A Cat's Life

Tailchaser's Song - Tad Williams

I remember seeing this book at my friend's house years ago and borrowing it for a bit of a read. Mind you my friend is a bit of a booknerd like me, though these days our tastes in books have taken a bit (or a lot) of a divergence. The thing is that while he went on to study social work I went on to study an arts degree. The other thing is that I had an English teacher that would rile against what he considered to be airport trash, and books like those by [author:Stephen King], were basically off of his list. In fact I remember writing a play about a young adult named Brian Megadethhead who was ordered by a judge to either go back to school (and a Catholic school at that) or go to gaol – he decided to go back to school. Needless to say my English teacher wasn't all that impressed and spent the rest of the year decrying Megadeth as well as having a go at Stephen King novels, or whatever the current fad was at the time.

 

Mind you, whenever I am in an airport I do like to have a wander through the bookshop just to see what is actually sitting on the shelf and to see if there are actually any books that my teacher would actually approve, and while it has been years since I was in his class, and am not even sure if he is still teaching English, I still wonder whether [book:Life of Pi] would actually appear on his list of banned books, considering the last time I wondered through an airport bookshop that was the only book that I thought would be acceptable to him (though I suspect that Fifty Shades of Grey would). Anyway, most long haul international flights have a television in the back of the seat with more shows than one could even watch in a twelve hour period that the need to buy rubbish at airport bookshops is probably no longer necessary.

 

Anyway, on to this book, even though it has been quite a while since I have read it, but the fact that I have read it (albeit a long time ago) I feel that I should probably say a few things about it. Mind you, I should try to get my hands on it to read it again because it was, to put it bluntly, nothing short of awesome. Mind you, with all the other books out there, as well as the books on my shelf, reading this again might be a little lower on my list of priorities, though I'm sure if I see it in a bookshop I would probably buy it, and then proceed to read it again – that was how much I enjoyed it. In fact, I believe I have seen other books written by Tad Williams, and the name always rang a bell, it is just it wasn't until I looked this book up on Wikipedia as a bit of an aide de memoire that I suddenly connected him with this book.

 

So, Tailchaser's song is about a cat in the world where cats have a civilisation and communicate with each other. In fact they have their own mythology, and while humans exist, they tend to be these creatures that live in a mysterious world, a world that sometimes crosses with that of the cats, but not by much. In fact all of the animals have their own cultures and mythologies, it is just that the cats' world is the main focus of the book. The thing is that this book is about cats and about how these cats go on a quest and end up saving the world from a particularly evil and nasty cat, and honestly who doesn't love cats.

 

Well, cat haters of course, but then as they say haters are gonna hate. Mind you, there are people who are allergic to cats, so I can understand why they aren't particularly fond of them, but I have to admit that you got to love the rather eccentric nature of our feline companions, even though, as they say, dogs have masters and cats have staff. Actually, that is why my friend prefers cats over dogs – dogs tend to be dependent and incredibly clingy (I'm sure dog owners have discovered what happens when you bring a new dog home and then go to sleep only to be kept awake all night from howls of loneliness) while cats tend to be independent. Well, they are independent to an extent because when they want something (usually something to eat) you generally know about it. Unfortunately 'go catch a mouse' generally doesn't work.

 

The main reason that this book came to mind is because I started reading Duncton Wood, which I had picked up cheap from my Church's fate (though it turned out that I picked up books two, three, and four, but fortunately I found book one at a bookshop around the corner), which is similar, but about moles. The other interesting thing is that with these books everybody seems to make comments about the similarities between this book, Watership Down, and Lord of the Rings. The thing is that any book that happens to be a fantasy book is considered to be similar to Lord of the Rings, but that is not surprising because it is probably the most well known fantasy book out there. As for Watership Downs, I have to admit that I haven't read it yet, though I should make an effort to do so someday.

 

Oh, before I forget, apparently they will be releasing a movie based on this book in 2018 so I'm going to have to keep an eye out for it.

Source: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1910684742