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: [S.l.]: RosettaBooks, 2010
Description: 304 p
ISBN: 9780795311963
Additional Contributors: 3M Company

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gjfricano
Jul 15, 2019

One of Vonnegut's absolute best. A true pleasure to read from cover to cover.

StephanieOne Apr 17, 2019

It's a definite classic, one of the best from Vonnegut. When I first read it, I absolutely loved it. Reading it again after reading more of his work, though, not quite as much. the convergence of the ice-9 and the religion angle, plus the research stories leading up to the trip to the island all seem like they started out in Vonnegut's mind as three separate short stories, and he then tried to just throw them together. It's still a great book, just not as great in my mind as the first time I read it.

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EvanSchoenfeld
Jan 13, 2019

Probably Vonnegut’s best, it’s tempting to categorize this as a realistic yet affectionate view of humanity. How can I call this realistic? Of the book reviews on display, I couldn’t imagine reading any of them but one, much less the book. One supposes every other book published today is about Trump, not a one that isn’t deranged beyond redemption. At dusk the shapes rise and stagger thru the streets arms stretched out in front. “Trump,” they moan, “Trump!” They seek life but are too clumsy and senseless to find it. Perhaps “Cradle” is realistic by comparison with the foregoing. Not likely as such, but true just the same.

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Kjkittrell
Jul 28, 2018

Funny, but very over rated. should have stuck more to the ice-9 angle. Similar to Alan dean Foster's metallic hydrogen in The Human Blend.

d
darcyhudjik
Jul 05, 2018

Super funny book! I highly recommend it.

w
white_ferret_12
Feb 12, 2018

This is a book that is truly made to make you think. It is made to change your thoughts that you may naturally have about other people. This book will take you on an adventure through mere words and the storytelling will keep you hooked. If you ever have time to sit and read though a book that will keep you thinking about even after you put it down-this is the book for you.

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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!

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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.

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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.”

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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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