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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Cat's Got my Tongue

CAT'S CRADLE by Kurt Vonnegut

Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut: NOOK Book CoverI read this book because it was the monthly selection for the science fiction book group at my local Barnes and Noble.  Unfortunately, I didn't get to go to the meeting because my child with high-functioning autism had a major meltdown on a bike ride and as things went, I couldn't get to the meeting.  I was disappointed because I really wanted to hear what others thought of it and what they took away from it.  I needed help on this one.

I hadn't read any books by Kurt Vonnegut before so I wasn't sure what to expect, but I do think I liked the book.  It was so strange, it's hard for me to decide if I liked it or not.  I really don't know what to say about it.

The narrator of story tells of his experience researching a biography about a (fictional) scientist who invented the atomic bomb.  He finally finds and interviews his three children--all of whom have very odd characteristics.  As the story goes along, you also learn of a new religion Bokotanism, that was made up by a guy and everyone seems to know he made it up, he admits he made it up, it doesn't seem to make sense, but people observe it anyway.  I didn't really understand that part.  I think I'm a fairly intelligent person, but I just didn't get it.  Maybe because I am religious or because I'm too literal...I don't know.

The story also serves as a bit of a parody of nuclear proliferation, but I don't want to give away how that comes about in the story.

The book is an extremely fast read.  (Most chapters are not longer than four pages, with lots of white space.)  So, give it a try.  Leave a comment and let me know what you think.


  1. I have it on my list, so I'll read it and we can discuss. I'll just make that #5 to read along with the other 4 I'm reading now :)

  2. I have not read this book, but your description matches the writing style of other Vonnegut stories I have read. So if you read more Vonnegut, expect more of the same.

  3. I agree that this seems to be typical Vonnegut writing. Have you liked his other books you read? Is there something to get or it's just strange?

  4. I admire his imagination. He does a good job of taking a cultural trend or belief and illustrating it to the extreme, which makes for an interesting read. Vonnegut stories I have read I would rate 3/5 stars. Although I understand Vonnegut's humor, it is usually a little too dark for me.