Cat's Cradle - Kurt Vonnegut, Tony Roberts

I first read this one as a naive teenager and have not returned to it in the intervening 50 years. The only thing that I remember from 50 years ago was the ice-9 and its catastrophic results. This go-round, it was an entirely different read. The book is dated and yet it isn't; it seems shallow and silly until you realize just how deep it really goes. 

 

"We are gathered here, friends," he said, "to honor _lo Hoon-yera Mora-toorz tut Zamoo-cratz-ya_, children dead, all dead, all murdered in war. It is customary on days like this to call such lost children men. I am unable to call them men for this simple reason: that in the same war in which _lo Hoon-yera Mora-toorz tut Zamoo-cratz-ya_ died, my own son died. 

"My soul insists that I mourn not a man but a child. 

"I do not say that children at war do not die like men, if they have to die. To their everlasting honor and our everlasting shame they _do_ die like men, thus making possible the manly jubilation of patriotic holidays. 

"But they are murdered children all the same. 

"And I propose to you that if we are to pay our sincere respects to the hundred lost children of San Lorenzo, that we might best spend the day despising what killed them; which is to say, the stupidity and viciousness of all mankind.