I have to admit the reason for reading this book was to see if Lilian Jackson Braun could change my opinion of her work. After reading The Cat Who Has Sixty Whiskers as my first foray into her well known franchise I was very disappointed. Why was she so popular? The answer lies in the book itself, the last one she wrote as of this time and one that everyone panned as terrible. I even saw Internet rumors that it was ghost written and that Braun couldn’t have written it because she must be in her 90’s, etc.
The Cat Who Went Bananas (part of her Cat Who… series) faired much better and helped me see why so many women enjoy her books. Her writer/easy-living main character Qwilleran and his two cats Koko and Yum Yum are surrounded by well developed characters and a community where gossip and goings on become the most exciting things happening. This book comes from somewhere and goes to somewhere, a much better result than 60 Whiskers.
She has her own style, one that is able to capture daily goings on in a way that moves the reader along comfortably. Qwilleran is an interesting character, though to be honest I have never met any man who would act as he does. There is some type of MAN dimension which seems to be missing. I believe, just like with other writers who’s style creates a niche for their readers, this is the reason her books are so very popular among women. She creates a safe man who’s manners and actions would seem appealing to a broad group of ladies. Maybe that is the missing dimension, for all men know that they are scoundrels. And here in a nutshell is a point because most of the other men in Qwilleran’s world of Pickax appear to be masculine and realistic. Yet he is somehow a different animal, maybe a cat. All around her book is an easy read, very good after hitting the hay. No chance of her prose becoming nightmare fuel I promise!