Cat’s Cradle

Recently mentioned somewhere (I forget) as the best book ever, I swooped in for what I assumed was a re-read, but I actually had never read this one. The writer writing a book about the day the world ended, research into the creator of the atom bomb, discovering what famous people were doing the day the bomb dropped on Japan. The creator, Hoenikker, was sitting in his study and playing with a string, making a cat’s cradle, then oddly deciding to play with his youngest son Newt, who cried and ran away because daddy was ugly. The writer drops the idea of the book, but ends up meeting Newt and his sister and brother on an island ruled by “Papa.” Honestly, trying to summarize this book makes it seem even crazier than it was while reading it. It’s like Vonnegut dropped acid, sat down at the typewriter and churned this book out. The religious movement of Bokonon, an island prophet. The ice-nine that freezes everything and ends the world. The Indiana woman that insists he call her “mom” as a fellow Hoosier. The staid ambassador couple who hold hands as their part of the crumbling turret rushes into the sea. Magical surrealism?