13/11/2010

Paw Tracks at Owl Cottage (by Denis O'Connor)

I had never heard of Denis O'Connor when I spotted this book available from The Bookbag for review. I quickly gathered it was in fact a sequel to the author's first book, 'Paw Tracks in the Moonlight', which was a bestseller, but which I have not read. However, a good book stands alone, and it promised to be a biographical account of the author's life with four different cats - so, being a cat-lover myself, I looked forward to reading it.

Unfortunately it begins with an account of how the author and his wife decided to re-purchase the cottage where they lived with their first cat, Toby Jug, who featured in the first book. Probably interesting to those who had read the first book, but of little interest to a new reader.

Still, the majority of the book is about the cats, one section for each of them. Pablo, the independent hunter; Carlos, the hyperactive cat; Luis, the regal monarch, and poor little Max, who just wanted to stay with his brother. These cats do not all overlap - the story is also told chronologically, for the most part - since a couple of them had unfortunate early demises.

I found the different personalities of the four cats fascinating, and enjoyed some of the anecdotes. However, I felt that the book could have done with some editing. The style is rambling, with (in my view) far too much description of the countryside, and digressions into other tales of Toby Jug and other random anecdotes.

Still, I enjoyed it more as I got into it, and was glad to have read it, although I won't be rushing to buy the previous book.

You can also read my longer review of 'Paw Tracks at Owl Cottage' at the Bookbag site.

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