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4.8 out of 5 stars112
4.8 out of 5 stars
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 16 May 2004
I read this as an adult choosing books for a children's library and highly recommend it for the older reader - probably about 9 up. I read it myself in one sitting, staying up way past my bedtime!
The book tells the story of Varjak, a kitten who longs for adventure and to escape from the confines of his complacent 'pure-bred' family. Sinister happenings mean that sooner than he thinks Varjak has to fight for survival, and also to find out what is really worth fighting for. What are the terrifying 'Vanishings'? And can Varjak learn the 'Way' of his warrior ancestor in time to save his friends?
The mix of fantasy with important themes, such as the impossiblity of ignoring evil while remaining good oneself, is never too heavy-handed. The illustrations are also excellent and evoke a real sense of danger. One critisism is a significant loose end which seems to be forgotten about at the exciting finale. But lets hope this just means there will be a sequel soon...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 10 February 2013
I first read this book at the age of 9 and was very impressed with it, being a massive book fanatic by then. now, being considerably older I still can't fail to enjoy it. With Sally Bones' illustration especially (but the others too) it adds a charm to the story that other books can't quite achieve. I actually read The Outlaw Varjak Paw ages ago too not on kindle and i remember enjoying that book equally, if not even more.

To see the world from a cat's point of view really does it for me and this story reminds me of Stray by A.N Wilson, and also of Watership Down. A personal favourite part of mine in this book is when Varjak teams together with Holly after Tam vanishes, but I'm not about to give everything away!

This book was introdced to me by one of my really good friends, who I've been out of touch with for a while. Shame, because he knows S.F Said. But this is a brilliant read, and one of those books that you have to come back to again and again! Highly recommended!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 25 July 2004
This book is a great read for all aged kids, I have a friend who read it at the age of 8, I wizzed through it like a rash and im 12! Its a great summer read, to read by the pool or to read curled up by a fire in winter! The storyline is amazing and makes you have alot more respect for cats you see living on the streets. Vajak Paws adventure is really gripping and you cant put this book down! There are funny parts, happy parts scary parts and there are sad parts which are the 4 key ingrediances for a great book! I was hooked and i felt so sorry for Vajak Paw being alone in the big dark and wet city after living like a prince with the coutessa. All together I give this book a outstanding 5 stars!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This is a perfect book for those readers who are technically able, but not yet confident enough to branch into a full scale novel. With a fairly short text, well spaced on the page for ease of reading, and fantastic illstrations from the brilliant Dave McKean, who I have previously come across because of his collaborations with Neil Gaiman, this is a perfect choice for those about to leap into the world of adult novels.

The story itself is really gripping. It tells the tale of the exiled kitten Varjak Paw, and what happens when he has to leave the safety of his pampered home and go out into the wide world to save his family and find out who he truly is. There are moments of wonderful humour which balance what can, at times, be a fairly scary tale. It is a real page turner, and I am glad to say that there are more in the series, which I shall definitely be reading.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 1 March 2010
This book is about a cat who learns to fight.Varjak is a bit of a wimpy housecat. His family needs a dog because a man with two big cats wants to make his family into toy cats who speak.They need the dog to chase the man away.Varjak and his Grandad try to escape the scary man and his strange viscious cats. Varjak's grandad said "you can do it" and he belived in Varjak Paw so he climbed the wall.When he got to the other side... vrooooom A big thing zoomed past him, he thought it was a dog because his grandad said they're big enough to eat a man. So varjak paw went into the road in front of the car...

This book is for ages 7 to 13 year olds I hope you enjoy this book as I did. I enjoyed this book because theres lots of fighting and gangs and good description of cludge the dog. I would reccomend it for boys and girls.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 31 January 2010
I thought this book wasn't as good as it looks, looking at the front cover but when I read the book, it completely moved me. It has emotion, action, adventure and fantasy rolled into one. There are many good things about this book, one being Varjak Paw learning the way of Jalal, Sally Bones, the thin white cat, Razor, the tiger striped tomcat, the huge dog called Cludge and the metal monsters that roar up and down the streets.

I can read this over and over, it's that good! My favourite part is when Varjak is in the middle of the road trying to talk to the huge metal monsters (cars) coming from down the street and when Varjak fights Razor and Ginger.

It's an epic book this, I'm surprised there hasn't been a film, in my opinion, there should be an animated movie of this, because this book is stunning to read!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 26 November 2014
This book is about a cat named Varjak Paw who is Msopotamian Blue with a huge family at the Contessa's house on top of a hill. Varjak is the outcast cat of the family due to the fact that he has amber eyes but the rest of the family have green eyes.

As a result he is not allowed to go out of the house and has to stay with his family all of the time. However, when a gentleman turns up with his mysterious black cats: trouble awaits. Now Varjak Paw has to be brave and go outside to find a dog to stop the gentleman and his cats. However, on his journey he has to learn the seven ways of Jalal!

I love this book! It is full of action, adventure and mystery and is perfect for anyone who likes fiction told from an animal's point of view!

By Connor G, Lamberhead Green Primary School
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 16 December 2014
It's actually a while since I bought this but I'm compelled to write a review. My son and I read it together when he was about 9 years old. It's the story of a young cat in an alienating world finding his way, making friends and learning to fight both for himself and for what is right. My son found it absolutely captivating, as did I. That was 3 years ago and we have struggled to find another book that has made such an impression and engaged him so much, despite many worthy reads. Would be a good read for 11 - 13 yrs alone, or 9 upwards with an adult, I think. The sequel is also good and worth investing in. It was only until we read The Graveyard Book this year that I felt we had found the same standard of wordcraft, magic and excitement.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 23 November 2007
My eight year old son picked this book as a bedtime read and it was certainly a great choice.

It follows the exploits of a an escaped house cat on a mission to save his ungrateful family. On the way he makes friends, meets enemies and learns the secrets of cat martial arts in his dream meetings with an ancient ancestor. You don't get much more original than that.

It is delightfully written with a good mixture of excitement, humour, danger and allegory. The characters are well constructed and believeable The good guys are likeable and the baddies are sinister which makes for a great adventure yarn.

The Illustration is also brilliant and fits well with the story and the text.

My kids love this book and so do I!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 9 September 2013
I got the sequel to this first in a library sale and read it to my 5 year old daughter (who does kung fu and has a cat!) It was fantastic! So I ordered the first one off Amazon, and just finished reading it to her last night. She loved it too! As well as being a great story, well written, it touches on the while idea of some people thinking of themselves as 'purer' and more noble than other groups - as in Aryan Nazis and Jews. We are what we do, the story shows, not what group we're born into... Anyone can become Noble through kindness and bravery! The Zen-like wisdom was a great surprise for me too! And with Varjak's dream ancestor Jelal there's a nod to the great Persian master Rumi I suspect... :)
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