Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut

Oh, a sleeping drunkard
Up in Central Park,
And a lion-hunter
In the jungle dark,
And a Chinese dentist,
And a British queen –
All fit together in the same machine.
Nice, nice, very nice;
Nice, nice, very nice;
Nice, nice very nice –
So many different people
In the same device.

Why is this book on the Radcliffe Publishing Course’s list of the top 100 English-language novels of the 20th century? I guess because it is really funny in an extremely clever way with a cast of supremely witty characters whose collective existence demonstrates how completely ridiculous – and hilarious – the modern human experience is. Other than that, I don’t know.

 

Summary:

A satirical commentary on modern man and his madness. An apocalyptic tale of this planet’s ultimate fate, it features a midget as the protagonist; a complete, original theology created by a calypso singer; and a vision of the future that is at once blackly fatalistic and hilariously funny. A book that left an indelible mark on an entire generation of readers, Cat’s Cradle is one of this century’s most important works … and Vonnegut at his very best.

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