Friday, August 15, 2008

Biographers of Suffusing Farceurs,

There is nothing better from a reader’s point of view than finding an author with whom they are unacquainted with and then being compelled to read all their books. I am now going Kurt Vonnegut crazy. Of course, I read Slaughterhouse Five a while ago, then Jailbird on a whim, but it is only after reading Cat’s Cradle that I can truly rank him alongside my favourites like Iain Banks and Joseph Heller.

I often read books and whilst I find them enjoyable at the time, I wonder how they are going to end and I become a little disappointed because I feel as if the author has realised they’ve written x pages, they think they’ve over-stepped a limit and then they finish up abruptly and leave me unfulfilled. I can compare these books to episodes of The Bill, when I used to see episodes fairly often, many years ago, I used to think, ‘yes, you’ve caught the criminal within the 30 minute episode, but what will happen when this goes to court? What will the British justice system deliver? Will they just be back on the street to torment Tony Stamp next week?’

One of my two favourite books is Walking on Glass by Iain Banks; it’s so imaginative in structure and the plot is so neatly packaged, on review, it can be said that the author knew exactly where the book would end from the first word and could end it with the perfect incident. As it happens, or as it was meant to happen, this book ends on the absolutely perfect sentence, there are no loose storylines.

Cat’s Cradle is funny, sad, realistic, reflective and educational, these are all qualities that can be expected of a Kurt Vonnegut book. This one is the story of a journalist who sets out to write a biography of the man who was known as the ‘father of the atom bomb’.

The moral of the story is perhaps that we should always try to understand the complexities of the consequences of our every action. Even beliefs that are not actions in a physical realm has consequences.
This book can be finished almost as soon as it is started, it's just waiting to be read.


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