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Cat's Cradle

S.F. Masterworks

By Kurt Vonnegut

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Format: Hardback, 224 pages
Published In: United Kingdom, 16 October 2008
One of America's greatest writers gives us his unique perspective on our fears of nuclear annihilationExperiment.Told with deadpan humour and bitter irony, Kurt Vonnegut's cult tale of global destruction preys on our deepest fears of witnessing Armageddon and, worse still, surviving it.Solution.Dr Felix Hoenikker, one of the founding fathers of the atomic bomb, has left a deadly legacy to the world. For he is the inventor of ice-nine, a lethal chemical capable of freezing the entire planet. The search for its whereabouts leads to Hoenikker's three eccentric children, to a crazed dictator in the Caribbean, to madness. Felix Hoenikker's death-wish comes true when his last, fatal, gift to mankind brings about an end that, for all of us, is nigh.

Promotional Information

'A major novelist, and a major novel' Sunday Telegraph 'Resonate with our fears ... very moving' London Review of Books 'In a line-up of literary originals, Kurt Vonnegut would have to start apart ... He is brave, clever, honest, and wise beyond the gags' Irish Times A superb new addition to the Masterworks list.

About the Author

Kurt Vonnegut (1922-2007) Born in 1922, Vonnegut was a prisoner of war in Dresden, Germany, during the saturation bombing which devastated the city near the end of the Second World War, an experience which formed the basis for the novel which made him a world-wide bestseller, Slaughterhouse-Five. Cat's Cradle, first published in 1963, is his third novel.


Vonnegut's 1963 satirical science fiction novel still manages to pack a powerfully subversive punch. The new audio release offers listeners an excellent opportunity to connect--or reconnect--with a classic text whose thematic elements--nuclear terror, the complications of science, American imperialism, global capitalism and the role of religion in public life--are remarkably relevant to our 21st-century landscape. The story line centers on a young writer's quest to research the history of the atomic bomb, which leads to a bizarre political soap opera and apocalyptic showdown on the shores of a seedy banana republic in the Caribbean. Tony Roberts brings tremendous energy to his reading, projecting a sardonic tone perfectly suited to Vonnegut. His portrayals of the principal male figures sometimes take the form of interchangeable over-the-top carnival barkers, but given the essence of the material, such a unnuanced approach can be understood and appreciated. The audiobook includes a 2005 interview in which Vonnegut--who died April 11, 2007--discusses how his life shaped his literary craft. (Nov.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

EAN: 9780575081956
ISBN: 0575081953
Publisher: Gollancz
Dimensions: 19.9 x 15.8 x 2 centimetres (0.27 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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1 review(s)
All Reviews
J. Marguerite on
What a strange, strange book.

This is the first Kurt Vonnegut book I've read, and I have to say I really enjoyed it. I really liked the writing style- so offhand and casual, without losing any meaning or depth. Okay, so I didn't particularly like most of the characters, bar Newt, but I imagine that was the point. A lot were just wandering around, stuck in their own world, waiting for someone to point them in the write direction. Which, unfortunately, I might add, a lot of people are, and a lot of people do.

I'm glad Vonnegut didn't decide to write out the San Lorenzian language, as some authors are wont to do (I'm looking at all of you, pre-1930s authors!). But I'm still glad we got a peak into it, and the terminology of the Bokononist religion.

But I imagine that's the whole point of the novel.

Yeah, end of the world!

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