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Cats in the Sun Hardcover – March 1, 1994

4.6 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Cats in the Sun is the product of Hans Silvester's three-year investment in photographing the cats of the Greek Cycladic Islands. Every picture captures the essence of the unspoiled Mediterranean landscape--sun-drenched villas, a sparkling sea, and shady olive groves. Dominating this exquisite panorama are hundreds of cats, respected--but not domesticated--by locals, happy to have the army of mouse-catchers nearby.

Definite classes of cat exist on the Cycladic Islands: there are the true rogue cats--scavenging for food, unkempt, with a missing piece of ear or two--and then there are the more privileged class members, regularly fed by Islanders and allowed the honor of a doorstep on which to perch (but still denied entrance into the home). The individualism of each cat is evident in every portrait--a mother nurturing her brood of kittens, a cat frolicking in the gentle swill of a wave, a cat peeping through a paint-peeled window frame. Cats in the Sun is an astonishing collection of photographs that captures the true spirit of the beloved feline.

From Booklist

Felines and sunshine--is there a match more sublime in the universe? Noted German photographer Silvester spent three years capturing on film the cats of the Greek Islands, whose solar needs are as vital as those for food and water. These cats live not indoors, but neither are they strays. "Greeks allow no pets in their homes, except for their canaries. Yet the cats are true domestic cats, not abandoned or wild, and they have for centuries shared the lives of human beings." The sunny outdoors is their domain, and without a hint of kitty-cutesiness, Silvester captures these spirited animals in their splendid environment--in leap, as is their talent; in a languished state, as is their nature; in grooming, as is their obsession; and in play and in hunt, their dual wants. For any appreciator of fine photography, not just those who love cats. Brad Hooper
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books; First Edition edition (March 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811806782
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811806787
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,630,318 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
My wife and I are the pets of two calico felines, Tessa and Trouble. Knowing that we're cat people, friends tend to give us gifts with that relationship in mind. I wish they or we would snap out of it, because some of the Stuff, while well meant, is way too cute or too tacky, or both. (Instead, Amazon gift certificates are always welcome - hint, hint!) However, one offering, CATS IN THE SUN, was well received, and is much appreciated.
This is a coffee table tome with five pages of introductory text. Then, on each of the following 137, not a solitary word is printed, but rather a single, rich, 5.5 X 8.25-inch color photograph. The images were all taken by Hans Silvester on the sun drenched Greek islands of Mykonos, Milos and Naxos, where large populations of domestic cats run semi-wild. While the islands' inhabitants allow none indoors, the animals are tolerated, and sometimes actively cared for, with a detached affection. In return, the rodent populations are suppressed with a vengeance.
Too many books and calendars featuring kitty pictures are cloyingly cute, usually because they tend to emphasize kittens. Refreshingly, this book is not. It features cats, both kittens and adults, in unstaged, natural situations. Cats on streets, steps, rooftops, harbor quays, walls, tree limbs, rocks, chairs, ledges and pathways. Cats sleeping, lounging, climbing, washing, eating, hunting, leaping, courting, fighting, carousing, watching, sitting, exploring, running and walking. Cats alone. Cats in pairs. Cats in groups. Rarely, cats with people or dogs. Short and long-haired cats, in all sizes, colorations and fur patterns. I think Silvester burned through a lot of film.
Among all the glorious pigments, textures, patterns, sunbeams and shadows, I have two favorite images.
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Format: Paperback
This is a lovely coffee table book, celebrating feline beauty in many forms, set in the incomparable beauty of Greece. Hans Silvester's photographs are captivating but only tell part of the story of Greece's cats. They are an integral part of Greece's landscape but their lives are not always beautiful. They are also tales of neglect, disease and cruelty. Anybody who photographs Greece's cats for profit should maybe consider donating some proceeds to their welfare. As much as I enjoyed looking at the photographs, I was uncomfortably aware of the other side of the story, having lived in the region for many years. The book was censorship - a bit like going to Ethiopia and only taking pictures of well-fed children.
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Format: Hardcover
Silvester's photographs capture the essential beauty and character of these cats. He does nothing to sentimentalize them or make them "cute". If you like cats for what they are as opposed to over-groomed and posed in baskets and such, you will love these photographs.
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Format: Calendar
Hans Silvester -- and who wouldn't want to know whether this is his real name, given that "feline sylvestris" is the genus and species of the house cat? -- is the consumate cat photographer. He habitually captures the essence of The Cat -- intimate, funky, sweet, and seductive.

Anyone who loves cats and the Greek Isles will adore these calendars, which always sell out early.

The "Complete 'Cats in the Sun'" is also a "must have"; it is the ultimate coffee table book for sophisticated cat lovers.

No, this is not a fan letter to the photographer, but my ultimate fantasy would be to apprentice myself to this man, follow him around, and just TRY to capture some of those marvelous shots.

In short, I could not recommend this item more highly, and this goes for EVERYTHING feline that Hans Silvester publishes.

Dr. Robin Halprin

Washington, DC
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By A Customer on January 3, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I have purchased this calendar for three years in a row - Ive had many cat calendars in my life, this one is my absolute favorite
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Format: Hardcover
The author/photographer has truly succeeded in capturing the feline nature in his photos. The Greek architecture and landscape are also very much present, even though the cats are in focus. I just love this book with its fabulous photos, and recommend it to everyone who likes cats and beautiful photography.
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Format: Calendar
This lovely wall calendar is certain to please any and all cat people on your gift list. Why? Because it's not one of those overly-cute kitty compilations that non-cat people always, maddeningly, assume we like. Instead, it's twelve months of beautiful photographs of cats by Hans Silvester taken from various of his well known and highly regarded Cats in the Sun series of books.

These portraits capture the dignified essence of the feline personality while preserving all its delightful quirks and permutations. Cats in repose, alone or with companions, are captured in the sun-dappled, faded-paint architecture of Greek and other eastern Mediterranean fishing villages. They are soothing, calming, and centering to look at, and will complement a variety of decors.

Each month features a full-color 9 x11 photo matted on an 11x13 page. The colors are vivid; the tones harmonious. Moon phases, as well as major Canadian, American, Christian, and Jewish holidays are noted.
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Format: Calendar
Choosing my calendars is a big deal for me each year, because I decorate my otherwise dreary office cube (think Dilbert) with as many as will fit (usually three). The one facing me as I sit at my desk must always be a cat calendar, I have decreed.

And for the first time, I have chosen the always wonderful but this year spectacular 2005 Cats in the Sun calendar. Every single cat is a melting beauty (we all know how cats melt in the sun)...the pictures are superb, and it almost seems like you can hear each cat purr. I can't wait to put mine up on the wall in an otherwise heartless January.

A wonderful choice for any cat lover!
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