Your Friday Recommendation #4.

Every American should read at least one Kurt Vonnegut novel. Some of them are best-read when one is a teenager, in order to catch the reader at the right time in their lives. One I didn’t discover until last year, but which could especially appeal to teenagers is the exquisite satire, Cat’s Cradle.

Talk about a funny book that celebrates science fiction – and all without losing challenging, well-written prose. Defying genre stereotypes, Vonnegut has created an interesting story that hooks readers instantly. The concept of inventing and controlling Ice Nine, a substance which instantly freezes anything it touches and thus would theoretically end the world, and the insane assortment of characters in a global chase to get a piece of it is great science fiction based on plausible science theory. I described this concept to a group of teenage guys on Wednesday evening and they all found it interesting, and some even said they’ll give the book a look. Who knew I could be so influential. Vonnegut, however, is one of those writer who once you give something of theirs a try, they won’t have to be prodded a second time to read more from the late, great man.

If I were to recommend a second Vonnegut title, it would be Slaughterhouse Five, no hesitation. This quirky story of part war novel, part science fiction, part satire, and part autobiography was one of my favorite books in middle school and I can’t come up with many readers who wouldn’t enjoy this one. In fact, I wrote a Scrawlers story about it last year.


2 thoughts on “Your Friday Recommendation #4.”

  1. Nate,

    Remember that short story you did in Diana’s class, “The Year of Getting to Know Us”…well, they’ve made it into a movie. And it has Tom Arnold in it.
    You probably read Ain’t It Cool News as well, but I figured I should say something in case you don’t. Here’s the link to the review:

  2. Cool, thanks for the heads up. I’ve recently subscribed to the Ain’t It Cool News RSS feed, and their propensity for elongated titles ending in … on the reader is good at helping me miss worthwhile news like this.

    As for you other dear readers, Ethan Canin is a writer worth your time, and the story in question is in the Scribner Anthology.

    Oh, and take a look at Bryan’s blog – he’s a smart guy with good ideas on writing.


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