Review: How to Tell If Your Cat is Plotting to Kill You by Matthew Inman

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how to tell if your cat is plotting to kill youTitle: How to Tell If Your Cat is Plotting to Kill You
Author: Matthew Inman
Genre: Non-fiction, Humour
Source: Library (Paperback)

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TheOatmeal.com’s most popular cat jokes, including “How to Pet a Kitty” and “The Bobcats,” plus 15 new and never-before-seen catthemed comics, are presented in this hilarious collection from New York Times best-selling author Matthew Inman, a.k.a. TheOatmeal.com. Includes pull-out poster!Jesus Rollerblading Christ–another helping of TheOatmeal! Mrow, MOAR kitty comics. Mr. Oats delivers a sidesplitting serving of cat comics in his new book, How to Tell If Your Cat Is Plotting to Kill You.

If your cat is kneading you, that’s not a sign of affection. Your cat is actually checking your internal organs for weakness. If your cat brings you a dead animal, this isn’t a gift. It’s a warning. How to Tell If Your Cat Is Plotting to Kill You is a hilarious, brilliant offering of cat comics, facts, and instructional guides from the creative wonderland at TheOatmeal.com.

How to Tell If Your Cat Is Plotting to Kill You presents fan favorites, such as “Cat vs. Internet,” “How to Pet a Kitty,” and “The Bobcats,” plus 17 brand-new, never-before-seen cat jokes. This Oatmeal collection is a must-have from Mr. Oats! A pullout poster is included at the back of the book.

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(This review was originally posted on my blog Winter Distractions on March 23, 2013)

I am a big fan of The Oatmeal and their zany illustrations, so when I saw that this book was going to be released, I had to put a hold on it.

Unfortunately, this one kind of fell flat for me. There were some parts that I really, really loved and was laughing out loud — like, How to Pet a Kitty, which was hilarious, as were the pages on how to tell if your cat is plotting to kill you. But there were other parts that just seemed silly and not that funny, like the week-long comic of The Bobcats, two cats who work in an office and terrorize their coworkers. I think these ones didn’t appeal to me because they weren’t realistic cat cartoons.

One thing I do really like is the simplicity of the drawings and how it all translates from web to book. It’s very visually appealing and shows a lot of the quirkiness that you can get on the author’s website. I loved the layout of the book and how colourful it all was and not at all cluttered together.

This is definitely more of a library book than a buy book. I’m sure there are some of the sections alreaady on The Oatmeal, as well — actually, I’m pretty sure a LOT of these comics can be found for free on the website, so unless you’re a HUGE Oatmeal fan, I wouldn’t even suggest buying this one. I doubt you’d get what you paid for.

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[Audiobook] Review: Life, The Universe, and Everything (THHGTTG, #3), by Douglas Adams

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life, the universe, and everythingTitle: Life, The Universe, and Everything
Series: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, #3
Author: Douglas Adams
Genre: Science Fiction, Humour
Source: Borrowed

Length: 6 hours (Unabridged)
Narrated by: Douglas Adams
Published by: New MIllenium Audio

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The unhappy inhabitants of planet Krikkit are sick of looking at the night sky above their heads–so they plan to destroy it. The universe, that is. Now only five individuals stand between the killer robots of Krikkit and their goal of total annihilation.

They are Arthur Dent, a mild-mannered space and time traveler who tries to learn how to fly by throwing himself at the ground and missing; Ford Prefect, his best friend, who decides to go insane to see if he likes it; Slartibartfast, the indomitable vice president of the Campaign for Real Time, who travels in a ship powered by irrational behavior; Zaphod Beeblebrox, the two-headed, three-armed ex-president of the galazy; and Trillian, the sexy space cadet who is torn between a persistent Thunder God and a very depressed Beeblebrox.

How will it all end? Will it end? Only this stalwart crew knows as they try to avert “universal” Armageddon and save life as we know it–and don’t know it!

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I knew this had to happen at some point. Eventually, there would be a book in this series that wouldn’t completely grab me like the rest. This was that book.

One thing I love about this series is the humour, and this book definitely has it, but it didn’t seem to come in spades like it did in the first two books. I think the one thing that I didn’t like with this installment was the fact that it wasn’t as light as the first two. I loved the idea of the characters just randomly traveling through the galaxy, but this book is more about the prevention of the destruction of the planet Krikkit.

The thing that I think was missing in this book was the character interaction with one another. Think of the last book and the whole spaceship-making-a-cup-of-tea bit. That part was hilarious. It was great to see Arthur completely out of his element in space, but with this book, he’s really not. It all just seemed too normal to me. Also, I wonder if maybe the whole plot of the book was just too confusing for me (which doesn’t seem to be the case with the craziness of the first two books), or maybe I could do with a reread of it.

The audio, though, was still amazing. Douglas Adams is not only a wonderful writer, but he can narrate his books quite well. I know some authors can’t do this, but Adams has the right pacing, the right inflection, and just the right everything. I can honestly say that I don’t think I would get the same effect of his books while reading them on the page. If you plan to read these books, I highly recommend listening to the audiobooks narrated by Adams – they are wonderful.

So this book might not have been one of the better ones for me, but that doesn’t mean I won’t continue with the series. I’m eager to see how this trilogy in five parts ends!

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[Audiobook] Review: The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (THHGTTG, #2), by Douglas Adams

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restaurant at the end of the universeTitle: The Restaurant at the End of the Universe
Series: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, #2
Author: Douglas Adams
Genre: Science Fiction, Humour
Source: Borrowed

Length: 6 hours (Unabridged)
Narrated by: Douglas Adams
Published by: New MIllenium Audio

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Facing annihilation at the hands of the warlike Vogons is a curious time to have a craving for tea. It could only happen to the cosmically displaced Arthur Dent and his curious comrades in arms as they hurtle across space powered by pure improbabilityband desperately in search of a place to eat.

Among Arthur’s motley shipmates are Ford Prefect, a longtime friend and expert contributor to the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy; Zaphod Beeblebrox, the three-armed, two-headed ex-president of the galaxy; Tricia McMillan, a fellow Earth refugee who’s gone native (her name is Trillian now); and Marvin, the moody android who suffers nothing and no one very gladly. Their destination? The ultimate hot spot for an evening of apocalyptic entertainment and fine dining, where the food (literally) speaks for itself.

Will they make it? The answer: hard to say. But bear in mind that the Hitchhiker’s Guide deleted the term “Future Perfect” from its pages, since it was discovered not to be!

“What’s such fun is how amusing the galaxy looks through Adams’ sardonically silly eyes.”

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I had never really intended to read the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series, it just sort of happened. While I tried to read the first book over and over again, I never got into it, but when I popped in the audiobook narrated by the author, I was completely in love. A little worried that I wouldn’t understand this second book in the series since it had been so long since I listened to the first, I was quite happy to be able to slide right back into that world, into the hysterical mind of Douglas Adams.

“It is worth repeating at this point the theories that Ford had come up with, on his first encounter with human beings, to account for their peculiar habit of continually stating and restating the very very obvious, as in “It’s a nice day,” or “You’re very tall,” or “So this is it, we’re going to die.”

His first theory was that if human beings didn’t keep exercising their lips, their mouths probably shriveled up.

After a few months of observation he had come up with a second theory, which was this–“If human beings don’t keep exercising their lips, their brains start working.”

In all honesty, I have no idea what to say about this book. I laughed and laughed at some sections (mostly while listening in my car, which I’m sure was hilarious to other drivers) – mainly the ones that revolved around tea, from Arthur Dent trying to explain to a computer how to make a proper cup of tea, or to the increasingly loud Number Two asking Arthur and his comrades what they want to drink.

“Your God person puts an apple tree in the middle of a garden and says, do what you like, guys, oh, but don’t eat the apple. Surprise surprise, they eat it and he leaps out from behind a bush shouting “Gotcha”. It wouldn’t have made any difference if they hadn’t eaten it.’

‘Why not?’

‘Because if you’re dealing with somebody who has the sort of mentality which likes leaving hats on the pavement with bricks under them you know perfectly well they won’t give up. They’ll get you in the end.”

I love how Adams pokes fun at certain things, with the whole book not making a whole lot of sense (seriously, these books can get weird!), but they’re still so accessible. For most of my listening, when I wasn’t busting a gut I probably had a furrowed brow as I wondered what in the galaxy was going on. Some sections were completely drawn out and ridiculous, other sections cut off abruptly, but the whole thing just works. When I finished, I knew that I would have to continue on listening to the rest of the story because I had to get to the bottom of it all!

I’m sure that there are still so many parts that will go over my head, but in the end, I found this book to be immensely enjoyable and I wish I had read (or listened to) it sooner. Can’t wait to continue on!

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