Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
Cat's Cradle, one of Vonnegut's most entertaining novels, is filled with scientists and G-men and even ordinary folks caught up in the game. These assorted characters chase each other around in search of the world's most important and dangerous substance, a new form of ice that freezes at room temperature. At one time, this novel could probably be found on the bookshelf of every college kid in America; it's still a fabulous read and a great place to start if you're young enough to have missed the first Vonnegut craze.
My take: 2 out of 5 stars. I spent the entire time I was reading this book trying to figure out what I was missing, what the author wasn't telling me. Turns out whatever it was, he never did tell me. Thus 2 out of 5. I really didn't like it all that much.