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Cat's Cradle (Essential.penguin) by Kurt…
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Cat's Cradle (Essential.penguin) (original 1963; edition 1999)

by Kurt Vonnegut

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21,040275165 (4.1)395
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)
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Title:Cat's Cradle (Essential.penguin)
Authors:Kurt Vonnegut
Info:Penguin Books Ltd (1999), Paperback, 192 pages
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Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut (1963)

1960s (5)
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» See also 395 mentions

English (267)  Catalan (2)  Spanish (2)  Italian (1)  French (1)  Swedish (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (275)
Showing 1-5 of 267 (next | show all)
It was way easier to follow than Slaughterhouse Five ... ( )
  theBookDevourer211 | Jan 27, 2023 |
I almost set this book aside because the setup was long...and just strange. I'm so glad that I pushed to the end. While it seems that Vonnegut's message addressed the ills of his time, the message he brings is one that continues to plague us in our daily lives. Definitely would recommend to anyone concerned about the direction our world is taking...or not taking. It seems his message is as relevant today as it was in 1963 which is sad, because it means we've learned nothing from our mistakes. ( )
  JRobinW | Jan 20, 2023 |
I devoured a lot of Vonnegut's books in high school. That was in the early 1970s when everyone was angry at everything. Nixon, Vietnam, drugs. And I was an angry high school student cuz my parents were doing their divorce thing, and we were in the middle. So the books got me thru all that. I'm glad I'm past that. Rereading this was a jump back into time, and I enjoyed it. Not as much as the first time though. Vonnegut was a genius. He was funny, thoughtful, and irreverent. I loved it. ( )
  KarlaC | Jan 15, 2023 |
Too much Reddit-humor for me to love it, but sometimes the wit was satisfying. In the end, it was too playful and absurd for me to take it seriously.

(AB) ( )
  jammymammu | Jan 6, 2023 |
Kurt Vonnegut writes with a narrative sarcasm unparalleled by any but possibly Kubrick and Douglas Adams. Cat's Cradle is a fictional satire about the creator of the atomic bomb and his lasting legacy. At the end of one chapter, another character mentions a man who murdered twenty-six people. "Think of it! Twenty-six people he had on his conscience!" ("Contrast," Vonnegut whispers.)

Vonnegut’s simplistic writing isn’t simplistic because he can’t do better, it’s simplistic because he’s edited out all the parts that you don’t need to understand morality. It’s too hard to face this morality sometimes. I have to put it down and think because to read this and not think is to not read it. I did that before. I read this and didn’t understand it. (So it goes.)

It takes a specific insanity to take on both religion and science at once, but Vonnegut does it. Bokononism is clearly a skewered view of islander Christianity without a Jesus figure. It’s almost more of a philosophy than a religion, as it knowingly claims to be false while purporting to be the best way to live. But the lies at the center of Bokononism is exactly Vonnegut’s point. See, even before Vonnegut has the author tell us that Bokonoism is all lies, even before the table of contents, Vonnegut tells us his own book is all lies. Which of course it is, it’s fiction.

But. Even a fiction can form a philosophy. If you learn to be kinder from a lie (or a fiction, a harmless lie), that’s a benefit to you. Vonnegut specifies harmless lies. A fiction may allow you to see a true truth. ("Contrast," Vonnegut whispers.) Yes, this story is a fiction about the possibility of the end of the world, but why can’t these thoughts influence our non-ending world and make sure we don’t end it? Dangerously close to the end, another character speaks clearly in the voice of Vonnegut his true thoughts on war (ironic as always), and the horrors and dangers of war. Perhaps. Isn’t it just as dangerous to be a scientist unthinking of what you uncover may be used? If not, you’re just playing with a bit of string, playing a harmless game, but it’s a lie to say there’s a cat there.

I liked more lines than the below, but I underlined them in my own book. If you want to know them, you’ll have to come and see:

- …I never stopped dawdling like an eight-year-old pm a spring morning on his way to school. Anything can make me stop and look and wonder, and sometimes learn. I am a very happy man. Thank you. [Dr. Felix Hoenikker accepting his Nobel Prize]
- Miss Pefko was twenty, vacantly pretty, and healthy—a dull normal.
- ... Any scientist who couldn't explain to an eight-year-old what he was doing was a charlatan.
- We all missed a lot. We'd all do well to start over again, preferably with kindergarten.
- ...he always approached old puzzles as though they were brand new.
- She hated people who thought too much. At that moment, she struck me as an appropriate representative for almost all mankind.
- Peculiar travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God.
- My second wife had left me on the grounds that I was too pessimistic for an optimist to be with.
- Somebody or something did not want me to be a nihilist.
- ...the mirage of what it would be like to be loved…
- I imaged that she could make me far happier than any woman had so far succeeded in doing.
- Americans couldn't imagine what it was like to be something else and proud of it.
- Americans are forever searching for love in forms it never takes, in places it can never be. It must have something to do with the vanished frontier.
- American foreign policy should recognize hate rather than imagine love.
- Those words lept from the page and into my mind, and they were welcomed there.
- I got an unexpectedly expert answer, as one does in life sometimes.
- What makes you think a writer isn't a drug salesman?
- Maturity, the way I understand it, is knowing what your limitations are.
- People are unkind sometimes without meaning to be.
- It is never a mistake to say goodbye.
- Don't be afraid of straining your brains. They won't break.
( )
1 vote gideonslife | Jan 5, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 267 (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."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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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