Genre: Modern Classic, Satire, Dark Humor
Publication Date: 1963
Page Count: 287
Cat's Cradle was my first Vonnegut novel; I was a little skeptical about his works; I wasn't sure if he was going to be my style but I found that I really enjoyed this one. I will definitely be reading more Vonnegut in the future.
This is the story of a religion that ridicules religion, a midget, the father of the atom bomb, and a science experiment that brings about the end of the world.
This book was very, very good. I was surprised by how much I liked it. I loved how everything connected and weaved together. The religion, Bokononism, was brilliant and very poetic. I loved the concepts of the religion, such as a duprass, which are two people that are so connected with each other they are oblivious to everyone else around them, their bodies and souls are so in-sync that they often die at the same time or within minutes of each other. If you want to connect with someone, you touch the soles of your feet together. The creator of the religion acknowledges that the religion is based on a bunch of lies. The religion is a little ridiculous, but then it also seems so real and logical and so much like a real religion. It's so interesting!
I also enjoyed the dark humor in this novel; the bitter irony was brilliant, and Vonnegut is a great story teller. His writing style and the short chapters make this book so quick to read and hard to put down. I loved the commentary on the atomic bomb and WWII and the decaying morals of humanity (which is a theme that usually accompanies discussion of WWII in literature.)
This is one of those books where not everything makes sense, and the characters and events are a little far-out, but it works perfectly with this novel. The horrors of WWII left the entire world lost and terrified of humanity, and this novel captures that tone very well along with telling a strange and entertaining story.
What Vonnegut should I read next? I already own Slaughterhouse Five, which is more war commentary and his most well-known work, and it's probably where I will go next, but let me know what other Vonnegut you like.