Title: The Great Catsby
Author: Eliza Garrett
Illustrator: Martin Hargreaves
Genre: Classic, Short Story, Picture Book
Description: The greatest works of literature, as told by the finest breeds.
Mysterious moggy millionaire Jay Catsby is haunted by the love of a beautiful pussycat called Daisy, whom he lost to another long ago. When Daisy’s cousin Nick Cattaway moves in next door, it seems like Castby’s a whisker away from winning back his beloved.
But Daisy’s husband tomcat has other ideas…
My Review: This is a lovely feline version of the classic novel. ‘The Great Catsby’ is a small hardback book around A6 in size and is filled with some lovely glossy pages though the cover is matt. Inside each double page contains a picture on one side with some easy to read text on the other. The overall look of the book reminds me of the ladybird books I used to have as a child although this book is obviously aimed at older readers.
I’d never read or seen an adaptation of ‘The Great Gatsby’ before so I was keen to learn this story and enjoy it in cat form. The story is told in the first person with our narrator, Nick Cattaway, a black and white cat who tells the story of what happened when he moved to East Fish, Long Island, close to where his cousin lives. Nick’s neighbour is the mysterious Jay Castby, a cat who loves to host wild parties every night, and one day when Nick attends one of these parties he learns exactly why Catsby has moved in so close to his cousin Daisy.
The story is a shortened version of the original and is a fun read although the ending is a bit sadder than I would have liked. What makes this a fun story though is all the feline references throughout the book. Many of the names have been replaced with feline versions such as Mew York instead of New York and there are plenty of descriptions of feline behaviour such as getting drunk on milk and ‘padding in’ to the party rather than walking in. The pictures also show some fun feline things such as Nick and a Siamese cat called Jordan sitting down to a meal where there are glasses of milk and a fish each on their plates!
The illustrations are lovely and have some lovely details in them. I love the way the cats all look in these pictures, they have a more fun look than the cats do in ‘Romeow & Juliet’, another book from the Classic Tails series. Although the pictures have a slightly simpler look than other Classic Tails books I’ve read, they still have some great detail and fun things to spot. There are some other creatures, ones that are not cats in this story, which is fun to spot, and it’s fun to see all the extras such as the milk in various places instead of alcohol, and the funny book title that Castby is reading in one of the later pictures. Despite the simpler look to the pictures I really like them and keep looking back at them as I love how cute they all look and there’s something I just love about the way Castby’s face looks in each picture!
The story is very easy to read which makes this book perfect for those who’ve never picked up the original classic (or any classic) before and who want to start. I think both adults and teens would enjoy this book especially if they love cats or animals in general. Some younger ages might also enjoy this and although it’s not exactly a happy ending, it doesn’t have the shocking effect that ‘The Picture of Dorian Greyhound’ had when I read it as the pictures in this story are simple and nothing scary like they were in the other book.
I’d definitely recommend this book for anyone interested in reading this classic or for anyone into cats. The pictures alone make this a lovely book to read, and with the story being an interesting classic I think lots of people will enjoy trying this book out. Maybe it’s because I love cats in general and just love anything with cats involved, but there’s something so brilliant and cute about all the pictures I just can’t help but love this book!
-Thanks to Bookbridgr and the publisher for a free copy.
What do you think of this feline inspired classic? Let me know your thoughts I’d love to hear your opinions 🙂 You can also find me in these places: