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Review: Cat’s Cradle

Cat's CradleCat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was one of the first books I read that I felt spoke to me so directly and profoundly. I must have been sixteen at the time. I spent years afterwards referring to this as my favorite book, and I feel like I even mentioned it in my job interview nine years ago for the company where I still work. When my book club picked this for our March discussion, I realized I’d only read it the one time and I looked forward to rereading an old favorite, while also feeling a little worried that it wouldn’t hold up.

Like many Vonnegut classics, this is a book loaded with dark satire and witty one-liners about the futility of thing like religion, government, war, and–oh yeah–life. It was only upon rereading this book at thirty-three that I realized how BLEAK it is. I had recalled sixteen-year-old me fist-pumping the air at the book’s conclusion, and rereading it now, I got nothing but hopelessness and despair. Fun exercise in realizing how much a person can change over time and how that affects the reading experience!

While I definitely don’t think I’d call this my favorite book now, I still enjoyed it a great deal and would recommend it to anyone on earth with a sense of humor about life and religion. Just know that although you’ll probably laugh throughout the story, it might leave you feeling more than a bit unsettled about humanity.

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