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Unread 09-29-2006   #1 (permalink)
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Default Of Cats and Kings

Fed up with looking for the perfect man, Clare de Vries sets off with a more achievable goal in mind-to find the perfect cat.

In the sequel to I & Claudius (Clare de Vries' journey across the USA with her beloved brown Burmese), our heroine travels through Burma and Thailand in search of a replacement for her dearly departed Claudius.

In Burma, Clare learns the basic tenets of Buddhism and receives a liberal dousing at the annual Thingyan celebrations, but unfortunately, finds no cats. Instead, she finds nats at Mount Popa, temple-strewn plains in Bagan, and a monastery full of jumping cats in Inle. In Thailand, while veering from nasty dives to luxurious spas, from lecherous cat breeders to ruthless elephant trainers, Clare learns the history of the precious Siamese/Burmese cats and the royals who nurtured them. Finally, she discovers the perfect kittens, hidden in a remote temple. All she has to do is give a donation to the monk who owns them-or so she thinks.
Conveyed in Clare de Vries' characteristic witty and lighthearted style, the eye-opening and highly entertaining adventures in Of Cats and Kings will delight travelers, cat lovers, and any woman wondering where all the decent men went.

Customer Review: Slightly crazy, very funny
In her second book, Clare de Vries shares her experiences of Burma and Thailand as she searches for a replacement for her beloved Burmese cat Claudius, who readers may have already met in her debut _I & Claudius_. This is another madcap adventure written in the same inimitable style: sharp, witty, slightly crazy and very funny. Anyone expecting a fluffy, heartwarming tale about kitty cats, be warned. Don't let the cover mislead you: this book is candid in its descriptions and unapologetic in its use of four-letter words. De Vries writes with pace and punch about the amazing places and sometimes bizarre people she encounters. It's an exhilarating read. One minute she's fighting off cockroaches and other local wildlife in a grubby hotel room, the next she's fighting off unwanted attention from fellow travellers. However, she also meets some brave locals who risk life and limb just by being seen talking to a foreigner. It is humbling to hear of the determination of these people in the face of the oppressive Burmese government. While many of the stories she recalls are sad, de Vries' jaunty tone ensures that _Of Cats And Kings_ is never depressing. Rather, it is an honest, amusing and highly enjoyable piece of travel writing. What's more, it won't just appeal to cat lovers; all you need to enjoy this book is a sense of humour.
Customer Review: Wonderful Read!
Having thoroughly enjoyed "I and Claudius," I was delighted to discover that this book is even better. Not only are her travels fascinating but, more importantly, her writing style has come into full flower. This is a great "laugh out loud" read with thoughtful subtext. I cannot wait to read what she writes next!

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