Surprised because it seems uncharacteristic of Bloom, or surprised because it's bad?
I personally loved Cat's Cradle. It saddens me when people either hate it or they enjoy it but feel they have to qualify that enjoyment by conceding its simplicity—as if complexity itself is a literary virtue. I mean, if you hated it, fine. I'd just like to combat the trend of people hesitating to avow their enjoyment of Vonnegut because they're afraid it puts them in an intellectually inferior position. Meanwhile, the smug continue to criticize anything and everything, in order to evade any opportunity of being ridiculed.
>>7601393 complexity has virtue because life is complex i like cat's cradle, and think it's easily his best (though i enjoy mother night more as it connects with me better, i think the concept is more interesting for personal reasons) but it's not something i learned anything from i like to have little realisations when i read and vonnegut just doesn't give me that (anymore? maybe it did when younger, i don't really remember) so, not a great book, but a good book
>>7601449 I was referring more to complexity of language/complexity of expression. I think he actually does a great job of portraying the complexity of life, in a fatalistic light, but he does it using fairly direct, unambiguous and "simple" language. Also I suppose our experiences differ, in that I felt I learned a good deal from that book. Perhaps I couldn't fit into neat sentences what exact revelations were imparted unto me, so much as I can say that I was left thinking about the book and feeling residual emotions from the experience of reading it for weeks afterward. In particular, the final image of the book left a pretty big impression on me, and Mona's words, "You cannot make a mistake." (I thought the portrayal of the Hoenikkers was also understated and poignant.)
Perhaps it's just because Vonnegut was my introduction to the experience of things like resignation in the face of the absurdity and violence of existence, kindness in the face of cruelty and stupidity, and the bittersweet acceptance of life as both tragic and comic that I care for him much as a person. I think the stories he told were clever and affecting vehicles for those messages, and while I concede he's not the greatest or most talented writer/craftsman/novelist, I'm still inclined to find him and his combination of trenchant cynicism and futile tenderness still essential.
>>7601606 >>7601608 i think you've nailed it here. i loved slaughterhouse five because i read it at 13 and it was the first time i encountered similar ways of thinking but didn't read another vonnegut until i was 23, by that time i already got the message of the others i read in a spree (which shows you he's good! just not great)
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