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Cat's Cradle (Kurt Vonnegut Series) by Kurt…

Cat's Cradle (Kurt Vonnegut Series) (original 1963; edition 2010)

by Kurt Vonnegut

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16,326196107 (4.12)318
Title:Cat's Cradle (Kurt Vonnegut Series)
Authors:Kurt Vonnegut
Info:RosettaBooks (2010), Kindle Edition, 306 pages
Collections:Your library

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Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut (1963)

1960s (28)
Read (42)
Unread books (1,012)

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» See also 318 mentions

English (191)  Italian (1)  French (1)  Swedish (1)  Catalan (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (196)
Showing 1-5 of 191 (next | show all)
Who knows what this was about -- your guess is as good as mine -- and I just finished reading it! I don't really understand Vonnegut's writing. It's easy to read but I don't usually get the point. I guess I should be in a class where someone explains it all.
In Cat's Cradle, the narrator has decided to write a book about the man who invented the atomic bomb (fictional, but inspired by a real person). Events fit together like a puzzle to lead the narrator to a small island where the inventor's three adult children also arrive, along with some of the atomic matter that their father invented. Well, by accident some of this matter gets out and destroys everything on earth and all the people, except the narrator (who was still able to write this book) and about five other people there. The point? Be careful with atomic matter? Oh well... I got to mark it off several of my lists! ;) ( )
  TerriS | Oct 11, 2016 |
I surprised myself with how much I enjoyed this book, as I previously struggled to get through Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five. (Perhaps Vonnegut's books are meant to be binge-read over a day and a half?!?) A few times while reading I glanced back at the original copyright date and I can't help but wonder if reading this novel would have been a completely different experience in the 1960s. The atomic bomb, disastrous weapons, and the internal politics of a dictatorship loom large in this book, giving it a bit of a Cold War feel. Overall, this made for interesting reading and one I will enjoy discussing in a book club. ( )
  wagner.sarah35 | Sep 25, 2016 |
I may need to re-read this someday. It seemed awfully dry and characterless, despite the good wit, which resulted in me not really paying it enough attention and reading it in spurts with long breaks between. ( )
  valzi | Sep 7, 2016 |
Technically, I've read this book.


I didn't understand most of it, though.

Sometimes Kurt is just too clever for his own good.

I want to reread this soon. ( )
  lydia1879 | Aug 31, 2016 |
This is a short book with extremely short chapters. My Kindle edition listed the book as 288 pages, and there were 127 chapters contained within those pages. It was a fast-paced read, and it held my attention well. I also really liked the metaphorical title, although I’m not going to explain it in this review so potential readers can discover it for themselves. Once you know what the title represents, it adds more layers of interpretation to the book itself.

It’s difficult to explain what this story is about without spoiling anything, because the story slowly morphs into something different as it progresses, so I’ll just talk about how it starts. Cat’s Cradle is written from the first-person perspective of a writer who calls himself Jonah. Jonah has set himself the task of writing about the day the first atomic bomb was dropped. He starts this task with a particular focus on Dr. Felix Hoenikker, the fictional father of the atom bomb, and Hoenikker’s three children. Jonah’s interviews and the research he does for his book lead to the events that make up the story.

The book is pretty satirical, although I thought the satire was subtle. On the other hand, those who follow my reviews closely know I’ve read quite a few Discworld books lately, so maybe any satire would seem subtle by comparison. :) There was some humor in this book, but I thought it was mostly overshadowed by the pessimistic and bleak attitude toward human nature and humanity’s future. I couldn’t say the attitude was unrealistic, and I could see where people might find this book depressing.

One large focus in the book is the idea of religion, what aspects of religion appeal to people, and its purpose in society. This is demonstrated primarily through a fictional religion called Bokononism. There’s also some focus on the idea of intellectualism and the potential foolishness of pursuing an intellectual idea for no purpose other than fascination with the idea itself, without stepping back to consider the bigger picture.

This is the second book I’ve read by Vonnegut. The first was Slaughterhouse-Five, which I read about a year ago. I liked Cat’s Cradle a good bit better. Although I think this book is typically classified as science fiction, it’s not heavily “science-fictiony”. It would likely appeal to people who like their fiction to be more literary. ( )
  YouKneeK | Jul 23, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 191 (next | show all)
Jailbird is KV's surrealistic yet stunningly pertinent account of the part he played, under the alias of Walter F. Starbuck, as the least significant—and hitherto entirely unknown—conspirator in the villainies of Watergate. No, it isn't. It's a love-affair with language and ideas. If you read the publisher's blurb (which God forbid!) you'll be utterly misled by a prosaic example of abstracting at its lowest ebb, totally devoid of poetry, imagination, style and, (sin of sins) Kurt Vonnegutness.
added by KayCliff | editThe Indexer, John A. Gordon (Oct 1, 1980)
"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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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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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 7 descriptions)

A satirical science fiction novel.

(summary from another edition)

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Average: (4.12)
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1.5 18
2 136
2.5 48
3 699
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4 1680
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5 1725


3 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

3 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141189347, 0141045442, 0241951607

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