Sunday, July 31, 2011

Review: Tails of Wonder and Imagination

Tails of Wonder and Imagination
Tails of Wonder and Imagination by Ellen Datlow

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

While this collection has several delightful stories in it, it also has an awful lot of stories about cats being tortured, mistreated, or killed, and it was upsetting to read. The one story with a meaningful cat death made me cry like my own cat had died.

Here are the highlights:

"No Heaven Will Not Ever Heaven Be..." is about an artist who painted ads, and incorporated in all the cats he'd loved.

"The Price" is a Neil Gaiman story about a cat showing up to deal with an otherworldly pest problem.

"Dark Eyes, Faith, and Devotion" by Charles de Lint is about a cabbie with a criminal record going on a rescue mission for a kitten.

"Gordon, the Self-Made Cat" by Peter S. Beagle is about a mouse who goes to cat school. It's still adorable, though I've read it several times, now.

"The Burglar Takes a Cat" is about a bookstore owner and retired thief being talked into having a cat, though he doesn't consider himself a cat person.

"Coyote Peyote" by Carole Nelson Douglas is a short story about Midnight Louie, the feline PI.

"The Poet and the Inkmaker's Daughter" is a fable about a matchmaking red bobtailed cat.

"The Manticore's Tale" is a fun fairy tale about a manticore kidnapped as a kitten, then befriended by a young girl who needs to escape.

"Nine Lives to Live" by Sharyn McCrumb is a revenge tale about a man who gets his wish and comes back as a cat.

"Dominion" is a creation myth where Eden's serpent creates cats out of clay and juice from fruit from the Tree of Knowledge.

"Healing Benjamin" is the aforementioned story that made me cry. It was lovely, but upsetting.

The trouble with rating anthologies is the uneven quality. The above stories deserve 4 or 5 stars. The stories I haven't mentioned, though, are what stuck with me when I chose the overall rating.

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