Review - Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut

Guest review by @bookspluscaffeine

Why do I like book subscriptions?

Because it means I pick up things I otherwise would not.

In the June NovelTea Book Club Classic parcel, I recieved Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut, and I'm so glad I've now read it.

This sci-fi / satire follows the narrator, John as he attempts to write a book titled "The day the world ended" about the day the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. He gets tangled up with the father of the atomic bomb, Dr Felix Hoenikker and his family, leading him to a remote island with a mad dictator, a bizzare religion founded on "harmless untruths" to placate the people (because the truth is too awful) , and the discovery of "ice-nine" - Dr Felix Hoenikker's next destructive chemical weapon capable of freezing the entire world. The religion, Bokononism has sacred texts in the form of calypsos which are jarring in their whimsy, and yet sometimes profound,

"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."

The characters are so grossly overplayed they more resemble caricatures (though not so dissimilar to current prominent world figures). Told with dry wit and irony, it's a glimpse into the end of the world. I read this book and felt chills- some bits were a little too close to the bone!

Cat’s Cradle was featured in the June 2019 Classic parcel from the NovelTea Book Club. If you’d like to learn more, or sign up to receive one of our monthly book & tea subscription parcels, please feel free to check out the rest of our website.