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Showing 1-10 of 34 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 42 reviews
on January 1, 2013
A wondrous meditation on cats, and the author's life, with side-trips into History,
Psychology, Biology and Philosopy, and the fate of Biscuit, who goes missing early in this urbane and immensely intelligent and entertaining book. Began reading favorite passages to our Lola, a languid and extremely longhair anthracite-black Persian whom my wife and I rescued from a shelter, promising her a sophisticated new life. Lola was fascinated for many a minute before she grew jealous and let us know that she wanted us to focus on her and not on a book, however scintillating and colorful.
This memoir is a masterpiece about a tiny cat that disappeared, but Trachtenberg's writing soon expands to include many other universes, gliding smoothly from the personal to the universal. A virtuoso performance.
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on January 10, 2013
It is such a pleasure to find a book about cats that is beautifully and intelligently written. Of course it's not really a book about cats but rather it is about relationships, human and trans_species. I was attracted to it because of the feline element. I found it to be a lovely read.
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on June 1, 2013
Another Insane Devotion: On the Love of Cats and Persons Peter Trachtenberg's book about his cats, his girlfriend who becomes his wife, and her cats, the family they make together, and how it changes, is fascinating and often fun. The book deftly includes so many aspects of his devotion--to cats and persons--both religious and personal, that I was amazed--a word I try not to use lightly.
The trustworthy structure moves well while including various Biblical, Gnostic, and historical references; also poetry, art, and a coherent but graceful moral reckoning. All of which make the book seductive. The cats, too, are seductive and distinctive--and not whimsical as many cat lovers seem to portray them. The story recounts the author's foibles and mishaps--his devotion here being real, not divine.
Insane or otherwise (if otherwise is possible), devotion requires recognizing every creature as unique. Trachtenberg's non-fiction story about honoring that uniqueness, or trying to, stayed with me as genuine. The endeavor is admirable because we so often fail to treat any creature, even ourselves, as unique. And--the book is amazing.
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on July 19, 2015
Fantastic. I'm writing this review before I even finish reading the book -- I'm that excited about it. I love Trachtenberg's mind, which is brilliantly present on every page. Even his vocabulary is exciting -- so highly intelligent and down to earth simultaneously. Best writing I've happened into since Rebecca Solnit. And Tractenberg, I would venture to say, has a more subtle and hilarious sense of humor, completely embodied in his skill with language -- the light touch, the profound and unashamed emotion, the sparkle of genuine bravery. Anyone who has ever loved a cat -- actually anyone who has ever loved, absolutely needs to OWN this book. I have rarely been so excited by a newly discovered writer. Now my most heartfelt wish is to have coffee (or green tea?) with him. Lucky, I guess, that I'm such a recluse. Although now, I do feel less alone -- there's someone else out there who has obsessively loved a cat as much as I adore mine (Isobel). Thank you, Mr. Trachtenberg!
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on February 5, 2013
This is a some what strange book, with Trachtenberg's beloved missing cat and his also beloved but somewhat distant wife alternately as his focus. I share his deep subjective bond with cats, but I kept wondering what his wife thought of being a subject. I read the book compulsively, though, even though I felt t times as if I were invading someone's privacy.
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on April 30, 2014
The author writes beautifully, with threads of the thoughts, feelings of others - some literary, some real - woven through the story, if it can be called a story. F. is a real person; Biscuit is a real cat. They both behave just as real people and real cats behave. And the author understands that he cannot understand what his cat is thinking and feeling, nor can he understand what his wife is thinking and feeling. And oddly, it means he understands both better because of that realization. What I loved best about the story is how he brought mythology, science, literature, poetry, culture, religion and history to illustrate love, devotion, obligation, the connection between two divergent beings. When beings become companions, it brings devotion - a deep emotion.
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on January 31, 2013
This is a cleverly written book covering more than the antics and love of cats. It also includes a wide range of brief discussions on loving others, philosophy, religion, wars and complications of human relationships. Written with wit and style. A book to enjoy and savor.
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on May 7, 2017
Very nice book. As a cat owner, i enjoyed reading this book very much. It is not necessary to write more.
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on March 26, 2016
This is a memoir that works like memory, jumping around in time and yet holding focus. It's about a man and his cats, some of whom were lost and some of whom he loved throughout their lives, but it's also a love-story about him and his woman. Very poetical. Beautiful writer, sometimes funny, sometimes full of surprises. Cat-lovers, do try it.
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on June 26, 2014
I enjoyed this book. It shared the fun and frustration of living with another independent cat friend. We lost a cat a few years ago and to a non pet owner the loss of a family member to be all consuming is considered absurd. This book gave a good description on the deep need to protect a close friend like a cat or dog or what ever animal a person lives with. The other parallel story of his own personal situation was insightful into another person dealing with a life changing problem. Glad it ended on an up note.
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