Cat's Cradle

Cat's Cradle

eBook - 2010
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Cat's Cradle (1963) is Vonnegut's most ambitious novel, which put into the language terms like "wampeter", "kerass" and "granfalloon" as well as a structured religion, Boskonism and was submitted in partial fulfillment of requirements for a Master's Degree in anthropology, and in its sprawling compass and almost uncontrolled (and uncontrollable) invention, may be Vonnegut's best novel. Written contemporaneously with the Cuban missile crisis and countenancing a version of a world in the grasp of magnified human stupidity, the novel is centered on Felix Hoenikker, a chemical scientist reminiscent of Robert Oppenheimer... except that Oppenheimer was destroyed by his conscience and Hoenikker, delighting in the disastrous chemicals he has invented, has no conscience at all. Hoenikker's "Ice 9" has the potential to convert all liquid to inert ice and thus destroy human existence; he is exiled to a remote island where Boskonism has enlisted all of its inhabitants and where religion and technology collaborate, with the help of a large cast of characters, to destroy civilization. Vonnegut's compassion and despair are expressed here through his grotesque elaboration of character and situation and also through his created religion which like Flannery O'Connor's "Church Without Christ" (in Wise Blood) acts to serve its adherents by removing them from individual responsibility. Vonnegut had always been taken seriously by science fiction readers and critics (a reception which indeed made him uncomfortable) but it was with Cat's Cradle that he began to be found and appreciated by a more general audience. His own ambivalence toward science, science fiction, religion and religious comfort comes through in every scene of this novel.
Publisher: [United States] : RosettaBooks : Made available through hoopla, 2010
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: hoopla digital
ISBN: 9780795311963
0795311966

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a
abraak
May 24, 2016

It was an interesting book

f
Filthy_Doves
Apr 26, 2016

Such a humorous and great read. Vonnegut is a genius.

lavi_1 Jun 11, 2015

best book ever!

e
Eosos
Jun 06, 2014

A slightly curious look at the consequences of irresponsible scientific research and a slightly more interesting look at the oddities of religion.

I couldn't even begin to care about the intended message of the story with all the annoying characters and odd plot devices. I was just not that interested in this book.

m
mcimaomo
Apr 24, 2014

A great taste of early Vonnegut. There's a reason he himself graded the tale an A+, one of only two novels he deemed worthy of such a mark (the other being "Slaughterhouse-Five"). The story flows inevitability towards apocalypse, but is filled with enough humor to make the journey an entertaining trip to oblivion.

u
ukiuq
Oct 30, 2013

Hilarious book. It might have been written in the 60s, but it has aged very well.

f
franzkafka
Sep 21, 2013

Kurt Vonnegut - 'nuf said.

JCLBeckyC Jun 15, 2013

Vonnegut was awarded his master's degree in anthropology from the University of Chicago for this novel. The fact that a work of science fiction is acceptable as a thesis in the study of anthropology--the study of humanity itself--tells you a lot about this masterpiece. I didn't think I liked Science Fiction, but this book changed my mind.

l
lisahiggs
May 17, 2010

Why is this book on the Modern Library’s list of the top 100 English-language novels of the 20th century? I guess because it is really funny in an extremely clever way with a cast of supremely witty characters whose collective existence demonstrates how completely ridiculous – and hilarious – the modern human experience is. Other than that, I don’t know.

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lavi_1 Jan 20, 2015

“Beware of the man who works hard to learn something, learns it, and finds himself no wiser than before.”

m
mcimaomo
Apr 24, 2014

"People have to talk about something just to keep their voice boxes in working order, so they'll have good voice boxes in case there's ever anything really meaningful to say."

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ukiuq
Oct 30, 2013

ukiuq thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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