Published September 8, 1998 by Dial Press Trade Paperback (first in 1963)
Paperback, 304 pages
My school forced me to read this
Initially, I was thinking of doing a full review for this book but it's been so long since I've read this that I can't really remember anything any more. Not to mention that I've blocked any memory of this past school year since summer started. But I have this thing where I just hate not reviewing a book so I decided to do a little mini review instead.
Cat's Cradle is a weird book. Like a really weird book. It follows this man named John as he attempts to track down members of his karass (don't ask, just read it but basically, a karass is a group of people who are put together to kinda work towards the same goal, objective) to write a book on it. There really isn't a distinct plot to this book, it's really just John's adventures as he searches for information for his books and all the little things he learns along the way and the people he meets.
But you know, there's genius in all this madness. There is no denying that Cat's Cradle is wacky (well, at least not for me) because everything is just so exaggerated and outrageous but that's kinda what makes this book work so well. It's crazy and totally weird at first but when you finish the book and really think about it, that's when the genius of Vonnegut starts to come together. Vonnegut uses humour to his advantage, to express his thoughts on two running topics in this book: science and religion - and he does so rather well. But while I could understand the general idea of what Vonnegut was saying about those two topics, I admit that a lot of the book's irony and satire was lost on me. Like this book is almost too complex and intricate - actually, it IS too complex and intricate - for me to totally get everything that Vonnegut was saying. I don't think I ever will honestly but reading some of the analyses for this book was rather interesting. I can't say that I picked up on a lot of the things the writers of those essays mentioned but yeah, I'm sure it was in the book!
In all seriousness though, Cat's Cradle - though confusing for me at a lot of times - does really offer some great food for thought. Vonnegut's opinion and outlook on the world is a rather depressing one but is really interesting. And besides all that deep, meaningful stuff, Cat's Cradle really is a very readable book. It took me a while to get into it but once I did, strangely I didn't want to put it down. One of the very, very, very few books for school that I have actually finished front to back.