“You can call me Jonah” – such a phrase opens a novel. The hero-narrator believes that this name is much more suitable for him than the one given at birth, for he “always somewhere brings”.
One day he planned to write a book “The Day the End of the World Comes.” In it, he was going to talk about what the famous Americans were doing when the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. Then, according to the hero, he was still a Christian, but later he became a boconist, and now and again he quotes the teachings of this great sage and philosopher, richly covering the narrative with the Bokononian terminology.
The Bokonon teaches that the whole of humanity is divided into karasses, that is to say, groups that do not know what they are doing, doing the will of God, and the carasses should be distinguished from the grandfalls, false associations, to which, among other things, the communist party also belongs.
The work on the book about the end of the world, if necessary, leads the narrator in the carapace, headed by the great scientist Felix Honniker, Nobel laureate and father of the atomic bomb who lives and works in the fictional city of Ilium, which appears in many books of Vonnegut.
When someone said on the atomic bomb tests: “Now science has come to know sin,” Honniker asked in surprise: “What is sin?” Did not know the great scientist and what is love, compassion, moral doubts. The
According to the memoirs of Honniker Newth’s younger son, the father never played with children and only once wove a “cradle for a cat” from a string, than terribly frightened the child. But he enthusiastically solved puzzles, which were presented by nature. Once the infantry general complained of mud, in which people and equipment are stuck. Honnikker seemed a mystery worthy of attention, and in the end he came up with an ice-nine, a few grains of which are capable of freezing all life for many miles around. The scientist managed to get an icicle, which he put in a bottle, hid it in his pocket and went to his dacha to meet Christmas with the children. On Christmas Eve he told about his invention and died that very evening. Children – Angela, Frank and Lilliput Newt – divided an icicle with each other.
Learning that Frank is currently the minister of science and progress of the “banana republic” San Lorenzo, ruled by dictator Papa Monzano, the hero-narrator goes there, at the same time undertaking to write for the American magazine an essay on this island in the Caribbean.
On the plane, he meets Angela and Newt, who are flying to visit their brother. To pass the time on the road, the hero reads a book about San Lorenzo and learns about the existence of the Baconon.
Once someone LB Johnson and fugitive corporal McCabe by will of circumstances found themselves on the coast of San Lorenzo and decided to seize him, Nobody prevented them from implementing the plan – first of all because the island was considered completely useless and people could not imagine a worse life there.