Nina's Reading Blog

Comments on books I am reading/listening to

Archive for November 18th, 2011

Le chat qui jetaient des peaux de banane (The Cat Who Went Bananas)

Posted by nliakos on November 18, 2011

by Lilian Jackson Braun (Éditions 10/18 “Grands Détectives”, 2005, translated by Marie-Louise Navarro; first published  in English in 2004)

I like mysteries, and I was aware of the Cat Who… series but had never read any of them (despite a deep appreciation for cats). This one was given to me last winter by French friends who knew of my love of the books of Georges Simenon.

I have to admit I do not see what all the fuss is about. First of all, nothing ever happens–nothing of interest. Somebody dies, and then somebody else dies, and then somebody else and a dog die, but there didn’t seem to be anything particularly mysterious about of these deaths. The main character, Jim Qwilleran, goes about his daily routine writing, inviting people to eat, drink, and schmooze, and feeding or reading to his cats. He has no job and no need of one, except writing (he writes a weekly newspaper column and has already published several books–but not the kind that would support anyone in any kind of style.

New characters kept popping up until the end of the book. I couldn’t keep them straight in my mind and did not care enough about who they were to bother. I kept asking myself, would this be more interesting if I were reading it in English? Because in French, it doesn’t do anything for me. I had to force myself to keep reading. I finished it tonight with a sigh of relief. Finally! On to something better.

If anyone can explain why this series is so popular, I would be glad to hear you out.

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