Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Cat's Cradle

Cat's CradleCat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When he embarks on a project to write a book about the creators of the atomic bomb, Jonah has no idea what he's going to unearth: Dr Felix Hoenikker and Ice-Nine, a substance that will instantly freeze any water it comes into contact with into more Ice-Nine, a substance capable of destroying all life on earth. Can Jonah find the missing Hoenikker children and secure their chips of Ice-Nine to safeguard the world?

Here we are, my second experience with Kurt Vonnegut and one of his Big Important Books. This time, he takes on science, religion, politics, and man's ability to destroy himself.

I didn't enjoy Cat's Cradle as much as Slaughterhouse-Five but they probably shouldn't be compared since they aren't the same kind of book. Slaughterhouse is experimental and timey-wimey and Cat's Cradle is much more straight-forward and easy to digest.

Jonah's project leads him to Felix Hoenikker and his three odd children, and eventually, to San Lorenzo and Bokononism, a new religion. Having been through 12 years of parochial school and a couple decades of weekly doses of church, fiction with a religious bend doesn't need much effort to hook me so I was engaged right away. Bokononism is Vonnegut's way of showing how full of shit most religions are, since Bokonon is pretty open about his religion being a pack of lies.

I don't have much else to say about Cat's Cradle. It was a piece of funny yet thought-provoking satire about science, religion, and mankind destroying itself. Four out of five stars.

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