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Cat's Cradle (1963)

by Kurt Vonnegut

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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22,362300175 (4.1)407
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)
1960s (5)
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English (287)  Spanish (3)  Catalan (2)  Danish (1)  Swedish (1)  Hebrew (1)  French (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (297)
Showing 1-5 of 287 (next | show all)
Crazy and amazing and a little devastating. Needless to say, I didn't expect the end, although it seems like it kind of fits with his worldview. Bokononism is pure genius.

I'm glad I finally got around to reading Vonnegut-- I always knew I was going to like his writing, but I kept not getting around to it. The library here has a bunch of his books (though I can't find [b:Slaughterhouse-Five|4981|Slaughterhouse-Five|Kurt Vonnegut|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1227252234s/4981.jpg|1683562], which is the one I really want to read). ( )
  caedocyon | Feb 23, 2024 |
Fast moving and though provoking book. Vonnegut creates a world with interesting and perplexing characters. ( )
  CraigGoodwin | Feb 16, 2024 |
Not the usual sci-fi. Possibly set around now. So-so but interesting idea. ( )
  SteveMcI | Dec 14, 2023 |
Very similar in themes and atmosphere to Galapagos. That one has a much wider scope, whereas this is more synecdochic. The amorality of scientists is also a strong theme here, which I don't remember it being in Galapagos. It's also harsher - there is an almost savage glee in the ending of (in)humanity, instead of the serene fatalism of Galapagos.

For what it's worth, I think Cat's Cradle is probably a better constructed and written book (I particularly loved the abrupt but perfectly judged ending), but Galapagos perhaps more enjoyable.

While I like Vonnegut a lot, I do find he has a somewhat aggressive passivity to him, which can be a little annoying. Maybe it's a faked incomprehension of the everyday compromises and voluntary ignorances of life - while I tend to think he is correct, in an idealistic sort of way, there's something about his phrasing which I sometimes find jarring. That and his world weary tone means I need to take breaks between my Vonnegut, but I'm still looking forward to when I next pick one up.

( )
1 vote thisisstephenbetts | Nov 25, 2023 |
I went into this one blind. Had no idea what was coming, and had never heard of Bokononism. I found it actually more delightful than expected. I enjoyed the not-so-subtle satire and found myself sometimes chuckling at Vonnegut's points, sometimes nodding in agreement. Is it weird I thought this was kind of a fun read? ( )
1 vote MahanaU | Nov 21, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 287 (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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Nothing in this book is true.
'Live by the foma* that make you brave
and kind and healthy and happy.'

The Books of Bokonon. 1:5

*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'.
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."
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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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