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All used inventory that ships from Better World Books may come from separate distribution centers. See Preview Image courtesy of openlibrary. Befriended by a local cat-man, he becomes acquainted with all aspects of cat-life: he learns to speak Felinese, masters cat-poetry, and appreciates the narcotic effects of the reverie leaf - their food staple.

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But curiosity turns to despair when he ventures further into the heart of the country and the culture, and realizes that he is witnessing the bleak decline of a civilization. Cat Country , Lao She's only work of science fiction, is both a dark, dystopian tale of one man's close encounter with the feline kind and a scathing indictment of a country gone awry.

About the Book Find at your local library Description When a traveller from China crash-lands on Mars, he finds himself in a country inhabited entirely by Cat People. Refine Your Search Filter But curiosity turns to despair when he ventures further into the heart of the country and the culture, and realizes that he is witnessing the bleak decline of a civilization. Cat Country, Lao She's only work of science fiction, is both a dark, dystopian tale of one man's close encounter with the feline kind and a scathing indictment of a country gone awry.

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Cat Country Penguin Modern Classics

Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Mar 27, Ivana Books Are Magic rated it really liked it. Cat Country by Lao She is an interesting little satirical novel that reads easily, but it can taste bitter. The writing is fairly simple, but the satire is quite heavy. Published in , Cat Country has been translated in many languages, so there is a good chance you can find in a language of your preference.

The edition I read didn't have the subtitle ' A Satirical Novel of China in the s', but it is not like I couldn't figure what it is about. I suppose the subtitle doesn't hurt, it is Cat Country by Lao She is an interesting little satirical novel that reads easily, but it can taste bitter. I suppose the subtitle doesn't hurt, it is fairly descriptive, for Cat Country is indeed a satirical novel of China in the thirties. The satire is quite dark, I should perhaps add. I would say that it reminded me on Kappa, a similar work by a Japanese writer but I had actually read Cat Country years before I read Kappa, and the truth is that I only now thought of that connection.

As I said, the writing is quite simple and hence easy to follow but the satire is dark. A man arrives to Mars only to find a disturbing society of cats as its sole inhabitants. The cat society is ridden with corruption and injustice. Like in Kappa, the females of this society are describes extremely negatively. I remember this instance when the protagonist who is also a narrator , tried to educate the lady cats by telling them of things that are wrong with his society but they liked everything that was wrong and adopted those customs immediately.

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Many of the things that the protagonist notices and criticizes are things we can recognize in our own daily lives, for corruption is by no means something our modern societies lack. In that sense, I would say that this novel is quite universal and up to date. It is not hard to recognize the cowardly social behaviour patterns the author is describing and making fun of. Unfortunately, this kind of impulse to 'blend in' and not oppose problematic governments seems deeply rooted in human behaviour and is by no means limited to China in the last century. Cat Country is a satire on China, but I would say that it can be applied to most societies.

Set on Mars, it questions the customs of a cat society living there, while in fact examining human nature. More often focusing on dark aspects of human psychology then not, the novel describes a dystopian society.

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It is a fascinating read, if somewhat depressive. I can see how some might find it a bit too depressing for their liking, but it is an educating read, that's for sure. Perhaps a good warning for the future as well. All human societies do tend to display all kind of problems, and that's something we should talk about. Was there anything that I didn't like about this book?

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I can't say that there was, but perhaps it was a bit too short and undeveloped for my liking. I've read somewhere that the author did not consider himself a good satirist. I would disagree with his personal criticism, for to me this looks like satire at its best. That being said, Cat Country isn't for everything. It is a quite bleak book, that's for sure. If you need an uplifting read, this is not the book for you.

There is humour in it, but of the dark kind. In conclusion, Cat Country is an excellent dystopian piece of writing. View 2 comments. Sep 30, K. Charles added it Shelves: s , china , satire , sf. A vicious satire of China in the s, taking wide aim at culture and ideology. It's nominally SF but not really: the setting is only developed as it needs to be for satirical purposes. Satire and SF can coexist convincingly parts of Gulliver's Travels but at least as it's translated, this is very much the former.

It's pretty bitter stuff, with some moments of horrendous violence, a really bleak world view, and lots of bonus misogyny, both in the Cat Country society and in the narrator voice, A vicious satire of China in the s, taking wide aim at culture and ideology.

It's pretty bitter stuff, with some moments of horrendous violence, a really bleak world view, and lots of bonus misogyny, both in the Cat Country society and in the narrator voice, so not cheery stuff. Do not buy this for a cute story about cat people, is what I'm saying. Interesting read, and the last line is one of the best-struck killer blows I've encountered.

Aug 27, Hamid rated it really liked it. This is brilliant satire. This is terrible science fiction.

If you're familiar with the contemporaneous historical period in which the author is writing, this is a thoroughly engaging, amusing and troubling work. If you're not familiar with the events, you'll find this a confusing, unfunny, poorly-written hash which you might be able to roughly identify with planet of the apes. If, therefore, you deicide to read this, you should take some time to look into Lao She, the Chinese Republican and This is brilliant satire.

If, therefore, you deicide to read this, you should take some time to look into Lao She, the Chinese Republican and Warlord period, as well as the subsequent rise of the Chinese Communist Party after the publication of the book. A Chinese astronaut finds himself landing on another planet mars where he encounters the Cat people, a degenerate race with an impressive history and cultural heritage now near-destroyed by its reliance on drugs, base needs and guttural stupidity. An allegory for then-modern China, Lao She ruthlessly sends up the nationalists, petty warlords, Qing dynasty and, particularly towards the end, the Communists or the "Everybodyshareskys: as he portrays the ignobal power struggles over who will rule the rotten edifice of a civilisation past its prime.

Along the way everything from Chinese fashions of the time, Chinese opium addiction and even the writing system are criticised. This being a translation of a modern Chinese novel written in the new style of adopting the vernacular in early 20th Century China, much will be lost in the translation.


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The translator makes a sterling effort but certain phrases and ideas cannot but be relayed clumsily. Aug 14, Ivana rated it really liked it.