I remember loving this book the first time around, but I found that I only liked it this time. Maybe because I already knew what was going to happen and it didn't hold the same magic for me as it did before. I remember being in awe of the idea of ice-nine and the destruction it would cause if it really existed - destruction spreading like blood through veins, from oceans to rivers to creeks to rain to life.
However, I will always love the way Vonnegut wrote this book - very fragmentary and to the point with seemingly random things that happen to the narrator. It's a fun, fast-paced and easy read full of wit and dark humor. I love when an author can speak volumes in only a few words. Cat's Cradle may seem a bit chopped and effortless, but underneath is a rather profound story.
The meaning of Cat's Cradle isn't hard to figure out: "See the cat? See the cradle?" It's all about how things are never really what they seem.
One other thing that really stuck out for me this time, which makes me ashamed that it went completely over my head before, was the irony of the story: it starts with the narrator writing a book about the end of the world, though he's actually referring to the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan. The atomic bomb: what weapon was or could ever be worse than that? And yet, the story unfolds and we realize it isn't the worst by far, because ice-nine exists. Very ironic...
So this is a short, simple review for a short, simple book. I won't bother continuing to stumble along trying to explain the insightfulness of Cat's Cradle, though I will leave you with one quote that really stuck with me:
"So I said good-bye to government,
And I gave my reason:
That a really good religion
Is a form of treason."