A Brief Review of Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut

At times Cat’s Cradle held my interest while other times I felt bored and compelled to skip through a few paragraphs (which can make the book confusing). I also felt like I could connect with certain characters, while other times I felt as though there was absolutely no connection at all. Like Vonnegut’s other works, he tends to bring in small characters (like cab drivers, office secretaries, etc) that are only in one or two paragraphs.

These are the characters that I feel connected to the least. An example of a character that I connected with the most was Dr. Felix Hoenikker, creator of the atom bomb in Cat’s Cradle. Despite being deceased, Vonnegut made sure that you connected with him by having other characters describe and tell stories about Dr. Hoenikker, including his children, acquaintances, and co-workers.

Another appealing aspect about Cat’s Cradle was that Kurt Vonnegut made himself a character in the book by using a “first-person” perspective. This is something that hooks me into all his other books as well. When I read a book that is written in first-person I feel as though I am that character and that it is more of a diary or journal than just an actual sequence of events.

Something that constantly changes whether or not I’m in the text is when the story leads onto another subject or when the plot takes certain twists, even if everything ties together in the end. An example of this is the explanation of “Bokonism”, a small religion the narrator adopts from the island of San Lorenzo.

But I do believe that Vonnegut tried to not focus so much on the plot as much as his psychological views. When certain “random” subjects in the book tie together is when I find the story enticing and start to enter the text again, such as when the narrator goes to San Lorenzo to find Dr. Hoenikker’s son, Frank.

Also, the author introduces characters that seem out of place and entirely random, and then they tie into the story slightly somehow. A common example of this in the story is all the people the narrator runs into that know Dr. Felix Hoenikker, like a gravestone sculptor that made a monument for Dr. Hoenikker’s wife. Although I entered and left the text constantly, I did enjoy the book.

I would suggest this book to advanced high school students and above. If you enjoy a good fiction/novel or a great intellectual read, this book is for you. If you enjoy Cat’s Cradle, you’ll enjoy Kurt Vonnegut’s other works as well.

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