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Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Minor dog-earing, but pages are clean and binding tight.
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Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats Paperback – August 30, 1982


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Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats + Cats: The Musical (Commemorative Edition)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Harcourt Brace & Co. (August 30, 1982)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 015668568X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0156685689
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.3 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (176 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #465,729 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

This is an absolutely marvelous rendition of Eliot's poetic classic, written for his godchildren and friends in the 1930s, which inspired the Broadway musical Cats. The tales of Mr. Mistoffelees the trickmaster, old Deuteronomy, a laid-back cat, Rum Tum Tugger, a contrary cat, and Macavity, the famous master criminal, are dramatized by Richard Briers, Alan Cumming, Nigel Davenport, Andrew Sachs, and Juliet Stevenson. Unfortunately, some material is repeated on the cassette's second side. Moreover, it comes with another tape that consists of excerpts of forthcoming Penguin audiobooks. This edition seems targeted more toward consumers than libraries.?James Dudley, Copiague, N.Y.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

One can't say much for the kind of feline society Mr. Eliot keeps, but his verses are very entertaining and smack a bit of Archie and Mehitabel, of Gilbert and of Lewis Carroll. Written with gusto and humor. (Kirkus Reviews) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

More About the Author

Thomas Stearns Eliot was born in 1888 in St. Louis, Missouri, and became a British subject in 1927. The acclaimed poet of The Waste Land, Four Quartets, and Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, among numerous other poems, prose, and works of drama, won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1948. T.S. Eliot died in 1965 in London, England, and is buried in Westminster Abbey.

Customer Reviews

I never thought a seven-year-old would like reading T.S. Elliott.
M. Watts
This is the only poem book of Eliot's that I own and it's a great deal of fun to read.
Charles Pinney
I've known and loved this collection of poems long before the musical "Cats."
Ursula Elliott

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Michael J. Mazza HALL OF FAME on April 9, 2003
Format: Hardcover
"Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats," by T.S. Eliot, is a book of poems about cats. The basis for the wildly successful musical "Cats," the book stands on its own as a delightful work of literature. The poems are accompanied by wonderful illustrations by Edward Gorey.
This book is hilarious and very enjoyable. Eliot's words leap and dance across the pages with a zany musicality. Gorey's accompanying artwork is whimsical and full of interesting details. Eliot has created some great feline characters: the fearsome Growltiger, dapper Bustopher Jones, Magical Mr. Mistoffelees, and more.
Yes, these poems are great fun to read. But if you are inclined to look closer and analyze them at a deeper literary level, you will find that each one is a masterpiece of poetic craftsmanship. Eliot uses a wonderful variety of meters, rhyme schemes, and various poetic effects. Each poem stands on its own, and together they form an effective artistic unity.
Also noteworthy is the very "English" flavor of the book, which Eliot achieves by spicing his poems with many references to English geography and cultural history. Highly recommended, whether or not you like cats.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 10, 1998
Format: Hardcover
OK, the musical has been going on and on for some time now, PBS has it on tape, but have you actually sat down and read these poems out loud? My daughter of 5 years watched Cats on PBS and loved it, and enjoyed hearing the poems as well for bedtime reading. TS Eliot as a childrens' book - well, why not? if not as well for yourself!
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Aaron Dwight King on September 4, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Edward Gorey brought this collection of T.S. Eliot's verse to life in a new way. I strongly recommend both this edition and the old illustrated edition with illustrations by Nicholas Bentley.

Gorey brings his wry humour and pathos to bear on poetry that deserves multiple interpretations. Bentley brought a more straight reading to the work, but did a great job nonetheless.

Also, HARD TO FIND but well worth it are the childrens' picture-book versions by Errol Le Cain of Growltiger's Last Stand with The Pekes and the Pollicles and the Song of the Jellicles and Mr Mistoffelees with Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer. These are stunning picture-books that I sought out to own as an adult with no kids and no intention of having any, simply because I loved them.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Wayne Moore on September 19, 2005
Format: Paperback
I read this collection because I found it in a book of collected poems, etc. I was really interested in "Murder in the Cathedral."

Well, I read this collection of poems regarding cats with great interest. Partly because I do like cats, and also because I am of English descent. T.S. has his English cats down to a "T". Naming them is great fun and his cat names are GREAT. His desciption of their behaviour and antics pretty much lets you know he has been introduced to many a cat in his day. These cats almost come off the page and play with you, they are so true to life. Read this collection if you love cats and want a few moments of private recollection. No doubt you will recognize a cat you have known or are getting to know.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 31, 1999
Format: Paperback
If you like CATS, cats, poetry or reading this is the book for you. You will fall in love with the witty rhymes,simple illustrations, and lovable characters. I've never heard such clever rhymes in either Shakespeare or Dr.Seuss. I love the musical and the book!Even my mother loves this book!
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Reader on November 16, 1999
Format: Hardcover
The poetry - well, there are many editions of the work the Andrew Lloyd-Webber made the most famous of Eliot's books. Gorey's illustrations bring the poems to life in a whole new way. This is a book for any collector, and a great introduction to one of the world's greatest illustrators.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By B-Woman on March 24, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an absolutely charming book. Of course, there are many versions of T.S. Eliot's wonderful collection of poems about cats, but the artist in this version makes this one stand out above the rest. All the images capture the essence of cats in a way that is sure to make any cat lover smile. There is so much detail in the drawings and so much humor, the book would be worth it for the images alone. Coupled with the poetry of T.S. Eliot makes it all the more worth having. A great way to introduce children of any age to a great poet.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 30, 1998
Format: Hardcover
If are a lover of cats, or have enjoyed the musical "Cats", or appreciate masterful poetry, or even a student of modernism, you will fall for "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats" by T.S Eliot ("The Wasteland" "The Lovesong of J.Alfred Prufrock").
However, I especially recommend this book to parents who read to their children. Imagine an older and more conservative grand-master poet focusing his skills in rhythm, rhyme and content into a book of lyrics suitable for 5-year-olds. What you get is a book that not only has the sonority and imagination, combined with an appealing subject matter ( a diverse group of antropomorphized cats), for the children, but also is dense enough to be enjoyable repeated reading for the parent (Who of you still gets turned on by "Green Eggs and Ham"?), and challenging stimulation for the child.
If you have a son or daughter who loves cats,this book is a must buy!
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