Cat’s Cradle – Kurt Vonnegut

What a peculiar book. From the last book to this, I can definitely see the author’s writing style carry over. Short, sweet and somewhat meaningless? Not sure if that last word fit the description. I feel like I am somewhat anchored by this idea when I read Vonnegut’s books. The reason I decided to pick them up was because of someone’s comment saying that his books makes you feel like life is pointless and meaningless. So now whenever I read a book of his, that is always on the back of my mind.

It wasn’t a bad book per se, but similar to the last one, the book just… happened? Wow that is a shitty description. The context of the book is set in the last 1900s, after WWII. The main character decides to write a book in regards to discovering the day the atomic bomb was dropped and what was going on in the lives of the people who made the bomb. This involved in him getting in touch with the bomb maker’s family as he himself has died.

However, as one reads on, the story takes a tangent and the narrator’s interviews take him on a very unusual adventure. Maybe unusual is not the right word since this is a work of fiction. The events of the story just seem to unfold one by one with no actions leading up to one another.

Maybe the best way to describe this book is the lack of build up that occurs. There is no in-depth of analysis of character’s thoughts, no reflection, just events one after another. I liked the book in the fact that in the end, one found out that there “antagonist” is merely an act put on in order to maintain the function of society. This reminded me a lot of 1984 where there were actual wars between nations. It was used as a matter of propaganda.

Another idea I liked of this book was the author’s creativity of a whole new religion, Bokonism. The religion seems very ironic, satirical and very real at points. I think it was very cleverly used in order to related the characters to one another and to tie in all the events together. After all, he explicitly uses Bokonism to explain everything that happens to the narrator.

All in all, it was a good book. Not sure if I missed key details, but it wasn’t amazing. There was no emotional investment like when I read Murakami, but to each their own.


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