Thursday, March 31, 2016


by Jeremy M. Davies

A deeply strange book, challenging and peculiarly entertaining.

I'm tempted to call this book experimental and/or post-modern, but rather than the language (however acrobatic) or structure (quirky as it is) constituting the novel's raison d'ĂȘtre or rendering its meaning, the most unusual thing here is that the author's philosophical project is quite literally the protagonist's existential dilemma, unconcealed by metaphor or artifice, laid bare as the actual subject matter of a book-length monologue...about cats.

Though nominally about cats, the narrative has so many digressions that you'll more often than not lose sight of the cats — precisely the author's intention. Reality is as elusive as those cats, and nothing is certain in this tale of cat fancying: the speaker may or may not be who he says, he may be the other person about whom he speaks, he may be a cat; he may be speaking to a man and a woman, or to no one at all, or to a cat; he may or may not exist; he may have twenty cats, he may not. So the book is about that uncertainty, and the cats are somewhat beside the point (though there is a very satisfying moment toward the end when the cats are revealed as a possible solution to the fundamental metaphysical question of whether things exist independent of our perception of them).

None of which conveys the weird, chuckling humor and absolute genius of this novel.

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