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Ernie: A Photographer's Memoir Hardcover – April 1, 2001


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books (April 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811829634
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811829632
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 8.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #195,866 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Tony Mendoza is the author of five books and has received numerous awards including three National Endowment for the Arts Photography Fellowships and a Guggenheim Photography Fellowship. His photographs are in major museum collections, including the MOMA and the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art. He lives in Ohio and teaches photography at Ohio State University.

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Customer Reviews

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Highly recommended for cat people.
Jennifer M.
Tony captures everything that is unique to cats, humorous to humans and the lay out and style of the book is superb!
rosemary sergakis
If you love cats, you will definitely enjoy this book and its pictures.
K. John

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By BookWoman on August 23, 2001
Format: Hardcover
The great thing about this book is that the photos in it are not cutesy kitty shots. Mendoza lived with Ernie the cat for 2 years and he really captures the cat's personality in these images. You know how sometimes your cat gets this weird look in her eye and then goes flying off at top speed to attack something that you can't even see? That crazed energy? That's the mood that Mendoza captures in his photographs. Ernie has striking facial expressions which look great on film. The photos remind me of the wild and crazy things my own cats used to do -- that's why I think this book is a GREAT gift for cat owners. The picture of Ernie attacking Tony's hand with his mouth spread wide -- as if he could actually eat his whole hand if he tried hard enough -- priceless. Also, FYI, there is text accompanying most of the photos.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Maggie the Lizard Tamer on August 15, 2003
Format: Hardcover
As you'll be able to see from this "memoir", cats are not only cute but also fierce, funny, witty, courageous and flexible. Tony Mendoza photographs his cat Ernie as Ernie is simply being a cat of his own. The photographs show exactly how cats are, without the cheesiness or patronizing cuteness.

Ernie's definitely a cat with character. I own two cats that bear similar markings to Ernie's and I only wish a skilled photographer such as Tony Mendoza would document their lives. Even if you don't like cats, the photography is astounding without being pretentious.

It is a great book to read to your cats at bedtime.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Ms. E. Lawrence on September 21, 2005
Format: Hardcover
For all you cat-lovers, 'Ernie' is the antidote to all those cutesy cat books. This is a (sometimes) scary cat with balls, attitude and character, who knows what he wants and how to get it! A philosophoer, athlete, model - Mendoza's photographs capture the real Ernie as he is,in your face, with plenty to say.

This cat is where cats are really at.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Peter Durward Harris HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on July 20, 2005
Format: Hardcover
So sang Hoyt Axton about a cat named Kalamazoo in one of his songs (Della and the dealer), but I suspect that a lot of cats have interesting stories if only they could tell, especially Ernie the subject of this book. Now this is no ordinary cat book - most cat books are found in the natural history section of bookstores but I found this in the art and photography section. You won't get a detailed analysis of cats' behavior here but you do get some dramatic photographs showing what cats get up to.

Tony Mendoza spent two years taking around 10,000 photographs of Ernie while living in rented accommodation in New York during the early eighties. Tony had never lived with a cat before and became fascinated by Ernie. Tony had difficulty getting his photographs published, but when eventually he succeeded, book sales far exceeded expectations. Despite its success, the book eventually went out of print and became a collectors' item. Eventually, public pressure mounted and Tony found a new publisher. This new, improved edition includes some extra photos omitted from the original book.

The text is highly amusing. Tony expresses his own thoughts about some of the situations while also suggesting what Ernie might be thinking. What really makes this book great is that Tony clearly respects Ernie, who definitely seems to be the dominant power in the relationship. All the photos are black and white, which may disappoint some people, but the quality makes up for that. Tony's photographic instincts ensured that he captured Ernie in all his moods, making for a very interesting book. If you're looking for soppy pictures of a cute kitty, you won't find them here - Ernie doesn't seem like the type of cat to waste his time posing for such shots anyway.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Clara M Pettitt on July 22, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I've purchased many "cat books" over the years, and this is the only one that I've bought over five copies of, because I had an irresistable urge to share it with my friends. Mendoza captures Ernie's independent spirit, his playfulness, his interaction with his feline world, and his beauty. As Mendoza writes, Ernie is a dream come true for black and white photography, and the new hardcover edition is a beauty. Never has a medium and a muse come together better. Okay, maybe that's a bit over the top, but this is a really good book. :)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Gloria on December 31, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is in the waiting room at my vet's office. After reading it, I jotted down the ISBN number and ordered it for myself. Yes, the photographs are wonderful, but the heart of this book is the relationship between the cat and the photographer. All of us cat lovers (fanatics, if you prefer) know our animals well enough that Yes, We Do Know what they are thinking at times. The author perfectly captures the cat/human relationship with words and pictures.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Karen K. Hart VINE VOICE on March 10, 2002
Format: Hardcover
As my husband and I flipped through this book, he kept asking, "Do we need to get this?" and I kept saying, "No." But then we got to one of the funniest pictures I've ever seen, and I was laughing too hard to say no again. We bought the book, and everyone I've shown it to thinks it's very clever.
I'm generally opposed to putting words in nonhuman animals' mouths, but at least Mendoza isn't cutesy about what Ernie might have to say. The book is really entertaining.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Paula Carr on March 7, 2002
Format: Hardcover
While I was browsing in a Virgin MegaStore last week, my attention was snagged by the cover of this book. I couldn't leave without looking through the entire thing.
Not only are the photographs wonderful, but the comments by Mr. Mendoza are delightly wry.
I am not a "cat person" per-se, but I not only bought this book as a gift for a cat-loving friend, but I also bought a copy for myself.
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