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VINE VOICEon 13 December 2014
I'm new to Kurt Vonnegut, having read Slaughterhouse 5 a few years ago and loved it but not really having the urge to read anything else of his at the time. A late night dinner party conversation recently led me back to KV and opinion seemed to be that's Cats Cradle would be a good place to continue my KV reading.
As expected, this book plays with the mind from the very beginning - what is truth and what is a lie? Can religion be founded on lies? Who holds the power to end the world? KV opens up his head to the reader through the narrator, Jonah, presenting his ideas and then questioning them in a way which makes you question yourself.
Reading the book feels as if you are there with Jonah, experiencing his amazement and revelations as he mets all the bizarre characters and uncovers their stories.
Structurally, the book is just over 200 pages long and split into 127 chapters. This helps makes the novel a very accessible read. The style of writing is very straightforward with lots going on below the surface.
There are many different levels on which this book can be read and I suspect that everyone will find different ideas in here, many of which the author did not intend at all (this would delight KV I am sure!)
And then there's the plot....... The imagination of the author is amazing. He creates countries, religions and scientific theories during the course of the story and they work wonderfully for most of the book. I felt though that he overused some of the ideas and the ending was dragged out further than it needed.
I'm not sure I'll jump at the idea of reading another of his but I did enjoy the experience.
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on 23 June 2017
Written in Vonnegut's inimitable nihilistic yet totally wacky style, this is a brilliant quick read that is impossible to put down. Vonnegut was an author who was surrounded by cold war existential dread. Whilst he chooses to scorn this state of affairs through the form of satire, the novel often gives way to a deep sense of dread. You can't help but feel that this book's relevance is once again making itself obvious. As we move again into a time of great instability and uncertainty, coupled with the great advances we continue to make in the biological sciences, you find yourself simultaneously smirking and shivering at the horrifying yet absurd events that unfold.
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on 19 July 2014
An eminent scientist, his strange children, a new religion openly founded on the premise that fantasy is more desirable than truth; an estranged impoverished island community; a self appointed dictator and a writer following his story, all come together in this surreal tale. For me it's about man's ingenious capacity for destruction on a grand scale and willingness to believe and adopt ideologies and theologies even when they are diametrically opposed to reality. It's all about the ideas and the satire packaged in a very palatable SF allegorical format.
But is it funny? Yes, of course it is! It isn't my favourite KV but I have, did and will continue to enjoy it.
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on 19 June 2017
An easy read with many amusing parts / soundbites (!). Being so easy to read, lacks some depth in characters which some may miss. unfortunately, ultimately it is bleak. We have not really moved on since then. Perhaps today's threats are more diverse.
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on 2 January 2013
I first read this as a teenager - not having read Slaughterhouse 5 as other reviewers - and loved the imaginative storyline immediately. I was a great science fiction reader in those days. I have read it and re-read it every couple of years since that time - my paperback version is dog-eared, has been lent out and returned; seriously the worse for wear. Thank heavens for the Kindle - it was one of the first books I bought for my Kindle two years ago and I read it last summer after a gap of about 5 years and it still grips me as it did the first time. I love the imagery, the "religion", the futility of it all.

As "The Usual Suspects" is my favourite film; "Cat's Cradle" is my favourite book. I will never tire of watching that film and I will never tire of reading this book.
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on 16 June 2013
Kurt Vonnegut's chilling tale of 'Ice Nine' is a classic story that all Science Fiction readers should know. But that is not the most important idea to have come out of Cat's Cradle.

In the book we learn of a rather unique religion 'Bokononism' - and not wanting to spoil the story I can only urge you to read Cat's Cradle or search Bokononism on the Net so that you have a taste for where Vonnegut takes this idea.

The really important idea that Bokononism threw up for me, and one that has remained with me all my adult life is the idea of the Duprass: a relationship of two people that is so close and perfect that they tend to die within a short while of each other.

What an inspiration for finding a good mate and having a truly wonderful, mutually supportive relationship that idea was when I read Cat's Cradle in my twenties... the search has taken me many years. Thank you Kurt for the vision.
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on 3 September 2017
How's the world going to end?Vonnegut suggests more with a very cold whimper than a bang.Good read but not as inspired as Slaughterhouse 5.
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on 13 January 2013
I first tried reading this as a teenager after falling in love with Orwell and failed to get it. I'm not sure what it was but I couldn't get into it. Recently this was picked as one of my Bookclub choices and it was with a heavy heart that I picked up a new copy. Fast forward three days and a revelation - this book is great. Something clicked for me and I really got it. Funny and ironic and full of layers this is such an intriguing work. True it may be 40+ years old now but it's still relevant and still has striking parallels with today's world. I'm on a journey now to read more Vonnegut. Fully deserving of the title modern classic
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on 21 November 2017
This is an amazingly witty, clever, funny book. I've read it twice in the last week and have set my heart on becoming a Bokononist.
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on 29 September 2014
The copy I received was virtually in mint condition. Hard to imagine anyone had ever read it.
Which is a pity, given Vonnegut brilliantly depicts a world by turns immensely funny and
sad. Everybody should know about Bokonism, a fatalistic religion. To my mind, Cat’s
Cradle is a work of genius that everyone should be required to read; funny but frightening.
The work of an extremely witty and wise man.
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