Originally published on the 11th of February 2008 on my now deleted Bebo Account.
Well I recently purchased a copy of the book (51p off the net!) cos I wanted to read it again. Now as everyone knows, re-reading books from your childhood – like watching your favourite childhood movie – is a dangerous business. Certainly, ‘The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe‘ no longer holds the magic it once had. When I re-read it the other Christmas, i found it patronising and simple. There is little to no description – perhaps why I loved it as a child. I had complete control over what Narina looked like. However, as J.K. Rowling showed, a level of depth in a book doesn’t limit one’s imagination.
So how does The Mouse Butcher hold up? Well I loved it. It was exactly how I remembered it. The book is set on an island abandoned by humans. The cats, who were left behind, have now taken on the roles of their former owners. For example, the main character – whom the book is named after – use to belong to the local butcher. There is the Vicar’s cat who has a band of white fur around his neck and names all his children after the books of the Bible – the only reason I know the first four books of the New Testament to this day! There is even a family of posh Persian’s who live in the island’s stately home.
Yes the basic plot is quite simple – there is a girl and a monster- but the way it is told is impressive. The monster’s actions are explained thus making him sympathetic. There is even the odd subplot or two. If you can find a copy of The Mouse Butcher buy it and read it. You won’t be disappointed!