Advantages Great author
Disadvantages Too short and too pricey
|Would you read it again?|
|How does it compare to similar books?|
|How does it compare to other works by the same author?|
I had to re-read this book last night so I could write this review today. It took me about thirty minutes. Now, I know I'm a fast reader but a book that's less than forty pages long and costs £5.99 is a little extreme. More fool you for buying it, I hear you say and I'd agree - but in my defence, I'd already read de Bernieres' mainstream work and loved it, so was determined to obtain this lesser known tome. I may have thought twice though if Amazon had told me exactly how many pages were in the book!The book starts telling the reader that this man grew up before there was television, and as such, had hobbies. Everyone he knew had hobbies. Then TV came along and no one had any hobbies any more. He realised one day that he needed a hobby, and in a flash decision inspired by the cute cat on the label of a tin of cat food, decided to collect these cat food labels.
The story then goes on to explain exactly how this obsession took over his life.Now this might sound completely ridiculous and if anyone told me I'd read a book about a man collecting cat food labels, I'd mock too. But told in the words of Louis de Bernieres, it becomes a charming tale that contains a lot of humour.
Given that the book contains the first photo I've ever seen of the author who is posing holding a cat, I am actually a little concerned that this story may be true. Coupled with the fact that during the book de Bernieres considers so many different things about cat food labels I'd never considered, (such as they include special offers so then you have to get two labels, just so you can have the front and the offer instructions that are printed on the back, and he knows so much about foreign cat food too) I'm pretty convinced this is autobiographical in many respects.I can't talk about the end of the book as it will ruin things for you, and while it may not be the end you'd expected, it does bring a smile to your face. While the book is over so very disappointingly quickly, to drag it out would have been wrong I feel and it would lose it's charm, and not least it's believability.
It's unfortunate though that this small volume is available on it's own for such a big price. This would have been ideal as part of a short story collection by the author, and better value too. However, if you're a fan of the de Bernieres' other works, then it's worth the space on your bookshelf.
Attention, this is the first review from this author
Instead of giving a negative rating, consider:
Help this member by giving your advice
Report fraud (for example plagiarism) or other issue with the review to the Ciao support team
Add your comment