- Paperback: 728 pages
- Publisher: Holt Paperbacks (April 15, 1996)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0805043659
- ISBN-13: 978-0805043655
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.9 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #333,398 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
Darconville's Cat Paperback – April 15, 1996
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
If you’re the author, publisher, or rights holder of this book, let ACX help you produce the audiobook.Learn more.
Top Customer Reviews
As another reader said, its kernel is a love story, and it is a beautiful and lovingly-crafted tale of the relationship between Darconville and his young love, Isabel. It is a romance, completely, and dwells a great deal on the beautiful winging idealism that lovers share, but at the same time, it is continually and alternately varied through Theroux's unbelievable and skillful array of voices and beautiful, poignant description.
This book is a masterpiece, but it's not everyone's masterpiece. He does get carried away from time to time on his vast lists (most notably the library of misogynistic literature and "The Unholy Litany"). His thoroughness and vocabulary used in description often requires a more rigorous attention. Finally, I encountered many a suspected hapax legomenon whilst reading his book, words that Theroux has coined by drawing from his multi-linguistic mastery: "gynotikolobomassophile?" Well, he could have said something to the extent of "woman's earlobe-lover," but that wouldn't be Theroux, and that wouldn't have made his book better: it is the differences I savor, the unconventionality, and the color and richness with which he can imbue a scene, an emotion, or (especially!Read more ›
Theroux comes from a family of writer siblings, of which he is the eldest (His brother Peter has translated the Cities of Salt trilogy from the Arabic of Abdelrahman Munif). In true Corvine form (see, and read, Hadrian VII), he is an arch-curmudgeon - seldom leashing his razor-edged tongue which, after flaying his target, typically recoils and takes his nose off (he's lost jobs, the warm and fuzzy ambience typical of family reunions and some - but not I - would argue, any chance of major publication as a result). The Corvo comparison ends there. Though he also shares Rolfe's penchant for intricate phrasing and wild hybrid/archaisms, Theroux is a writer in the a more authentic, Joycean sense. Corvo was more an autodidact and whose "calling" had its source in a monstrous ego that intuited and constantly inveighed against its insubstantiality
Theroux is, I think, a believing Catholic - but more so a faithful individual - singular, in love with literature and a living incarnation of the English language. No one alive (no one since Joyce or Beckett) writes as he does. He spent time in a Trappist monastery. He was a monk of academia: his doctoral thesis is a several hundred paged monster on the language of Samuel Beckett. He is in that line of intellectual-artistic priesthood that began more or less with Augustine and passed on through Dante, ..., Flaubert,...Read more ›
It is not that he is particularly modest, although he maintains a comport you come to expect from PhDs in English.
It is, rather, the unshakable, low-Boston accent that gives his speech a "Tweety Bird" sort of twang, and may tend to throw you off the fact that the man is a veritable OED of literary and etymological integrity.
It could well be argued that the reason he is not currently lauded as being our greatest treasure is the fact that he does open his mouth, and some of what he has to say strikes the ear strangely. And some of those whose ears are so stricken have the power to keep the man's deserved reputation from full-dazzling.
Time, however, will give him a thousand tongues. And it will be this work, at least to date, that will be most remembered.
Of all his works, Darconville's Cat is the one where his imagination is allowed its most full expression, and the results are Joycean in their sheer intensity, breadth and color. His mastery of language is most apparent in this, his best work.
If you get this book, hang on to it. It has a way of finding its way into other's hands. . . and never making its way back. That is because it is so much like candy. You want to relish it. Coddle it. Bring it into a salad with a good dictionary and revel in this most entertaining way to expand one's vocabulary while expanding one's philosophy.
If you enjoy words and well-constructed sentences, paragraphs and chapters -- you will find much to keep you satisfied in this great work which deserves a place on your top shelf, along with Joyce, Shakespeare, Sterne, Rabelais, Erasmus, Voltaire and Dante.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Book is marked with highlighter to indicate final sale.
Content of book itself is well elocuted, with great stylistic virtuosity appropriate for the book's plot and... Read more
Darconville's Cat is a great novel, because of its moving narrative, beauty and thematic tapestery. Read morePublished on April 29, 2012 by ShadyTree05
i picked up this book because it was on anthony burgess' list of the best books ever written. if you are a fan of burgess you'll be a fan of theroux; their writing styles are very... Read morePublished on May 11, 2011 by katherine pelton
This is a rare type of writing. There are several interesting and
uncommon words on most pages and they relate well to the underlying plot. Read more
Deservedly praised, unjustly neglected, this novel captures Theroux's favorite theme: a rejected lover's revenge. Read morePublished on May 29, 2009 by John L Murphy
This is one of those works of genius one constantly reads reviews about lauding it as the best thing since Joyce, only to buy it, spend hours poring over it and meditating upon it,... Read morePublished on December 20, 2007 by Daniel Myers
Alexander Theroux's Darconville's Cat is, thus far, his magnum opus. This novel is one of the finest pieces of literature in existence..... Read morePublished on June 9, 2006 by Helena Stevanovich
I strongly suspect that Professor Theroux somewhere along the way made a Faustian trade with Mephistopheles and was willing to part with the love of his life in exchange for... Read morePublished on April 21, 2006 by Wordsworth