Oct 102012

Cat’s Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut

Synopsis: A nihilist travels to the poorest nation on earth and joins the world’s most nihilistic religion just days before the entire world is destroyed.

Brief Book Review: Like all of Vonnegut’s books it’s very well written. It pulls you in and holds you. And like all of his books, it also makes you hate being alive. Unless you’re in a similar emotional position as the author the characters will come off as extremely unlikable and the relentless despair leaves a bad taste in the mouth. Strongly recommended for those in pain, not recommended for anyone else.

Club Review: Everyone has gone through episodes of intense emotional pain in their lives, some for very long periods of time. There’s a very good chance that someone in your book club is in that position right now. The differing viewpoints of the people who dislike the nihilism of this book and those who love its acceptance of the absurdity of existence will provide for a lot of good discussion. There are many themes running through this book that will likewise also produce strong dissenting opinions – the vilification of science, the rejection of redemption, the futility of striving. Some people may like certain aspects of the book, and dislike others. It provides a lot of great subject matter and presents it in a very emotionally compelling manner.

Summary: Not a pleasurable read, but an ideal book for a book club. Strongly recommended.

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