Monday, November 16, 2009

Cat's cradle - Mega Mockery of our societies ...

Kurt's Vonnegut "Cat's Cradle" is one of the strangest books I've ever read.

The plot starts quite innocently with the narrator presenting himself as a writer planning to write a book about the American nuclear bomb inventor. This goal has perfect sense and is aimed at showing how "normal" was the life of those who, by their activity, created means to kill masses of people. In his pursuit, the narrator makes friends within the family and co-workers of the bomb inventor. They may hide the great secret of late father of the bomb - the mysterious Ice-9.
At this stage of the narration a fictional religion of Bokononism is introduced, with is fundamental concept of karass - the group of people, who are working together to fulfil God's will.

The plots goes crazy when the narrator arrives to a fictional island of San Lorenzo. Here, the events spiral quite fast. Shortly after arrival he is offered to become the president of the nation of the island - and he accepts that post, being in love with the women who was destined to be the wife of the president. Just at the moment of his inauguration as the president, the small plane crashed at the rock on which presidential palace stood and that crash ignited the sequence of events ending in the ultimate cataclysm with almost all the population of the island gone and with all water transformed at room temperature into hard ice after the spillage of Ice-9 in the accident.

Through this crazy plot, Vonnegut tells the most ironic refutation of our society, military pursuit, political system, "forbidden fruit" man-made religions and cults. The most important of those is the mockery of man-made religions. Bokononism, invented for the purpose of the novel, reveals so close resamblance to some cults and sectarian groups that we can only marvel about Vonnegut's wit and Machiavellian wisdom...

And I remembered _The Fourteenth Book of Bokonon_, which I had read in its entirety the night before. _The Fourteenth Book_ is entitled, "What Can a Thoughtful Man Hope for Mankind on Earth, Given the Experience of the Past Million Years?"
It doesn't take long to read _The Fourteenth Book_. It consists of one word and a period.

This is it:


  1. Very nice review. My review of CC is probably one I had the most fun with. His writing is so strong and heatbreakingly simple that I am amazed more people have not read his more obscure works. By far my favorite thing about CC was Bokononism.

    “What is sacred to Bokononists?” I asked after awhile. (…) “Just one thing.” I made some guesses. “The ocean? The sun?” “Man,” said Frank. “That’s all. Just man.”

    So amazing.

  2. Yes ...

    The Bokononism was probaby far and indirect and ironic criticism of some religions, where human factor is such clearly visible that you cannot find any true values in them....