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Williams Tad : Tailchaser'S Song (Daw science fiction) Mass Market Paperback – Nov 1986

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Mass Market Paperback, Nov 1986
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--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; Reprint edition (Nov. 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0886771625
  • ISBN-13: 978-0886771621
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 2.5 x 12.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,736,288 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Former singer, shoe-seller and radio show host, Tad Williams is now a full-time writer. His Memory, Sorrow and Thorn series established him as one of the most internationally popular fantasy authors of recent years.

Product Description



'When I heard that Tad Williams was writing an urban fantasy novel, I got all tingly. Now I've read it, and it's even better than I'd dared to hope. It's snarky, fast-paced, and above all, original. You should be tingly, too.'

(Patrick Rothfuss)

'Tad Williams' ... famous four-book trilogy was one of the things that inspired me to write my own seven-book trilogy. [ I ] said, "My god, they can do something with this form," and it's Tad doing it.' (George R.R. Martin)

'This is urban fantasy at its best.' (EpicBookReviews)

'A very promising start to an exciting new series from one of our greatest modern F/SF authors.' (Geek Syndicate)

'Readers who enjoy Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere, Kate Griffin's A Madness of Angels, Jim Butcher's Dresden Files will most likely be as entertained as I was... Highly recommended.' (SFF World) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

Tad Williams' beloved debut novel, available in the UK for the very first time. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie Noverraz on 5 Feb. 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the story of a young ginger tomcat named Fritti Tailchaser. When Hushpad his fiancée mysteriously disappears, he goes to see the Elders. Many strange things have indeed happened lately and a group of valiant cats are elected to leave and seek help at the Court of Harar. But Fritti's too young, and he's left behind. Restless, he sets out on a quest of his own to rescue his friend.
As he makes his way in the Old Woods, encountering all sorts of animals, helping a fox and sealing a pact with squirrels, he hears more and more rumours of tyrannic cat-shaped, red-clawed beasts devastating the land. Luckily he'll also join up with Pouncequick, a small kitten from home who had lost his way in the forest, and meet the senile Eatbugs and a pack of cats who set out to help him. What he doesn't know yet is that at the end of the road lies the nightmarish mound of Vastnir, source of all evil.
Even though it is a nice story, halfway between a fantasy and a fable, I am sad to admit that Tailchaser's Song failed to hold my attention, and I often found my thoughts wandering while I was reading.
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A Kid's Review on 22 Nov. 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Most regular readers have a short-list of very personal favorites.
I first read this when I was 12 years old and since then several times.
20 years+ after, it still holds a special place in my heart as one of my favourites, for reasons which are somewhat difficult to explain.
A bit like some rock song that you happen to love in the past and you still get a kick out of it even if you are a different person and maybe nowadays you just listen to jazz or classical.

As I said, it's difficult to explain.
It certainly is a well written book, but so are many others I have read and still didn't make it into my personal favorites list.
It's about cats, which I love, but it would be misleading to think that only cat lovers will like it, and for sure there is no unconditional praising of felines in the book, quite the contrary at times. Actually, I read that the author was actually inspired to write this book by feelings of frustration,
rather than love, after having to keep a friend's cat for a while and finding it remarkably ungrateful and opportunistic.
This gave him the idea of a world where cats are not opportunistic, they are just taking their due, and it is fascinating how he managed to fit everything within this premise.

The book is certainly influenced under many aspects by "Water Ship Down", including the fact that humans are depicted in the same fashion of natural events, useful at times, dangerous sometimes, but essentially senseless and not deserving a bigger role in the story than, say, the rain or the wind.
However I never developed the same attachment to "Water Ship Down" and I find match easier to identify with the characters in "Tailchaser's Song".
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By S. Bailey VINE VOICE on 29 Mar. 2007
Format: Paperback
I suspect that when I've read more Tad Williams than I have at the moment, I'll be saying this is not his best work... There are moments of excellence in it, but somehow the whole thing fails to gel; it feels like the work of an author who's bitten off much less than he can chew.

Fritti Tailchaser is a young member of a clan of feral cats, who live on the edge of a human settlement. Unusually for a cat, he has fallen in love. So when Hushpad, his fiancee, mysteriously vanishes one day, Tailchaser sets out to find her. His quest takes him and his companion Pouncequick far from their clan, to meet with the Queen of the Cats, to face some of their oldest enemies, and finally, to the entrance to cat hell itself...

This is trying to be Homeric Epic, but it's about cats, for goodness sake. It might be made to work if Williams were to take his cats very VERY seriously (as Richard Adams takes his rabbits), but for much of the book, he seems to find the idea just as preposterous as I did; if you want to pick an animal for noble self-sacrifice, cats are not the first that spring to mind.

Williams has tried to shore up his shaky idea with a variety of ways, some more successful than others. The cat mythology I loved, but the language seemed to be a strange combination of phonetic cat-noises ("Nre'fa-o") and English, ("M'an", "fela"=female, "ptom"=tom). Moreover, it's internally inconsistent; "az" means cat, and "me" earth, so "az'me", earth-cat, means tree, yet water-cat, fish, is "cef'az"... call me a Tolkien-obsessed pedant, but that annoyed me.

When this worked best, in fact, was when it abandoned the epic tone and was honestly funny; the foppish courtier Howlsong was one of too few such moments. This is one for die-hard cat-loving Williams fans, but probably best left alone by everyone else.
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By 2teirah on 3 Feb. 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is an adventure of greater proportions than Watership Down with heroes more endearing than those of Lord of the Rings. I was pleased to receive the edition with a marvellous foreword by the author as it reveals the unexpected details of how and why he came to write the saga. I have read the book before and it stands out as one of the most enjoyable reads I can remember. The ginger hero, Tailchaser, undertakes a journey of epic proportions in search of a lost friend and encounters friends and foes along a perilous path that leads him to the heart of feline darkness. It should appeal to fantasy fans as well as to cat lover who like a story that realistically describes feline quirks and characteristics. I have purchased at least 15 copies of this over the years since I first read it in the 1980s, either to give as gifts or to replace copies lent out but never returned or lost in a house move, and I always seem to end up without a copy. I have no doubt based on past history, this will not be the last copy I buy.
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