All My Cats is the second Bohumil Hrabal book I read after Closely Watched Trains. I’ll just say this: I have not read a book disturbed me that much, for so long. Hrabal is a compelling writer and certainly does not write for sensitive readers.
After the unexpected success of his books, Hrabal bought a weekend house in Kersko, an hour away from Prague. After moving into the home, he met a lot of cats coming in and out of his life. This book describes how cats changed the author’s life and character. He does not shy away from any details that will break your heart while reading.
Hrabal’s pen is powerful and a little dark. Unfortunately, these two and the cats do not mix well. I was planning to adopt a cat, but I’d like to think a little more after this book. It somehow managed to surface my deepest fears.
Hrabal fell from a window on the fifth floor of the hospital he was staying; trying to feed birds (but his doctor insists he committed suicide) and died. His love for cats and all living things is out there; it is as apparent as his talent. However, the book is haunting as it includes cat deaths, and they are violent. If you’re looking for a delightful book about cats, don’t read this.
If you are a sensitive person like me, I suggest you not to meet Hrabal with this book. However, since he is a fantastic author, please read one of hid book. He will amaze you. Enjoy!
About the book: All My Cats
A gem of a book about the aggravations and joys of cats from a literary master.
In the autumn of 1965, flush with the unexpected success of his first published books, the Czech writer Bohumil Hrabal bought a weekend cottage in Kersko, about an hour’s drive east of Prague. From then until his death, he tended to a community of cats at his country home. Over the years, his relationship to them grew more intense, becoming a measure of the pressures, both private and public, that affected his life as a novelist.
Written in 1983, this is his confessional chronicle of what happened. It is the story of how a cat lover becomes increasingly overwhelmed by the demands of his life, and his cats, finding himself driven to the brink of madness by both the indulgent love and the resentment he feels. Moving, shocking and honest, All My Cats invites us to grapple with the meaning of love and loss.
About the author: Bohumil Hrabal
Bohumil Hrabal was a Czech writer, often cited as one of the best Czech writers of the 20th century.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: