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The Abandoned Paperback – November, 1995

86 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

This is one of Gallico's best works, making a perfect companion to his more famous 'Thomasina' and telling of a boy transposed into the body of a cat by accident. His life as a cat involves many hard lessons from companion Jennie in this excellent, sensitive story. -- Midwest Book Review

About the Author

Paul Gallico (1897–1976) was a popular and prolific sports columnist, screenwriter, and author of books for adults and children. He was born in New York City to an Italian immigrant musician father and a mother who had studied to be a singer, and paid his way through Columbia University by tutoring children and working as a longshoreman. He began his career at the New York Daily News, where he soon became famous for his adventures with star athletes of the day. In 1937 he published the essay “Farewell to Sport” and turned to fiction, publishing stories in publications like Cosmopolitan, The Saturday Evening Post, and The New Yorker. Among his forty-one books are the novella The Snow Goose (1941); Manxmouse (1968, often cited by J.K. Rowling as one of her favorite books); Mrs. ’Arris Goes to Paris (1958) and its four sequels; and The Poseidon Adventure (1969), the basis for the hugely successful 1972 film. From 1950 until his death Gallico lived outside of the United States, mostly in England, Antibes, and Monaco. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Intl Polygonics Ltd (November 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1558820973
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558820975
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #512,294 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By sandra.south@imagin.net on August 30, 1997
Format: Paperback
I've been reunited with an old friend. I first read this book about forty years ago. At that age I had no use for cats; too independent, you know. My grandmother gave me the book for a birthday present. I read it and Jennie became a very special "person" in my life. I prayed nightly that I would be transformed into cat as was the little boy in the story. Of course, I would know what I was doing and I could help all the abandoned cats in the world. I lost my copy in a family move along with many other childhood favorites, and never replaced it.

As a sensible, rational adult, I now adore cats. But, I only help one at a time, (my husband never read the book). I don't remember who said it, "You don't have to like cats, but you do have to admire their attitude."

I am so pleased to be able to read it again. It will go on my list of special books to give to readers; young and old, cat lovers and those who don't know they love cats yet.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Chadwick H. Saxelid on December 30, 2004
Format: Paperback
Young Peter Brown adores cats, but no one else in his family does. He is constantly trying to adopt cats, but his Nanny just tosses them out. While on a walk Peter's eye is caught by yet another cat, a beautiful striped kitten. He runs off to catch it, and steps right into the path of an oncoming truck. As he lies in bed Peter finds himself changing into an actual cat, and his Nanny promptly tosses him out of the house. Now a stray in an alien world, the terrified Peter runs through London. When he seeks shelter he has a near fatal run in with Dempsey, a mean tom cat. Then Peter is rescued by the lovely Jennie Baldrin, a people hating stray who is, nonetheless, quite taken with Peter. As Jennie teaches Peter how to think and act like a cat, a friendship develops between them that slowly grows into something far deeper and important. This is a wonderful fantasy that will delight cat lovers of all ages. Recommended.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie Bath (bathers@ozemail.com.au) on July 2, 1999
Format: Paperback
Paul Gallico is one of the best writers of cat stories ever. He understands them better than anyone I have ever read or known. My mother bought "The Abandoned" for me when I was a child, hospitalized in a Swiss hospital during a Christmas vacation. She read it to me. Then I read it. As the years went by we have given it as gifts over and over again to other cat appreciators. The chapter "When in Doubt Wash" is priceless and almost eerie in its human perception of how a cat's mind works. This story of Jennie the cat is written for people of all ages from children to adult. It is an adventure and a love story. Once you read this you will want to read more by the author and you won't be disappointed. Start with "The Silent Miaow."
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 16, 1999
Format: Paperback
I first read this under the English title 'Jenny' years ago and it remained in my mind - especially "When in doubt, wash" - and I have just reread it. My memory hadn't played ticks on me with the passage of time, and it remains the treasure I remembered from way back. All of Paul Gallico's books are wonderful, and no-one should miss 'The Snow Goose' and 'The Hand of Mary Constable' (sadly, I think out of print!). Also, his Mrs 'Arris series.
Gallico has entered the mind of the cat without destroying their integrity, mystery and independent natures - there's nothing Walt Disney about this book - and the way he writes is deceptively simple. You can read this book at face value and enjoy it as a 'nice' story, or appreciate it at a deeper philosophical level which is more rewarding.
More than a book about 'cats' for 'cat lovers', this book says a lot about humanity and the lack of it without without preaching. It creeps into your heart and head without any effort at all and, more importantly, without the cloying sentimentality that many writers about animals descend to.
Be warned, though! If you don't like cats, you probably will after this!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Harold L. Laroff on February 10, 2001
Format: Paperback
Many years ago I read many of Paul Gallico's books. I found this book very charming. Quite different from the books I usually read.
Here a young boy is transformed into a cat and is thrown out of his home by his nanny who hates cats. He meets up with an older female cat who teaches him the tricks and rules on being a cat. The first rule she teaches him is how to wash. When you don't know what to do, she tells him, wash.
The book is a half-century old but is as fresh as today. A good read.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A. Nelson on January 2, 2000
Format: Paperback
The Abandoned was read to me by my teacher in third or fourth grade (the dark ages), but it has stuck with me ever since. Whenever I am reminded of this book, I think back fondly on the story. Now that I have children of my own, I hope to share it with them. I have always believed cats possess a special magic - The Abandoned only confirms that belief.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Rosalind Lukiere on November 11, 2005
Format: Paperback
I read this book after it was recommended by a fellow teacher-librarian. I read it aloud to my daughter (then 10 years old), who loved it! Years later, I read it to my Grade 4 class. Events intervened over the month of June, and it was the LAST day of school before summer vacation. After a long assembly we had about 20 minutes left to finish the final two chapters. Alas, the bell rang and all the children were free to go for the summer. No one moved. They all wanted to hear the end of the story. I still see former students who recall that book as a formative one for them.
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