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Comments for Varjak Paw
Varjak Paw: 03/15/14
While Ghost Knight by Cornelia Funke was our Oregon audiobook, Varjak Paw by S.F. Said was our Washington (and specifically, Mt Rainier) book. It is about a young Abyssinian Blue house cat who must leave the safety of the house to find help after the old lady dies.
In terms of basic animal adventure, Varjak Paw reminds me most of Tailchaser's Song by Tad Williams. The history of the Abyssinian Blues is told through a rich oral history — similar to many a creation story but from a feline point of view.
On a more basic level, it is the tale of a cat experiencing the outside. He is in search of a great and fierce creature — a dog — but he doesn't know what a dog is. So he mistakes automobiles for dogs. This is one of many errors he makes on his adventure.
Along the way Varjak becomes aware of a mystery affecting all the alley cats. The cats are going missing. In their place is a horrific replacement. These monstrosities are some of the most disturbing things in a children's audio I've ever heard. But they are an important part of the story.
To make the experience of this audio all the more special, it's performed by George Guidall. Normally I listen to his readings of adult series: The Navajo Mysteries by Tony Hillerman and the Cat Who books by Lilian Jackson Braun. Varjak Paw because of the emphasis on creation myths and spiritual enlightenment and because it is cast with cats, is the prefect blending of Guidall's other work.