Monday, April 14, 2014

The House of Cats by Maggie Pearson...

Title- The House of Cats.
Author- Maggie Pearson.
Publish date- 2013.
Publisher- Bloomsbury. Imprint: A&C Black.
RRP: $22.99 (Hardback) AUD.

Review time...

(A brief) Synopsis:
A collection of tales from around Europe (one from each member of the EU) that are as expansive and diverse as you can imagine they might be. Perhaps a little more.

Image Credit: Bloomsbury AU.

What I thought:
The House of Cats is a new favourite when it comes to fairytales, and not just that story which doubles as the title of the book and is one of the many found in this book. I loved the darkness, sorrow and even creepiness that was abundant in these stories, but also the love and joy. Some of them didn't suit me at all, but all intrigued me- how was it they were told in the first place, did they originate somewhere only to be changed by word of mouth to become something quite different in another part of the world?

I really enjoyed checking again and again where each story originated from as I read, and I found each to be incredibly interesting if, as I said, a little creepy. One in particular I wouldn't re-read because it was quite startling and unsettling, but on the other hand, The House of Cats was very peculiar and it became my favourite, though if only it was longer than a few short pages.

The design of this book, particularly the cover, is just beautiful. It will be finding a firm place on my bookshelf in no time!

Rating: Ooh, very good.
This is a favourute and has actually made my longing to read more fairytales (traditional and retellings) a lot greater- there are stories here I look forward to reading again and, perhaps, recognising in different forms.

Thank you to Bloomsbury Australia for this review copy!


  1. You know, I am planning a backpacking trip to Europe and this sounds like a good way to start conversations with strangers there. :)

    1. Absolutely! I'd love to hear what it bought about!

  2. Wow, this book looks so gorgeous! (first I thought it was "just" a children's story...) I love dark/creepy tales so I'll be keeping an eye out for this one :)

    1. Oh, it has such a beautiful design, doesn't it? I was just all over it. I'd love to hear your thoughts on it, Cayce!

  3. Instant add! (Or I will as soon as Goodreads comes back up, darn Goodreads) The mixture of the darker parts and love sounds so good, plus I absolutely love any kind of fairytale.

    1. Oh Fantastic, Alise! I'm so glad to hear you're planning to read it! I hope you'll let me know your thoughts!

  4. This sounds really cool, especially because it is about cats. I like cats. Meow.

    But I've quite become intrigued by fairy tales after I read Philip Pullman's Grimm Tales and I find them quite fascinating. Shall keep my eye out for this at the library.

    1. I agree. Cats are pretty great. Though... this book really isn't about cats, Lauren- it's just the title of one of the stories (my favourite- it's very full of cats, so you should enjoy it, too) that has become the novel title. IT IS NOT A BOOK ABOUT A HOUSEFUL OF CATS. It does feature such a thing, though.

      Let me know if you find it! I just ordered the Philip Pullman one from the library, so that should be GREAT, though I really struggled with the traditional Grimm fairytales when I read them a few years ago, so we'll see.

    2. I am actually not the hugest fan of Philip Pullman's writing, I didn't really like the Golden Compass books because I find his writing style a bit dry. But I DID read them at least ten years ago, so it is perhaps time to revisit and see if I change my mind. But I did find his Grimm book quite readable and I found his thoughts on them very interesting at times.

    3. Funny, I adored the His Dark Materials series (Golden Compass/Northern Lights, Subtle Knife and Amber Spyglass), thought it was exquisite. Perhaps his writing isn't completely suited to your tastes, or maybe you would like it now.


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