- Fizzy Thoughts: Scribbling the Cat

Scribbling the Cat

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Scribbling the Cat
Alexandra Fuller
2004
251 pages

After our online book club discussed Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight (with input from the author herself), I wanted to read Bo Fuller's next book, Scribbling the Cat. In Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight, Fuller described her African childhood. In Scribbling the Cat, she joins up with a white veteran of the Rhodesian War to revisit his memories and places of his war. It ends up being a bizarre road trip through Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

K, as Fuller tags him, is a charismatic, complex man. A ruthless killer, and a fierce fighter, both during and after the war, he is now a Christian fish farmer in Malawi. Still plagued by demons, and showing an odd mix of racism and kindness, he is obviously in love with Fuller and agrees to journey into the past with her. Along the way, they visit fellow war veterans, who all seem (like K) to be whacked, for lack of a better term.

The book is short, and a quick disturbing read. It is filled with an odd mix of Afrikaans/Rhodie/Shona slang. Fuller doesn't hold any punches with herself, although she does cast K in a sympathetic light. I'm still not sure if I agree with her approach to K...she falls just short of admitting to using him to gain a story. I wouldn't call this book a favorite, but paired with Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight, it does provide further insight into the lives of white Africans.

Click here to read more about the book, as well as an interview with the author.

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In a real sense, people who have read good literature have lived more than people who cannot or will not read. It is not true that we have only one life to live; if we can read, we can live as many more lives and as many kinds of lives as we wish. ~S.I. Hayakawa

The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.
~St. Augustine

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.
~Mark Twain

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