Cat Out of Hell: Book summary and reviews of Cat Out of Hell by Lynne Truss

Cat Out of Hell

by Lynne Truss

Cat Out of Hell by Lynne Truss X
Cat Out of Hell by Lynne Truss
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Book Summary

For people who both love and hate cats comes the tale of Alec Charlesworth, a librarian who finds himself suddenly alone: he's lost his job, his beloved wife has just died, and to top it all off, his sister has disappeared. Overcome by grief, he stands in his sister's kitchen staring at the only witness to what's happened to her – her cat, Roger. Who then speaks to him.

It takes a while for Alec to realize he's not gone mad from grief, that the cat is actually speaking ... and that much of what we fear about cats is true. They do think they're smarter than humans, for one thing. And, well, it seems they are! What's more, they do have nine lives. Or at least this one does – Roger's older than Methuselah, and his unblinking stare comes from the fact that he's seen it all.

And he's got a tale to tell, a tale of shocking local history and dark forces that may link not only the death of Alec's wife, but also several other local deaths. But will the cat help Alec, or is he one of the dark forces?

In the deft and comedic hands of mega-bestseller Lynne Truss, the story is as entertaining as it is addictive" (The Sunday Telegraph) – an increasingly suspenseful and often hysterically funny adventure that will please cat lovers and haters alike. And afterwards, as one critic noted, "You may never look at a cat in quite the same way again" (The Daily Mail).

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"A potent and darkly humorous tale… Cat lovers (or cat haters) and fans of gothic fiction will devour this creepy, paranoia-inducing morsel." - Publishers Weekly

"An unusual mystery for cat lovers and haters alike... A fun format for an equally entertaining quick read." - Library Journal

"A Chinese box of anti-narrative that reads like M.R. James on bad acid with a laugh track, complete with demonic cats, murderous librarians and badly overmatched amateur sleuths." - Kirkus

"A masterpiece of comic writing... A novel as entertaining as it is addictive." - The Sunday Telegraph (UK)

"One of those rare books that actually makes the reader laugh out loud... Impossible not to read in one sitting." - The Sunday Times (UK)

"An incredible tale…You may never look at a cat in quite the same way again." - The Daily Mail (UK)

"A wonderful tale full of parodies, pastiches and paradoxes. Pure joy." - The Telegraph (UK)

"It is good fun and the perfect lesson in how to use the power of punctuation to your advantage." - The Evening Standard (UK)

"Truss brings an eerie, 19th-century kind of horror into the present-day world." - The Guardian (UK)

"Tremendous fun." - SciFi Now

"One cat at the hole can keep in one thousand mice - this cat can keep in New York City! Hell's-a-poppin'." - Rita Mae Brown, bestselling author of the Sneaky Pie mystery series

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Reader Reviews

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Cloggie Downunder

highly entertaining
Cat Out Of Hell is a novel by British writer and journalist, Lynne Truss. When Alec Charlesworth’s beloved wife, Mary dies, he heads to a cottage on the coast of North Norfolk with their dog, Watson, to grieve privately. Isolation is what he craves, but, finding he needs some mental stimulation, turns on his laptop to read an email from a library colleague of Mary’s. It contains several files concerning a cat called Roger, and by the end of his perusal, Alec is confused, sceptical and rather irritated.

Back home, a visit to Mary’s library has Alec wondering if there might be some truth to the files; when the sender of said files pays him a visit, he begins to doubt that the cause of Mary’s death was natural. Soon he is deeply involved in an escapade that features several murders, hidden books, library theft, emergency hospital visits, talking cats (and dogs?), and even Beelzebub himself.

Truss uses a format of straight narrative combined with emails, transcripts of recorded conversations, screenplays, descriptions of photographs, telepathic messages and even questionnaires. It helps to pay attention to the early chapter headings, as these form part of a later chapter. The tone of the whole tale is very much tongue in cheek and the result is quite hilarious in places. Some horror, plenty of humour, highly entertaining. 4.5 stars

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Author Information

Lynne Truss Author Biography

Photo: Barry Kewis

Lynne Truss is a writer and journalist who started out as a literary editor with a blue pencil and then got sidetracked. The author of three novels and numerous radio comedy dramas, she spent six years as the television critic of The Times of London, followed by four (rather peculiar) years as a sports columnist for the same newspaper. She won Columnist of the Year for her work for Women’s Journal. Lynne Truss also hosted Cutting a Dash, a popular BBC Radio 4 series about punctuation. She now reviews books for the Sunday Times of London and is a familiar voice on BBC Radio 4. She lives in Brighton, England.

Link to Lynne Truss's Website

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