Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Review Quickies

Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut

Cat's Cradle is a classic by Vonnegut. At it's heart this is a book about human nature. The narrator of the story is trying to write a book about what people were doing the day the A-Bomb was dropped. Through this we meet Felix Hoenikker the guy who developed the bomb. Hoenikker is an eccentric who has no interest in humanity, and only cares to tinker and experiment with his pet projects. Somehow, Hoenikker had three kids, and they play a role in the story as well, as holders of the catastrophic ice-nine. Mix in a sex-queen, a Caribbean dictator, religion controlled by the government, and the end of the world, and you get some great reading.

I loved this book, and it should pretty much be on everyone's bookshelf.

Grade: A

Travels With Charley by John Steinbeck

When Steinbeck was sixty, he decided to take a mega-road trip with his french poodle, Charley. The vehicular mode of transportation for their journey was "Rocinante" a powerful truck equipped with a camper top. Together he and Charley travel to my home state of Maine, then across the US to my adopted home of Seattle, down to Texas, through the south, then back up the Atlantic coast, home to New York. Through the journey Steinbeck tries to "find America".

This book as basically the literary equivalent of my dream. For years I've envisioned a day when I'll hop into an RV, or something similar, and road-trip around the states. Of course, that shit ain't gonna happen any time soon, so for now, Travels with Charley will have to suffice. This is a great summer read, and it is sure to make your feet itch for some exploring.

Grade: B

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