Not having ever read much science fiction, or taking a strong interest to it, I had a hard time choosing a book to read for review. I wanted to choose a book that was challenging yet comprehendible, relatively short yet in-depth, and exciting yet not so fast paced that I would get confused. This seemed to be difficult task, because not many of the books or authors were names I recognized. Except Kurt Vonnegut. I am not sure how old Vonnegut is, or what school he attended, but I do know that he was a member of the same national fraternity as I am here at Mizzou. Bearing this in mind I decided to roll the dice and take a chance on Cat’s Cradle, by “Fraternity Brother” Kurt Vonnegut. .
Cat’s Cradle is an extremely interesting book, both in content and physical nature. The first thing I noticed about it was that there are 287 pages in the novel, and 127 different “chapters”. I liked this because it made the book very easy for me to follow and understand. I could very clearly recognize when something was going on, and who or what was involved. The story, told from the author’s perspective, revolves around a cast of strange, unlikely characters, religion, an exotic island, and the fate of the world. .
The story begins with the author, John, collecting facts with which to put together a book about Dr. Felix Hoenikker, the father of the atomic bomb. Throughout the course of his research, John encounters Dr. Hoenikker’s three children; Angela, his daughter, and sons Frank, a convict, and Newt, a midget . We learn that the children’s mother died during the birth of Newt, and that Angela had to hold the family together. We also learn that Dr. Hoenikker was a very cold, uncompassionate person. In the midst of his research, John is assigned by a magazine to write an article about Julian Castle, who resides on an island called San Lorenzo. On the flight to San Lorenzo, we are introduced to a few more characters, and the course of the novel begins to change.