Tuesday, March 29, 2005

14. The King of the Vagabonds by Colin Dann

King of the Vagabonds book pictureI have been really in a reading rut these last couple of weeks. I'm stuck on two french books. I picked this one up because I found it at Value Village, it looked thin and easy to read and I'm interested in fiction about animals right now. It's about a cat in the countryside in England who is driven to leave his comfortable farm home to hang out with the tough wild cats who live in the fields and the old bomb sites. It was written for adolescents, as it's part of some british line of books which include Enid Blighton. The story is tautly constructed and moves right along. The basic plot could almost be about a human adolescent growing up, except for some of the social mores (it's not weird that his mother disappears to get laid by a wandering tom every now and then). There are plenty of cat details and it does a good job of presenting the challenges of a wild cat's existence in an exciting and adventurous way, without making it seem too fun. It definitely has that harsh british element to it. My only biological complaint is that a lot of the protagonist's character development is based on the notion that a well-fed cat doesn't hunt, which is untrue. Anyways, a fun read, which nobody else may ever come across again in my world, that I hope will spur me on to getting my pace back.

Well that's cool. I just did a bit of research and it turns out that Colin Dann is a very succesful author of children's books about animals. He wrote a series of books that started with The Animals of Farthing Wood about a bunch of animals driven from their forest home by developers, who band together against their own instincts to find a fabled nature reserve. It got made into an animated series and clearly has tons of fans. Sounds pretty cool.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005