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Krazy Kat (Vintage Contemporaries) [Kindle Edition]

Jay Cantor
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $13.00
Kindle Price: $7.99
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Sold by: Random House LLC


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Book Description

Krazy Kat adores Ignatz Mouse. She sees the bricks he hurls at her head as tokens of love, and each day Ignatz arranges a cunningly different method of delivery for his missile. But when Ignatz and Krazy witness the mega-brick explosion in the desert, Krazy becomes depressed, and refuses to perform. To coax her back to work so they can regain their lost limelight, Ignatz invents his own brand of psychotherapy, orchestrates her kidnapping, and tries to seduce Krazy with promises of stardom from a Hollywood producer. As the mouse confronts the Kat with bewildering new concepts like sex, death, and politics, Ignatz and Krazy begin yearning to become round, for a fullness of body and spirit beyond their two-dimensional realm.

Forming an altogether witty and winning counterpoint to George Herriman’s classic comic strip, Jay Cantor’s kinetic novel has become a classic in its own right, one of those masterpieces that creates its own unforgettable universe.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

After 40 years' absence, Krazy Kat and her cartoon cronies, last seen in George Herriman's famous comic strip, reappear full-blown in this brilliant and powerful consideration of some very current anxieties. Subtitled "A Novel in Five Panels," it is an imaginative tour de force. Krazy was picnicking with her beloved Ignatz Mouse at Alamagordo the day the atom bomb was tested. Witnessing such destructive power shook the Kat's hitherto unshakable innocence; she spiraled into depression and retirement. How could she work when she was no longer even sure that the bricks lobbed daily at her noggin by her mouse were proofs of his love? But if Krazy doesn't work, neither can Offisa Pup, Beau Koo Jack, Mrs. Mice or the other denizens of Coconino County; Ignatz mobilizes all of them in the effort to get their Kat performing again. With themes of love and work in place, it's no surprise that Ignatz first tries the talking cure with Kata problem in a place where neither sex nor death is known. Subsequent attempts to straighten out Krazy are politicala Patty Hearst-type kidnapping/brainwashingand culturala scheme to put them all in the movies. What finally does reconcile Krazy and Ignatz in love and work is a fusion of fantasy and reality that rounds out the metaphor for growing up that Cantor, who also wrote The Death of Che Guevara, has uncovered in Herriman's comic characters. With quirky wordplay, telling misspellings and, finally, plenty of sex and a death, his novel, perhaps slightly uneven and a shade overlong, is unfailingly intelligent, fully felt and tremendously moving.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Cantor's first novel ( The Death of Che Guevara , LJ 11/1/83), was a powerfully imagined portrait of the Latin American revolutionary. Here, he shifts gears, using George Herriman's old comic characters to explore the psychosexual underpinnings of the atomic age and the bomb's effects on personality and culture. Cantor turns the novel's central difficultyhow to create complex characters from cartoon imagesinto its central metaphor, using their two-dimensionality as a reflection of the contemporary psyche. Though the parodies are sometimes strained, Cantor successfully combines social satire and psychological insight into a blackly comic tour-de-force. Lawrence Rungren, Bedford Free P.L., Mass.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 521 KB
  • Print Length: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (March 2, 2011)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004G5ZY2E
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,081,892 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
3.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Better to read the comic itself February 27, 2001
Reminiscent of Frederic Tuten's "Tintin in the New World: A Romance," Jay Cantor takes a comic long since unpublished and attempts to reinvigorate and modernize its characters in novel format. Both "Tintin" and "Krazy Kat" flirt with postmodernism. Both Tuten and Cantor soak their characters in a philosophical bath. And most notably, both authors suggest a ripe and healthy sex life would serve as the tonic for the comic characters' incompleteness, flatness.
Why do this to "Krazy Kat?" Who can tell from the insipid prose Cantor offers up in this confusing, frustrating novel? Although there were some humorous scenes in the book (notably the image of comic strip characters creating a terrorist organization in order to win the rights to themselves from Hearst), generally the book was weighed down with too much Freud, too much babble, too much abstract.
And it's nothing like the comic strip, "Krazy Kat," which was sparse, mostly silent, and dreamlike. Sure it had surrealistic scenery and an ambiguous plot, but it defied explanation, and that was where its beauty lay. Cantor, apparently oblivious to the strip's finest quality, proceeded to trample over its delicate balance by overanalying.
Don't think. You can only hurt the ballclub.
I hear Jay Cantor's "The Death of Che Guevera" is a good book.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
I guess I'm just a big softie and a hackneyed sentimentalist, but there was something about this book that got to me. Recasting Krazy and Ignatz and hateful, hurtful people in an ugly 20th century landscape devoid of the magic and beauty that radiated around Coconino County was a real blast of cold water. I loved the opening, in which Krazy gives up comics after witnessing the first atomic bomb blast, but the outright savagery that characterizes the rest of the book wears very thin. Ignatz goes from being mischievous to being a complete bastard in no time, and his plans to shake Krazy back into work through constant humiliation and degradation are creepy. I guess the point is that our century has degenerated to the point where something as magical as "Krazy Kat" could never thrive like it did in the first half (fans ranged from James Joyce to Picasso to Woodrow Wilson). But you don't need Jay Cantor's arty postmodernist tract to tell you that. Just turn on the six o'clock news, dollin'.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not very kaptivating September 16, 2006
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
For me, Krazy Kat by Jay Cantor was the third in a sort-of trilogy of novels that retold the stories of various comic book type characters. Zorro (maybe not a comic book hero, but definitely close in fashion) by Isabel Allende and It's Superman by Tom DeHaven were retellings that were faithful to the original characters and stories and both were delights to read. Krazy Kat is not, but it's not the fact that it is revisionist that makes this book fail; instead it's the fact that it's a mess.

For those unfamiliar with Krazy Kat the comic strip, this book should definitely be avoided, as it would be like trying to watch a single episode of a serial and understanding instantly what's going on: it just won't happen. You need the history to get the present picture. But for those who dare go in without this familiarity, I offer this brief description: Krazy Kat was a comic strip that ran in the first half of the 20th century. Krazy was the main character, who loved Ignatz the Mouse. Ignatz did not return the feelings, instead choosing to constantly bean Krazy Kat in the head with a brick. But Krazy only thought of this as a sign of affection. The third character was Offisa Pup, who loved Krazy and would run Ignatz off to jail.

It was a simple concept, but brilliantly executed, so through the decades, the strip remained fresh and is considered by some to be the best comic strip ever. In particular, it was a favorite of various big name celebrities such as Walt Disney and Charlie Chaplin. Even now, among its fans, Krazy Kat is considered more than a comic strip. It is considered art.

Cantor's novel focuses on the premise that Krazy and Ignatz viewed the atomic bomb test in 1945 New Mexico.
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