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Felidae Hardcover – January 26, 1993

4.4 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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The Versions of Us by Laura Barnett
"The Versions of Us" by Laura Barnett
In one moment, two lives will be changed forever . . . and forever . . . and forever. Learn more | See author page
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A clever, offbeat thriller in which the sleuth and most of the other main characters are cats, this first novel by Turkish-born Pirincci, who lives in Bonn, won Germany's prize for best crime novel of the year in 1990. As an allegory on Germany's Nazi past, it is facile and ambivalent. The detective/narrator, Francis, an irrepressibly curious house cat, deduces that whoever is murdering the neighborhood tabbys has a warped mind and is attempting to breed a "super race" of felines. After discovering a fanatical cult of self-flagellating felines who worship a martyred cat, Claudandus, Francis is aided by Pascal, a cat who uses a computer, in unearthing another clue--the journal of a half-mad professor who performed sadistic laboratory experiments on cats. The corpses of countless feline victims are thrown into a catacomb guarded by the Persian cat Jesaja, a pathetic dupe who prays both to Yahweh (god of the Hebrews) and to "our blessed Prophet," the murderer, believing that he is doing the Lord's will. Is Pirincci satirizing monotheistic religion, or the alleged passivity of Jews who believed that Hitler would spare them? Such troubling questions are left unanswered. This fable is most effective as an acerbic commentary on humanity's follies, obtuseness and knack for evil.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

An award-winning crime novel in Germany, this "cat" mystery should appeal to readers of Lilian Braun, Rita Mae Brown, et al. The literate narrator and main character here is one highly intelligent, fascinating, and capable cat. A new resident in an area of refurbished old mansions, Francis discovers the first in a gruesome series of murder victims and, curiosity aroused, determines to trap the murderer. The unaccustomed feline outlook, cat lore, and learned approach result in an absorbing first effort. Recommended.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 292 pages
  • Publisher: Villard; 1st edition (January 26, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 067942069X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679420699
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #597,926 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This book was a real surprise. I started it on a whim, expecting a fairly lightweight fable in a similar vein to Watership Down or House of Tribes. How wrong I was! I was soon drawn into this sometimes extremely dark and gothic tale of murder, torture, religious fundamentalism and eugenics! There are obvious parallels with the state of humankind herein and I often wondered to what extent Pirincci intended his work to be allegorical. It certainly contains some moments of quite profound wisdom and made me think long and hard about how we treat our fellow inhabitants of planet Earth. If the reader would prefer not to get hung up on the philosophising then, no problem! Felidae is also a rattling good whodunnit, with twists and turns aplenty and a very dramatic and shocking denouement. Our hero Francis is an extremely likeable character, as is his battered and uncouth sidekick Bluebeard. The footnotes even provide plenty of fascinating information about feline habits and I guarantee that next time you pat puss on the head, you'll wonder how much they really appreciate your care or do they just think of you as an idiot "tin-opener" certainly inferior to their own supreme intellect. Felidae may be a little whimsical for some readers, but if you set your disbelief to one side and just sit back and enjoy this unique novel (preferably with a cat curled up on your lap), you will not be disappointed.
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Format: Hardcover
All right, this was written by a cat named Francis (Gustav is his owner and is a jerk like Garfield's Jon). There seems to be a vogue now for detective stories with cat heros, but I have resisted reading any of them up to now, even though I love and admire cats. Read this one because of its beautiful cover picture, and the fact that the author is a German Turk who writes very well even in translation to English (kudos to Ralph Noble in that role). This book is about a mass murderer of cats, by a cat, who has some mad-scientist dream of breeding a super race of felines who will come to dominate the world and eradicate or enslave human beings. A very cynical version of Animal Farm which also reminds me of that appalling book Perfume and also of Jorge Luis Borges. No Englishman could have written this, but the Englishness of it is pervasive --i.e. the morality (in spite of the political incorrectness of defending Anglo-Saxon ethos these days). The gimmick here is of course that cats are just as smart as we are, and spend the time while we are asleep at night reading our books and playing on our computers, and discussing Kierkegaardian philosophy when they are not driven crazy by the pheremones of females in heat (smelly stuff to us humans, but what do we know about the powers and subtleties of smells?)
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Format: Hardcover
This book is terrific! It is far more gripping and entertaining that one would think with just a brief synopsis of the plot. The author's talent makes what could be a child's animal tale into a gripping adult mystery. It is amazing!
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Format: Hardcover
Hi. I've been a long time fan of Felidae, a detective story starring cats, and for mature audiences(Think Disney, but with teeth). I'm really only writing this to tell American Amazon customers that there IS AN ANIMATED FILM, also for adults. It was released in Germany in the mid-90's. Sadly, we can't see it, as it hasn't been published in NTSC format. (In case you don't know, Europe uses PAL format; a different VHS and DVD coding than the US, Canada, and Japan use.) Personally, I think that's BS, as I believe that technology should unite, not devide...but...

Anyway, that said, if you like murder mysteries, cats, sarcasm, humor, and violence/gore, READ THIS BOOK. I haven't checked out the sequel yet, but I'm about to order it.

Peace.
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Format: Hardcover
I purchased this book in an England Secondhand store. For 60 Pence. It was, I found, One of the best books I have ever read!
This book is for anyone at all. You don't even have to like cats.
I wish my cat could read it!!!
:-)
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Format: Hardcover
Right from the first time I saw the book, I was gripped. At first it was just curiosity as to what it was about, but once I started reading I literally couldn't put it down. Its black humour and cleverly twisting plot kept me guessing until the last page. In spite of some graphic scenes, it was a thoroughly enjoyable read, which will appeal to any cat lover or reader of mysteries/thrillers. Once I had tried it, I couldn't rest until I found the sequel and read that as well. It was just as enjoyable as the first book. The only complaint I have is that there aren't more in the series. An ace read that makes a refreshing change from the usual detective-who-smokes-and-has-family/drink-problems novels. I loved it.
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Format: Hardcover
Excellent book but will appeal to a niche market. Nevertheless, I wish they would publish his other novels in English and get them out of the rare/collectibles market. I hate to pay high prices for an unopened first edition that I have every intention of reading-more than once.

In some ways, the concepts are similar to Gabriel King's "The Wild Road". I enjoyed the concept of a cat detective tracking down a murderer of cats-or perhaps, a cat murderer.
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Format: Hardcover
I read Felidae, and I fell in love with this book at once. I also read "Francis", its sequel, that is showing the near future of my beloved tomcat in another fascinating detective story. And now, I've got part 3 (!) by my side that has just been published here in Germany - oh year ! "Cave Canem". Join the series ! You won't regret !
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