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Kurt Vonnegut – Cat's Cradle [1963]

Posted in audiobook by deek on July 1, 2009

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One Response to 'Kurt Vonnegut – Cat's Cradle [1963]'

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  1. deek said,

    Cat’s Cradle is a 1963 science fiction novel by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. It explores issues of science, technology, and religion, satirizing the arms race and many other targets along the way. After turning down his original thesis, the University of Chicago, in 1971, awarded Vonnegut his Master’s degree in anthropology for Cat’s Cradle.

    The title of the book derives from the string game “cat’s cradle”. Early in the book we learn that Felix Hoenikker (a fictional co-inventor of the atom bomb) was playing cat’s cradle when the bomb was dropped, and the game is later referenced by his son.

    After World War II, Kurt Vonnegut worked in the public relations department for the General Electric research company. GE hired scientists and let them do pure research, and his job was to interview these scientists and find good stories about their research. Vonnegut felt that the older scientists were indifferent about the ways in which their discoveries might be used. A man his brother worked with at GE, Nobel Prize winner Irving Langmuir, became the model for Dr. Felix Hoenikker. Vonnegut said in an interview with The Nation that “Langmuir was absolutely indifferent to the uses that might be made of the truths he dug out of the rock and handed out to whomever was around. But any truth he found was beautiful in its own right, and he didn’t give a damn who got it next.


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