throughout the book) provides quotes and insights from The Books of Bokonon, the holy texts of Bokononism. It’s funny, because a few of these quotes I had encountered elsewhere over the years, never knowing this was their source. The book overall is funny, though darkly so, which is typical of Vonnegut’s writing. While this book predates his more famous Slaughterhouse-Five, the idea of wars being fought by children is touched on here as well.

As an avid Vonnegut fan, I really enjoyed this book. I’ve read most of his non-fiction and a large handful of his novels, and this is the first time I read Cat’s Cradle. It is clearly not as strong as his later fiction, yet the dark humor and just plain weirdness of the story and of Bokononism still make me enjoy this book as an odd little cautionary tale. Vonnegut has great insight into human nature and has this strange way of almost cheerfully predicting the worst outcomes of humanity. His narrative voice is always bemused, even when talking about terrible things. I love Kurt Vonnegut and anyone else who considers themselves a fan will want to read this book too. If you’re new to Vonnegut, and you enjoy dark humor and quirky stories, you should give Cat’s Cradle a try. ( )
2 vote Jessiqa | Jan 9, 2018 |
best book ever
  last | Nov 1, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 207 (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 (31 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Vonnegut, Kurtprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
House, JulianCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kapari, MarjattaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kunkel, BenjaminIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pelham, DavidCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Roberts, TonyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Original title
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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
For Kenneth Littauer

a man of gallantry and taste.
First words
Call me Jonah.
"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..."
"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'.
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Wikipedia in English (1)

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.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 038533348X, Paperback)

Cat's Cradle, one of Vonnegut's most entertaining novels, is filled with scientists and G-men and even ordinary folks caught up in the game. These assorted characters chase each other around in search of the world's most important and dangerous substance, a new form of ice that freezes at room temperature. At one time, this novel could probably be found on the bookshelf of every college kid in America; it's still a fabulous read and a great place to start if you're young enough to have missed the first Vonnegut craze.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:04 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

A satirical science fiction novel.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 11 descriptions

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Penguin Australia

3 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141189347, 0141045442, 0241951607

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