Cat’s Foot by Brian Doyle
Young Adult Literature
What if a man who lost his foot in a war decides, many years later, to find it? “It was a good foot, and we parted so hurriedly I never had a chance to really think about it as a foot, so off I went…” So begins this lean little novel–a quest, a wandering, a contemplation of the immense foolishness of war. Terse but filled with adventure and wonder, Cat’s Foot is surely the most unusual fiction you will read this year–or perhaps any year…
An excerpt from Cat’s Foot
In the end, he said, wars are just not very good ideas. I don’t know anything about anything but I know that. People argue about whether we should have wars or not, but you can’t not have wars, people always want to fight about something. The point is to have wars that work better. You want to design a war that works out for everybody. Think of it as a heating and ventilation problem, tempers get hot and have to be cooled, how can that be done? I think chess games are the best ways to settle disputes. Some people say that we should settle disputes with soccer matches, but I have seen some bloody soccer matches. No, I am pretty sure chess is the answer. But no one listens to old man Cat, that’s for sure.
Brian Doyle is the editor of Portland Magazine at the University of Portland–“the finest spiritual magazine in America,” says Annie Dillard. He is also the author of thirteen books, among them the “sprawling serpentine sinuous riverine” Oregon novel Mink River, a finalist for the 2011 Oregon Book Award.
Praise for Cat’s Foot
“Along Cat’s implausible journey to find something impossible to find, you hear him say things you never heard before, told in ways that make you marvel. Cat’s eyes have seen everything it seems. Forgotten nothing.” –Bill Gunlocke, Editor, a city reader
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