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Customer Review

15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cats Eyeing 'Catsup': "Makes You Wonder, Doesn't It?", July 15, 2000
This review is from: The New Yorker Book of Cat Cartoons (Paperback)
I rated this book based on the hardcover version, but I do want to put in a word against the miniature paperback version in the beginning. Avoid the miniature paperback: It is very tiny, reproduced poorly, the paper quality is not good, and some of the material cannot be seen without a magnifying glass.
The only drawback I saw to the hardcover version was the lack of a witty introduction. I graded it down one star for that lack. The New Yorker cartoon books on business and money have wonderful introductions, unlike this one.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I must admit that I do not have a cat. Yet I have many friends who do, and I tried to view these cartoons through their eyes.
The main cartoonists of these 102 cartoons are Charles Addams, Tom Cheney, Helen Hokinson, Frank Modell, Mischa Richter, Danny Shanahan, William Steig, and Saul Steinberg.
The cartoons generally follow one of the following styles: juxtaposing cats for dogs; anthropomorphizing cats; and treating humans like cats. These formats were predictable enough that the humor worked best when one of the categories was not followed, such as in a cartoon with no words where a cat is seen scratching against an arm chair while a man sits in it reading the newspaper -- chair, man, and newspaper all bear the same scratch marks everywhere.
Here are a few of my favorites:
A woman letting a large number of cats out of the back door: "Everyone be home by two o'clock."
No words: A man sits in a chair reading with his feet on a bear skin run. Behind him, a cat lies in a bed with a mouseskin rug on the floor in front.
A man receiving a call at work: "Your wife feels that your cat needs to hear an authoritative male voice."
One mouse to another: "Miss Egan, bring me everything we have on cats."
Dog to cat: "Hey, pal, let's hear 'Doggie in the Window' again, and this time play it like you mean it!"
Cat to cat in bow tie: "I'm sorry, but I think it's uncatlike."
Cat in casts to another cat in casts in vet's office: "I tried to make it from the windowsill to the top of the refrigerator. How about you?"
Cat behind loan officer desk in bank to dog: "Beg."
Man to cat: "The fact that you cats were considered sacred in ancient Egypt cuts no ice with me."
Person shouting through the window to a woman in a roomful of cats: "Glendora Hogan got another load of cats, Elinor honey. Can you take a couple?"
Let this good-natured look at one of our favorite animal friends liven up your day, and remind you of the humor behind everything. It's only our stalled thinking that denies us a good laugh at everything!
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 17, 2010 10:30:24 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 17, 2010 10:31:42 AM PDT
Nah, what I wonder about..."Are fur coats made from fur balls?" and until the day I can figure that one out, no sleep for me!
Nice review, Professor Mitchell.
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Donald Mitchell
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