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Cat's Cradle

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  276,072 Ratings  ·  8,163 Reviews
Cat’s Cradle (1963) is Vonnegut’s most ambitious novel, which put into the language terms like "wampeter", "kerass" and "granfalloon" as well as a structured religion, Boskonism and was submitted in partial fulfillment of requirements for a Master’s Degree in anthropology, and in its sprawling compass and almost uncontrolled (and uncontrollable) invention, may be Vonnegut’ ...more
ebook, 288 pages
Published July 1st 2010 by RosettaBooks (first published 1963)
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Laurel Profanity is not the issue. Vonnegut is writing about big themes, never more important than today when the ice caps melt, the seas rise, and the…moreProfanity is not the issue. Vonnegut is writing about big themes, never more important than today when the ice caps melt, the seas rise, and the forests burn. An intelligent teen wouldn't be put off by a few "swear words." Neither should their adult guides.(less)
Sean I read it as a fairly prudish 16 year old and did not find it objectionable. I am re-reading it now, several decades later, and still don't find it…moreI read it as a fairly prudish 16 year old and did not find it objectionable. I am re-reading it now, several decades later, and still don't find it objectionable. (less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Lorenzo Berardi
There are two voices inside my head. Let's call them Lore and Enzo. At the moment L & E are quarreling on Cat's Cradle.

(...)
L) Oh come on! This book is wonderful. Perhaps it's the best novel Vonnegut has ever written.
E) Are you kidding me? Have you read the whole of it?
L) Of course I've read it from its first word to the very last one.
E) And haven't you noticed anything strange?
L) What are you talking about?
E) I mean, you know, it's a discontinuous novel. I can't deny it has a great beginni
...more
Manny
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Danger
Mar 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: ugly children, most plant-life, human beings, and members of ABBA
I've read this book four times. It's better than the Bible, because unlike the Bible, this book knows it's fiction.
mark monday
there are probably as many reviews of Cat's Cradle as there are stars in the sky, so no doubt there's little i can add that's of any value. who cares? i love hearing myself talk, so let's go for it!

.....

well, this is harder than i thought. it's as easy as describing why i love my favorite pillow or threadbare t-shirt, or why i like rainy days as much as sunny days. okay, here goes. the inventiveness of Cat's Cradle and its bleak, absurd humor was incredibly eye-opening to me in high school and
...more
Steve
Jan 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another review in the KISS series (Keep It Short, Steve)

In Anne Fadiman’s superb book about books called Ex Libris, she divides readers into two categories: those who keep their books in pristine condition (courtly lovers) and those who delight in marginalia (carnal lovers). I started out as one of the former (conditioned, no doubt, by fear of library fines), but became one of the latter. Cat’s Cradle was my first prurient experience, dating back to high school. Part of the reason was that I sna
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Lisa
I loved this book!

It turned out to be one of those easy-to-read stories that leave you thinking, and thinking, and thinking. The science fiction aspect of the plot is not important at all. It is the impact of power, knowledge and ritual on every single individual that made me want to restart reading it as soon as I finished. I absolutely adore the creation of Bokononism and the development of a new language to suit the needs of the religion-in-the-making.

Margaret Atwood's MaddAddam experiments
...more
Evgeny
May 19, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
A group read with the following wonderful people: Ashley and Erin. Please let me know if I missed somebody.

Before I start talking about the plot let me give you a piece of advice. If after you finish reading this one the first question that comes to your mind would be ,"WTF did I just read?" it is perfectly normal and common. You can imagine now how easy is it to discuss the plot. Anyhow, Dr. Felix Hoenikker happened to be one of the founding 'fathers' of the atomic bomb. The MC named John (whos
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Dan Schwent
Sep 23, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
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 Bo
...more
Lawyer
Cat's Cradle: Vonnegut's String Game


 photo CatsCradle1963_zpsdaf7b2ad.jpg
Cat's Cradle, First Edition,Holt, Rinehart and Winston

Published in 1963, "Cat's Cradle" is Kurt Vonnegut's fourth novel. I consider it one of the great satirical works of the 20th Century. Often referred to as a modern Mark Twain, Vonnegut's view of American society more fully embraces a society and its group values, while Twain's targets for his biting wit were more specifically aimed, although with the same verve and joy in the revelation of the foibles of l
...more
Chris
Jan 31, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Nothing in this review is true.

As much as I enjoy reading Vonnegut, one of the nagging little doubts I always have is that I'm missing something. That there's a hidden message in there that I'm not picking up on. Or, on the other hand, that I am picking up messages that just aren't there.

Which is, perhaps, the point of the whole book.

The world is full of lies. Good lies, bad lies and indifferent lies, but lies nonetheless, and we pick and choose the lies that make our lives happiest. The lie tha
...more
Darwin8u
Jan 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: aere-perennius, 2017
"...for the quotation captured in a couplet the cruel paradox of Bakononist thought, the heartbreaking necessity about lying about reality, and the heartbreaking impossibility of lying about it.

Midget, midget, midget, how he struts and winks,
For he knows a man's as big as what he hopes and thinks!
"

-- Kurt Vonnegut, Cat's Cradle

description

I first read this in 9th grade. The grade my two kids are right now. Life has a way of making you feel both old and insignificant. When I first read this book I was focuse
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Jennifer (aka EM)
This was a difficult re-read. In the flush of youth, when I first read it (at my cynical, pessimistic - and arrogant - peak), every line spoke to me. Now, I am amazed at how flimsy the story, and how brittle and bleak - but oh-so-deeply entrenched - is the cynicism. I don't remember it that way. Today, it made me deeply, almost unbearably sad to think that the world - that I - felt so aligned with the dominant worldview of this novel. It still speaks to me, but it says different things.

I haven't
...more
Linda Hopf
Oct 08, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: could-not-finish
I stopped at page 175 and I have NEVER done that. I never give up on books I start. This book made me re-think that practice. Normally, even if I do not like a book, I can find something about it to keep me going but with Cat's Cradle I just had to quit. I need to feel something - curiousity, irritation, sadness, happiness, love, desire, anger, escapism, like I am learning something new, that I need the lesson this book is offering... whatever. I need to connect to the book, the story, the chara ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
427. Cat’s Cradle, Kurt Vonnegut
گهواره گربه - کورت ونه گات، نشر افق
عنوان: گهواره گربه؛ نویسنده: کورت ونه گات جونیور، مترجم: علی اصغر بهرامی؛ تهران، نشر افق، 1383؛ در 406 ص؛ چاپ دوم 1386؛ چاپ سوم 1392؛ چاپ چهارم 1394؛ شابک: 9789643691615؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان امریکایی - قرن 20 م
عنوان: گهواره گربه؛ نویسنده: کورت ونه گات، مترجم: مهتاب کلانتری؛ منصوره وفایی؛ تهران، ثالث، 1383؛ در 375 ص؛ شابک: 9643800385؛
رمان «گهواره گربه» چهارمین اثر نویسنده ی آمریکایی «کورت ونه گات» است که نخستین بار در سال
...more
Megan Baxter
Nov 22, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What is it about Vonnegut's authorial voice? It's simultaneously wry and tender, sarcastic and gentle. I don't know of any other authors that can manage that particular combination. And here, writing about the end of the world in so many different ways, it is on full display.

Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the recent changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this decision here.

In the meantime, you can read the entire review at Smorgasbook
Warwick
Think what a paradise this world would be if men were kind and wise.


In 1963, when this book first came out, the world was still unclenching after the Cuban Missile Crisis. The nervy terror beneath the posturing of the Cold War is writ large here, and in cartoon colours; indeed the very name of the Cold War finds a deadly literality in Vonnegut's ‘ice-nine’, the chemical compound that will destroy all life on earth. Vonnegut's tone – a desperate hilarity which, I think, reflects real fear – has s
...more
Lyn
Jul 20, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Vonnegut's best?

Many will say that it is and who am I to disagree. It does include all the best elements of Vonnegut in his genius: humor, dark and subtle, and sometimes not subtle at all, irreverence, absurdity blended with realism to create a surrealistic setting where the reader is cautiously intrigued by whatever is going on.

And the messages and themes, of love, relationships, responsibility, both internally and globally. Also, like several of his more endearing works, this one remains tho
...more
Phrynne
Nov 15, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I struggled a bit with this one. Kurt Vonnegut's writing is always a little unusual but this book seemed to be excessively disjointed and rambling. I felt my brain wandering off into more interesting thoughts and had to keep rereading bits. Keeping track of all the characters' names was hard too. Not a successful read for me I am afraid.
Paul
Jan 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: satire
4.5 stars
Rather funny and biting satire on religion, politics and the possibility of humanity managing to destroy the world; written at about the time of the Cuban missile crisis. It is narrated by John, who is also the main protagonist. There is a Moby Dick reference right at the beginning when John says “Call me Jonah”.
John is writing a book about what famous Americans did on the day the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. He is interested in Dr Felix Hoenikker who had been involved in the developm
...more
Penny
Although I found the ending rather abrupt, I thought this was a fantastic book! The style of short chapters was unusual but fit well with the narration.

The story is told from the point of view of a writer John (or Jonah) who has converted from Christianity to Bokononism and is attempting to write a book about the day the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. He meets many weird characters (or members of his karass) along the way and describes among other things, his journey to Bokononism.

I thou
...more
Himanshu
“Tiger got to hunt, bird got to fly;
Man got to sit and wonder 'why, why, why?'
Tiger got to sleep, bird got to land;
Man got to tell himself he understand.”


You must have already come across this quote somewhere I'm sure. But if not, then come, let's bask in the glory of its supercalifragilisticexpialidocious (:D) wisdom. After reading my second Vonnegut, I could only fathom one feeling for us humans in this vast unending universe: Pity. Don't these lines elucidate just how miserable we really ar
...more
Erin ☕ *Proud Book Hoarder*
“Beware of the man who works hard to learn something, learns it, and finds himself no wiser than before.”

Another strange buddy read with Ashley, Evgeny, Christopher and anyone else brave enough to participate.

Um. Good (sort-of), but weird, and not always “good-weird.”

Blending science and morality, religion with warning, weapons and the man’s desire to create and destroy, it’s a powerful satirical novel that works in some levels and loses me on others. Nothing new for me, I’m sad to say. Damn imp
...more
Negativni
Dec 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites

Kada je postalo jasno da nikakva reforma vlade i gospodarstva neće pomoći toj zemlji da se izvuče iz jada, religija je postala jedino oruđe nade.

Istina je bila neprijatelj naroda jer je istina bila tako grozna, pa je zato Bokonon preuzeo na sebe zadatak da ljude počne zavaravati sve boljim i boljim lažima.


Ovaj citat mi je odmah upao u oko, jer kao da opisuje našu banana republiku i naše političare koji su očito predani bokononisti.

...

Godinu dana prije izlaska knjige, dakle, 1962., bila je Kubans
...more
Rod
I now regret all those years in which I wasn't reading Vonnegut, because I should have been reading Vonnegut.
MJ Nicholls
Apr 04, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels, merkins
The best way to cure Reader’s Block is to reread authors whose works induce chest pains of happiness in one’s . . . chest, so I did this with Mr. Vonnegut this afternoon. Sadly, upon rereading Cat’s Cradle, which I first tackled in 2007 at the summit of Arthur’s Seat as a love-drunk twenty-year-old starting to lick the world’s honeyest creases after a period of long-term depression, I was more disappointed than delighted. I suspect this book is read largely in one’s teens when confronting the va ...more
Ron
Feb 17, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, satire
Maybe satires aren’t my thing. But wait a second. If that were true, then I wouldn’t have enjoyed Slaughterhouse-Five, which is at least partly a satire, and I pretty much loved Slaughterhouse-Five. So I’m going to chalk Cat’s Cradle up to being a bit too odd. Scratch that – it’s a lot odd. To me at least. Can’t forget the “to me” part, because a whole lot of people have rated it 4+ stars. Therefore, don’t take my opinion too seriously. I thought that Cat’s Cradle finished on a high. The whole m ...more
Kristijan
Nov 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Pitam se zašto nisam ranije uzeo ovu knjigu u ruke... Jedina (uslovno rečeno) "ozbiljna" knjiga koja me je do sada ovoliko zabavila i iznenadila je naravno Pinčonov roman "Objava broja 49". Ovaj Vonegatov roman apsolutno može da parira Pinčonovom, ali da odmah budem jasan, ne mogu da se odlučim koji od ova dva romana više volim :D

Ako bi trebalo sažeti ovaj roman u nekoliko reči mislim da bi "pohvala ljudskoj gluposti" bio sasvim adekvatan tagline. Na ovih dvestotinjak stranica, Vonegat nam pripo
...more
Junta
One of my cat's favourite places to sleep around the family home in winter (since hot air rises).
Cat's Cradle

Her name is Chabo. 12 years old as of October 4th.
Chabo

3.5 stars.
James
Listen:
Although I've only yet read three of his novels, I would be surprised if Cat's Cradle isn't Kurt Vonnegut's greatest masterpiece. It can be very difficult to rate Vonnegut's work, as his books are so easily enjoyable and his flippant sarcasm, through which he makes light of such matters as Armageddon, could give the impression that he shouldn't be taken seriously as an artist (he certainly isn't taking himself seriously). However, this meditation on science's role in man's eventual destru
...more
Algernon
May 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
[9/10] an impressive achievement. I came to the story with a fresh mind, having intentionally avoided discussions and spoilers and with little previous experience of Vonnegut opus (I think I have only read The Sirens of Titan long before this, and thought it was OK in a Golden Age of SF way)

I find it incredible how modern and connected to 2011 issues the story feels. For most of the first half of the book I wondered why this is considered SF, as it dealt mostly with social commentary and charact
...more
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Kindle Unlimited Selections 2 18 Jul 11, 2017 12:50PM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: # 31 Cat's Cradle 1 1 Jul 10, 2017 07:02AM  
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  • Transmetropolitan, Vol. 5: Lonely City (Transmetropolitan, #5)
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2778055
Kurt Vonnegut, Junior was an American novelist, satirist, and most recently, graphic artist. He was recognized as New York State Author for 2001-2003.

He was born in Indianapolis, later the setting for many of his novels. He attended Cornell University from 1941 to 1943, where he wrote a column for the student newspaper, the Cornell Daily Sun. Vonnegut trained as a chemist and worked as a journali
...more
More about Kurt Vonnegut Jr....

Share This Book

“Tiger got to hunt, bird got to fly;
Man got to sit and wonder 'why, why, why?'
Tiger got to sleep, bird got to land;
Man got to tell himself he understand.”
1820 likes
“In the beginning, God created the earth, and he looked upon it in His cosmic loneliness.

And God said, "Let Us make living creatures out of mud, so the mud can see what We have done." And God created every living creature that now moveth, and one was man. Mud as man alone could speak. God leaned close to mud as man sat up, looked around, and spoke. Man blinked. "What is the purpose of all this?" he asked politely.

"Everything must have a purpose?" asked God.

"Certainly," said man.

"Then I leave it to you to think of one for all this," said God.

And He went away.”
1221 likes
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