Customer Review

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Clever, funny, prophetic, but maybe feeling its age, 23 Jan 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Cat's Cradle (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
Short, clever, confusing, irritating, intelligent, funny. Parts of it are total genius. Parts of it seems dated. And parts are infuriating.

What I can say without equivocation is that it contains more ideas in its short length than most writers can muster in their entire career.

The narrator (John) is researching a book about what Americans were doing on the day the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. In the course of his research he meets the children of Felix Hoenikker, one of the men who invented the bomb. He learns about Hoenikker's legacy, Ice 9, a substance that was invented so that troops wouldn't have to deal with mud on battlefields. Ice 9 is an alternative version of water, solid crystals at room temperature, but once it comes into contact with water it causes the water to also change to Ice 9. John eventually ends up on the Caribbean island of San Moreno, birth place of the religion Bokononism and as events conspire it becomes obvious that Ice 9 will be the proponent of the apocalypse that started with the invention of the Atom bomb.

There is some amazing work here, Bokonism is worth reading the book for on it's own; a religion based around the idea that all religions are lies, but if the lies make you live a better life then they are worth following. And built around the idea that each person is tied to a group of people, who will work together to complete one important action - in this case bring about the end of the world. Bokonism is a religion I could follow.

The book is full of Vonnegut's characteristic humour and his voice is strong throughout. There are some really, really funny set pieces and some thought provoking ideas about human nature, our self-destructivenss, our need for faith and our reliance on technology.

The main problem with Cats Cradle is that taps into fears which aren't really there as much in our society nowadays. We no longer have the Cold War to worry about and whilst the threat of nuclear war is still very real it is no longer the pervading fear for the general populace. We look inwards now for the threat to our nations and so what would have seemed urgent and frightening at the time of writing now feels somewhat dated.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 

Comments

Tracked by 1 customer

Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 23 Jul 2012 21:20:06 BDT
Last edited by the author on 23 Jul 2012 21:21:22 BDT
Eileen Shaw says:
You're writing in 2011 - but even one year later there are too many areas of war and too many bombs in this world to be quite so sure that we are safe from a nuclear holocaust.
‹ Previous 1 Next ›

Review Details

Item

4.0 out of 5 stars (58 customer reviews)
5 star:
 (28)
4 star:
 (12)
3 star:
 (11)
2 star:
 (5)
1 star:
 (2)
 
 
 
£7.99 £5.59
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Reviewer


Location: England

Top Reviewer Ranking: 8,456