Of Cats and Men (2017) Review

ofcats&mencover

As a cat man, cat dad, whatever term applies, it seemed a perfect fit to find a book dedicated to famous fellow cat men. When I saw the book on Blogging for Books, I jumped at the chance to get a copy. In this 2017 release, author and illustrator Sam Kalda profiles various cat men, some well-known and others not so well-known. Of Cats and Men: Profiles of History’s Great Cat-loving Artists, Writers, Thinkers, and Statesmen is a “coffee table book” for the cat person regardless of sex, but it’s not one I’d recommend.

I’m not sure what I expected, but it wasn’t this. The illustrations are fine, but the writing is sparse. Each subject receives a portrait and a page of print with a few paragraphs apiece. The majority of the fellow cat men in these pages are people I’ve never heard of, and I doubt many of you have heard of them either. Of Cats and Men is a short book and a quick read with a nice hardcover design. I can’t say the $16.99 list price is worth it. There’s not a lot of information here. Kalda’s an illustrator, and I get the impression the main goal here is to show off his artwork.

Kalda admits there’s many cat men left out. He wanted to keep the inclusion number small. Why did he include who he did? Why did others not make the final cut? Perhaps had I known more of these fellow cat men I might have enjoyed Of Cats and Men a bit more. It is what it is, and will have a home on my bookshelf, but there’s not really a reason for me to pick it up again and turn through the pages.

The Cast of Cat Men:
King Hywell the Good
Sultan Baibars
Michel de Montaigne
Sir Isaac Newton
Samuel Johnson
Edward Lear
Mark Twain
Nikola Tesla
Maurice Ravel
Louis Wain
Sir Winston Churchill
T.S. Eliot
Paul Klee
Tsuguharu Foujita
Raymond Chandler
George Blanchine
Jean Cocteau
Ernest Hemingway
Balthus
Romare Beardon
William S. Burroughs
Saul Steinberg
Charles Bukowski
Marlon Brando
Edward Gorey
Andy Warhol
Karl Lagerfeld
Freddie Mercury
Haruki Murakami
Ai Weiwei

*I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this honest review.

Copyright © Drew Martin 2017

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