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3.9 out of 5 stars
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3.9 out of 5 stars
Format: Mass Market Paperback|Change
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on 12 November 2002
I wanted to read the short story 'Gigi' to compare with the famous musical film, but it stands on its own. Gigi is a charming, disarmingly honest character, and the other characters - her aunt, mother & Gaston - are interesting and sympathetic each in their own way. It's a lovely well-written story, delightful, and deceptively light. 'The Cat' is a longer story, a novella really. I didn't enjoy it as much as 'Gigi' and found it difficult to empathise with any of the characters (including Saha the cat), but it was an interesting depiction of a new marriage going wrong, and gives some uncomfortable insights into relationships at close quarters.
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on 19 December 2011
As with all of Colette's work, this book is beautifully written and the translation, excellent. If you have never read Colette, you have missed out on one of the greatest creative minds in literature; I like to think of her as the French Virginia Woolfe. Gigi is the quintessential Colette which is very strong on dialogue. The Cat is a very cleverly written piece that an acquaintance of mine once described as 'GARFIELD taken to a literally level'. Both stories are quite short so the best review would be to read them for yourself.
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This story has been told so many times before, in different times, and in different registers from Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre to Georgette Heyer and, er, 50 Shades of Grey - but this has to be one of my favourites.

Set in 1899 in the Parisian démi-monde, Gilberte (Gigi) is almost 16: all unwitting charm and raw beauty, she is totally unselfconscious as she romps with Gaston Lachaille, 33 year old friend of the family - and the most eligible, rich and sought-after bachelor in town...

This is perhaps one of Colette's most perfect stories. Only about 50 pages, this is easily read in a single sitting but is rich enough to delineate a whole world, its values, its politics and its treatment of women, and to do all that with enviable warmth, wit, candour and subtlety.

If you haven't experienced Colette before, this is a fine taster - highly recommended.
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on 1 January 2013
This collection of two of Colette's works showcases her talents very well. While most will be familiar with the musical, "Gigi" presents us with an honest, vibrant character straining at her upbringing. We are instantly on her side and Gaston is dashing, handsome and desirable. The characters simply leap off the page. In turns funny and bittersweet, it is a story of love and hope that is well drawn and a most enjoyable read. The second part of this collection deals with Sasha the cat, from whose viewpoint the story is told. While other reviewers have been unable to go with it, this story is equally as delightful as the more famous Gigi. "The Cat" deserves to be better known and, being paired with "Gigi", it should reach the wider audience it deserves.
As a whole, this book is easy to read in one sitting, should live with you for many years and will have you coming back to it over and over again. If you enjoy these, and you really should, then try Cheri and Claudine as alternative avenues for your Colette fix!
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I don't even know why I bought it. I read the first page and it was interesting, but then... got annoyed with it. Going to read something decent.
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on 1 February 2015
Adorable paperback with 2 quirky tales and a beautiful cover illustration
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on 29 September 2015
Gigi is delightful, but short. The Cat is interesting.
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on 13 February 2016
Simple, pleasant read.
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on 7 July 2014
brilliant read
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VINE VOICEon 31 January 2007
Having seen the film, I thought I knew what to expect when I picked up 'Gigi'. 'Gigi' is really a short story about a girl who is taught, by her grandmother and great-aunt, how she should behave in polite French society with the aim of finding a suitable match. This is a long stream about how eggs should be eaten, how hair can be worn and how her knees must be kept together when she is sitting down!!

Gigi is something of a tomboy and ends up defying all conventions and yet bewitching the infamous Gaston Lachaille.

The story is sweet and Gigi, as a character, bounces off the page but although it is sweet I don't feel that it has dated particularly well.

'The Cat' is really a novella about a young man, Alain, who marries Camille, a young and very passionate woman. Alain is a highly unsympathetic character who displays an unhealthy interest in his cat, Saha. His sexuality is so repressed that the interpretation of the cat's behaviour is highly sexualised and she becomes a real rival for Camille.

The story is interesting, because it explores the lengths that people will go to when they feel jealous and threatened, but as none of the characters are particularly sympathetic.

I won't be rushing to read another!
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