Cat's Cradle

Cat's Cradle

Book - 2006
Average Rating:
Rate this:
One of Vonnegut's major works, a young writer decides to interview the children of a scientist primarily responsible for the creation of the atomic bomb. This is an apocalyptic tale of the planet's ultimate fate, featuring a cast of unlikely heroes.
Publisher: New York : Dial Press, 2006, c1963
Edition: Dial Press trade pbk. ed
ISBN: 9781439501375
Branch Call Number: PS3572.O5 C3 2006
Characteristics: xiii, 287 p. ; 21 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Nov 20, 2020

The Cat’s Cradle is a satire of the madness and irrational fear around the world during the Cold War. The book also acknowledges the embrace of science in the mid 20th Century, by evaluating the dangers of science and its capability to form a dystopian world. The narrator, Jonah, is a writer who is interested in Felix Hoenikker, a recently deceased scientist who was thought of as the father of the atomic bomb. While Jonah is researching, he learns about the three Hoenikker children and their father. He learns about a substance called ice-nine, a variation of water that had the potential to destroy the world. Jonah becomes caught up in the history of the island of San Lorenzo, including the religion of Bokononism, and is stranded there as the world comes to an end.
Kurt Vonnegut tries to mimic society and government during the Cold War period and effectively masks that comparison into a religious struggle with a scapegoat (Bokonon). The fear and closeness to the end of the world, like nuclear armageddon, is relayed in this story with the potential of ice-nine. Characters suspect and blame each other, as they feared destruction. The struggle between capitalism and communism is also present, as this novel mimics our world of the mid-to-late 20th Century. This novel has a simpler sentence structure and is a quick read (127 chapters with a length of around two pages each).

14 and Up

Jul 10, 2020

1963 - 4.16

Feb 19, 2020

He continues to be genius. Always a weird read, but always thought-provoking

Oct 23, 2019

For publishing this book, Vonnegut received a Masters degree in Anthropology!

Jul 15, 2019

One of Vonnegut's absolute best. A true pleasure to read from cover to cover.

StephanieOne Apr 17, 2019

It's a definite classic, one of the best from Vonnegut. When I first read it, I absolutely loved it. Reading it again after reading more of his work, though, not quite as much. the convergence of the ice-9 and the religion angle, plus the research stories leading up to the trip to the island all seem like they started out in Vonnegut's mind as three separate short stories, and he then tried to just throw them together. It's still a great book, just not as great in my mind as the first time I read it.

Jan 13, 2019

Probably Vonnegut’s best, it’s tempting to categorize this as a realistic yet affectionate view of humanity. How can I call this realistic? Of the book reviews on display, I couldn’t imagine reading any of them but one, much less the book. One supposes every other book published today is about Trump, not a one that isn’t deranged beyond redemption. At dusk the shapes rise and stagger thru the streets arms stretched out in front. “Trump,” they moan, “Trump!” They seek life but are too clumsy and senseless to find it. Perhaps “Cradle” is realistic by comparison with the foregoing. Not likely as such, but true just the same.

Jul 28, 2018

Funny, but very over rated. should have stuck more to the ice-9 angle. Similar to Alan dean Foster's metallic hydrogen in The Human Blend.

Jul 05, 2018

Super funny book! I highly recommend it.

Feb 12, 2018

This is a book that is truly made to make you think. It is made to change your thoughts that you may naturally have about other people. This book will take you on an adventure through mere words and the storytelling will keep you hooked. If you ever have time to sit and read though a book that will keep you thinking about even after you put it down-this is the book for you.

View All Comments


Add Age Suitability
Nov 20, 2020

cwcyrus1 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Oct 30, 2013

ukiuq thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


Add a Quote
lavi_1 Jan 20, 2015

“Beware of the man who works hard to learn something, learns it, and finds himself no wiser than before.”

Apr 24, 2014

"People have to talk about something just to keep their voice boxes in working order, so they'll have good voice boxes in case there's ever anything really meaningful to say."


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings


Find it at MBLN

To Top