Cat's Cradle: A Novel

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  • Dial Press Trade Paperback
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  • / ISBN・EAN: 8601400575338


  • 不条理小説!? 高橋源一郎「さようならギャングたち」のベリ・ナイスはここから取ったのか。。気に入っていた部分だけにがっかり。

  • ‘Cat’s Cradle’ reminded me of ‘Galapagos’ by the same author but ‘Galapagos’ is far more interesting than ‘Cat’s Cradle’. Perhaps so it should be since ‘Galapagos’ came out in 1985, 22 years after ‘Cat’s Cradle’…
    They are both short, have an apocalyptic theme, carry an underlying message that the stupidity of human beings will destroy the world. The message itself is lame as many novelists have already told this over and over again, so if anyone who tries to write this, I would expect the narrative to be extraordinary.
    CC starts intriguingly with many references to Bokononism. Bokononism is a fictional religion which the protagonist Jonah starts to follow and also it is a religion established and used to occupy people’s mind in St Lorenzo, a poor tropical island where the story ends. It is only natural for me to wonder how this religion relates to and affects the plot but it turned out to be quite unrelated and unimportant. To be honest, I do not know what is important in this book. Felix Hoenikker is a scientist who invents ice-nine, a substance which can freeze the entire world. He and his children are described in detail as eccentric, yet their eccentricities do not add any feeling to the story. The characters in Galapagas are colourful and unique but realistic and more importantly they are inter-dependent with its plot; it only works with those particular characters whereas the characters in CC seem accidental, so hard to sympathize with. I was so detached that I couldn’t care less what would happen to them.
    Jonah originally tries to communicate with Hoenikker’s children in order to write his book ‘The Day the World Ended’, an account of the day when the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima (as Felix Hoenikker was also a father of the bomb). Jonah ends up following Hoenikker’s three children to St Lorenzo and knew they all had a portion of ice-nine.The oddest thing about this novel is that ice-nine was probably originally introduced to cause suspense, yet no one including Jonah tries to stop it being used, they just travel with it like some non-sense comedy.
    There are allusions and mysteries, left as meaningless bits and pieces. Being short is the only saving grace of this book.

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