Cat's Cradle, Paperback
2.5 out of 5 (3 ratings)


Told with deadpan humour and bitter irony, Kurt Vonnegut's cult tale of global destruction preys on our deepest fears of witnessing Armageddon and, worse still, surviving it ...Dr Felix Hoenikker, one of the founding 'fathers' of the atomic bomb, has left a deadly legacy to the world.

For he is the inventor of 'ice-nine', a lethal chemical capable of freezing the entire planet.

The search for its whereabouts leads to Hoenikker's three ecentric children, to a crazed dictator in the Caribbean, to madness.

Felix Hoenikker's Death Wish comes true when his last, fatal gift to mankind brings about the end, that for all of us, is nigh...


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Science fiction
  • ISBN: 9780141189345



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Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.

Review by

So when did the modern novel take the wierd turn? Well, by "modern" I'm really thinking post-1950. You have Graeme Greene and George Orwell pumping out social commentary in a realist vein. Then along comes this absurdist tendency. Obviously I need to read some more...As for Cat's Cradle - yes, some clever stuff, some amusing stuff, even some profound stuff. I liked the narrator's initial reaction to seeing Mona's photo ("peace and plenty!") contrasted with the dippy-profound abstraction he finally pairs up with.But, overall, its hard to take such thinkly applied charicature seriously. It was an enjoyable and worthwhile read, but nothing on the profound and multi-layered experience of how novels can be written.

Review by

I thought the novel wonderfully absurd without being particularly <i>funny</i>. It starts slow but eventually Vonnegut starts hitting his targets and thereafter it's another bleak pronouncement on human folly.A good book and a decent starting point for reading Vonnegut, but not the author's best.

Review by

A few years ago, the remark that Kurt Vonnegut is over-rated and that he would never have become such a famed author had he been born in Europe, unleashed the ire of the Americans I had lunch with. While they were not particularly known for their reading habits, it seemed they considered my comment as a head-on attack on American culture. Like Helene Hanff, Vonnegut is a second-rate, B-writer whose fame rests mainly on American pride.Cat's cradle has now appeared in the Penguin Modern Classics series, which may well be taken as a tribute. Vonnegut's writing does not seem to have its equal in other American authors, but his style is vaguely reminiscent to some psychedelic Dutch authors who wrote during the 1960s and 70s, such as Ward Ruyslinck.Vonnegut seems the be the type, to have possibly written his novels, particularly Cat's cradle, under the influence of some psychedelic stimulant. Given the paranoia in the Land of Freedom to admitting as much, we will supposedly never know, but admission could explain the incoherent structure of the novel.Cat's cradle seemed quite interesting for about the first 50+ pages, but then disintegrated into a lot of twaddle, of which it was impossible to connect head and tail.Best soon to be forgotten, or not picked up at all.

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