TITLE: Cat's Cradle
AUTHOR: Kurt Vonnegut
Here's another book I wish I'd read years ago but am finally getting around to. Vonnegut's genius is how he can convey so much in such simple prose. In this satirical tale, the narrator is writing a book about one of the father's of the atomic bomb. His research leads him to the man's three grown children, a mysterious substance called ice-nine, and the ultimate end of times, at least for Earth. I suppose I would have had a stronger reaction to the message contained in the book's pages had I read this in my teens or twenties, but it does still resonate. The world might end in a cataclysmic war, or it might end in a totally banal fashion due to the arrogance and carelessness of humanity. Into that mix, Vonnegut threw in a fake religion created by a calypso singer, something that doesn't sound at all strange in today's world.