Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut [Traveling Book Review]

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This is one of my favorite books, and one that I have read countless times since first reading it about 15 years ago.This is my first re-read since becoming a book blogger, and it was very interesting for me to re-read a coveted book of mine with a different lens than I had in the past; it made for an enlightening and new experience reading a book that I am incredibly familiar with.

“Live by the harmless untruths that make you brave and kind and healthy and happy.”

As one of the best satirists of our time, Vonnegut juxtaposes science and religion in Cat’s Cradle. Our narrator Jonah (a likely allusion to Jonah and the whale) – also known as John – investigates the life of the Father of the atomic bomb to write a book and embarks on a journey towards the next man made destructive event in the form of ice-nine.

“Science is magic that works.”

First published in 1963 during the Cold War and six years before the Moon Landing, Cat’s Cradle takes a look at the destructive creations made by science, the ownership of these products of destruction, and the power relationship in government. The latter of which I find particularly interesting, especially given the context of the world in 1963, as the Republic of San Lorenzo ensures to always have an “enemy” for the people; the constant vilification against religion while holding science to be paramount, and the irony is not lost on the reader when the end comes, as it often does, from scientific discovery.

This is classic Vonnegut with an interesting and unconventional narrative style that readers will either love or hate. While the storytelling and exposition is linear, I think that some readers will struggle for the first 100 pages. I promise that the exposition and seemingly loose threads at the start all do tie together.


You can find information about my rating criteria here.

This review is the start of the Fall Traveling Book Review, where I am sending my well loved copy of Cat’s Cradle to eight other bloggers around the world to be read and annotated! I am so excited for this new project, and if you missed out don’t worry, the Winter Traveling Book Review will begin in January. Below are the bloggers that are participating, and I will update this post as their reviews are done! For now, be sure to check out their amazing blogs!

Destiny @ Howling Libraries

Molly @ Molly’s Madness

Rachel @ paceamorelibri

Grey @ Revised Origins

Libby @ Dimscreen

Jo @ Online Blanketfort

Kelsey @ There’s Something About KM

Zoe @ Mythical Reads


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26 thoughts on “Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut [Traveling Book Review]

  1. Loved your review because it shows that passion for this book and why it would be a book you selected for this. I am so excited to get to read this for the first time and get to see what others think of it along the journey of this book. If this goes as well as I think it will, I know I will be part of the Winter traveling book as well. Thank you for doing this!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Grey, and I am glad that my love of this book shined through! This is a tough title to review because it is so ~strange~ and I didn’t want to give too much of the plot away, but I truly think this is some of the best satire. I hope you enjoy it too, thanks so much for signing up!

      I am already starting to think about what the Winter book will be… hmmmmmm

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I am so excited to be a part of this and I just can’t wait for the book to get here 🙂 It will be my first time reading this book, or any Vonnegut for that matter, and I am really looking forward to it. Especially after reading such a great review 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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