Monday, June 11, 2012

Cat's Crade by Kurt Vonnegut - Book Review

Cat's CradleCat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

To write a review of this book in three words:
'busy, busy, busy'.
But there is no such restriction, so...

I have a strong belief that Vonnegut was a really baroque spider who weaved webs more intricate than any other. And these cobwebs are not normal ones. They are fractal webs. Designs within designs. The more you understand, the more there is to understand. The deeper you go, the meaninglessness of everything comes about.

Some authors elicit direct questions in the reader's minds. Some elicit questions under the garb of strange humour. Vonnegut belongs to the latter. He makes you think about religion, men of god, politics, science, society, utopia, dystopia, metaphysics, human behaviour, and some more topics without explicitly speaking about them. All of this indulgence goes along with the story of a man, who preferred to call himself Jonah, and his quest to find out what the scientist, who designed the atom bomb, was doing on the day the bomb was dropped. From then on, there are threads revealed. Some are very obvious, most hidden under the seemingly funny lines. Then, things happen and keep happening, and then some more things happen.

This is not Sirens of Titans, neither is it Slaughterhouse-Five. Cat's Cradle stands on a different track. Though it has style. Vonnegut has style. A style that opens the keys to the warehouse where every little thing makes you think. Makes you wonder and question and eventually come with an answer "There is no damn Cat, and there is no damn Cradle". Ensuring that you get the the futility of it all.

As with the previous two Vonnegut books I have read, this one really needs a reread. Maybe to understand it more, or maybe to find out that there is actually nothing relevant in the book, that everything is just made up. Made up just like life seems at times.

The other day, I was thinking what an interesting conversation Vonnegut and Wodehouse would have in the Bar of Heaven over a couple of drinks. Talking about the pitiful humans and their actions, humans writing theorems after watching apples fall down. Laughing at us all.

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1 comment:

Brandt Hardin said...

Vonnegut brought a zany yet scientific voice to life which pointed out the absurdities of modern life and warfare. I was inspired to embody him in a surrealist portrait on my artist’s blog which you can see at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2011/11/happy-birthday-mr-vonnegut.html