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Cat's Cradle (1963)

by Kurt Vonnegut

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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20,341264160 (4.1)388
Cat's Cradle is 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.… (more)
Recently added byprivate library, jkfw, Hopps41, MikeFutcher, erinkegel, JDEdwards1, TerriLynne, Johnson2011, Arina8888, mmsommer
Legacy LibrariesWalker Percy
1960s (5)
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» See also 388 mentions

English (257)  Catalan (2)  Italian (1)  French (1)  Swedish (1)  Spanish (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (264)
Showing 1-5 of 257 (next | show all)
I must admit that Kurt Vonnegut has me stumped. He garners much praise for his work. Cats Cradle is one of those. I think I mustn’t be perceptive enough to identify the any hidden meaning his work that I have read. I am sure there must be something I’m missing.

Cats Cradle is an interesting book, with an easy structure of short chapters (mostly one or two pages) making reading easy if you need to take a break. The plot does seem to wander a bit, from the protagonist starting the story with a desire to contact the children of one of the fathers of the atomic bombing mb, through banana republic, being made president of said banana republic to Armageddon that is brought about by accident with the substance Ice Nine. This is a great name for the ultimate WMD. The story finishes, as opposed to ending really, leaving one wondering about the characters’ fates. Interesting neologisms. My favourite being granfalloon. ( )
  Sandman-1961 | Apr 26, 2022 |
I was told by someone who had already read this that it was "bonkers", and it really kind of is, but in a most entertaining way. It also gets right to the heart of people, and the stupidity that underlies the entire race. Perceptive, imaginative, and original. ( )
  AngelaJMaher | Mar 27, 2022 |
A man sets out to write a book about the end of the world, namely about the making of the atom bomb, but in the process of researching one of the late scientists who worked on the bomb, he stumbles across the man's dysfunctional family, get entangled in the machinations of a poor island dictatorship, converts to a religion that admits it's founded on lies, and possibly witnesses the actual end of the world.
Wonderfully weird as only Vonnegut can do wonderfully weird. ( )
  electrascaife | Feb 7, 2022 |
Dark, potentially apocalyptic comedy in the vane of Dr. Strangelove or [b:The Mouse That Roared|149153|The Mouse That Roared (The Mouse That Roared, #1)|Leonard Wibberley|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1347739012s/149153.jpg|1305].

From very early on i was expecting to give this 4 stars. The only other Vonnegut i've read is [b:Slaughterhouse-Five|4981|Slaughterhouse-Five|Kurt Vonnegut Jr.|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1440319389s/4981.jpg|1683562] and this was much lighter and easier to read. I gobbled up the tiny chapters and was really enjoying myself.
Not quite sure what went wrong. Perhaps my expectations were too high, or the heavy foreshadowing just robbed the denouement of some of its impact.
Another case of anticipation being more enjoyable than gratification. Still its pretty fun and its not a terrible ending just not as good as i was hoping for. ( )
  wreade1872 | Nov 28, 2021 |
Been awhile since I'd read Vonnegut (Slaughterhouse 5 and TimeQuake), but he's got a distinctive voice that has a certain appeal. this story was not at all what I was expecting, but I still enjoyed it. ( )
  KrakenTamer | Oct 23, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 257 (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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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
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Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Cat's Cradle is 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.

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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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