Kurt Vonnegut s “Cat s Cradle” is an exceptional book due to the way the author unfolds the intricate plot, the means by which the narrator introduces a variety of round, colorful characters, and the satirical humor used throughout the story.
As extravagant as the plot of “Cat s Cradle” is, Vonnegut shows no problem in keeping the reader s interest level high. The story unfolds in a way that makes the reader wonder what the narrator, Jonah, will reveal next. Vonnegut almost makes it seem “soap-opera” like, in the way that he has the narrator dig up dirt, so to speak, on nearly every character introduced, but never openly announcing what s next.
This insight into characters gives them a sense of being real, and their human qualities and faults make the characters more appealing to the reader. Vonnegut lets us feel raw emotion and take a look inside each character s mindset. He also strings all of the characters together in a such a way that at some point, every character has something to do with any other character. For example, Dr. Asa Breed had an affair with Mrs. Hoenikker before she had met her husband. Dr. Breed then became Dr. Hoenikker s superior in the Research Lab, thus tainting their opinions of each other as men rather than scientists.
The satire used throughout the story is a way for the characters to voice their stance on an issue in a passive way. The humor also keeps the reader from becoming bored with the events. The satire sheds light on subjects that are not at all humorous, such as Dr. Hoenikker s inventions of the atomic bomb and ice-nine. Vonnegut uses humor in a human way, touching on things that we are all aware of, but write off as being taboo. A mild example of this is when Newt Hoenikker is talking about being a child who was shown the string game cat s cradle by his father, and how it fills a child s head with images that never will and never have existed, hence “no damn cat, no damn cradle.”
I would give this book a four out of five stars rating, and suggest it to most anyone who enjoys a thick story that s easy to read and keeps interest. It was nothing more than the humor, characters and plot that drew me to this story, which is what every book should do.