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I and Claudius


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A fascinating adventure across America in the company of a nineteen year old Burmese cat.'Artfully combines the gorgeous, flimsy cultural references of very good chick-lit, with well-executed, stylish travel writing' MINX'A hilarious and heart-warming travelogue with a feline twist. This is a lovely tale of fur-balls and friendship, Gucci slingbacks and psychic cowboys' MIRROR

About the Author

Clare de Vries worked as a journalist before she set off across the highways of America. She lives in London and is working on a second travel book for Bloomsbury.


Feeling bored with her job and intrigued by America, British journalist de Vries decided to take a road trip from Connecticut to California with her beloved 19-year-old cat, Claudius. Because of quarantine restrictions in the U.K. and her cat's advanced age, she knew that Claudius wouldn't be returning to British soil, so the trip became the pair's final adventure. Careening from Graceland to L.A., de Vries and the mellow Claudius hit almost every clich‚ along the wayÄincluding a brush with voodoo in New Orleans and a scare over a Las Vegas gambling debt. While delightfully objective at first, de Vries devolves into something of a sideshow barker, describing only the most grotesque and bizarre characters she encountered. Her finer moments occur when she sheds her hyperactive, kooky tone and honestly recounts the emotional toll that slowly losing a pet can take. Unfortunately, those passages are all too infrequent. Instead, she includes "dialogues" with Claudius that are likely to prove too precious for even the most devoted cat lovers as well as long descriptions of her own banal activities, like getting her nails done and discussing breast enhancement with a plastic surgeon. As she frets over which highway to take and how to smuggle a cat into motels with "no pets" policies, Claudius's health declines, leading to painstaking chronicles of his frequent trips to strange vets. The impending loss of her beloved cat turns the frisky author serious at last, but too late to save her book. (Nov.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

Twenty-nine-year-old de Vries always dreamed of driving across America, but she couldn't bear to leave her beloved 19-year-old, toothless, chocolate-brown Burmese cat Claudius home alone in London. So, bucking conventional wisdom, she packed up ClaudeÄand his water bowlÄand flew with him across the Atlantic. Once in America, they encountered pet hair stylists in New York City, brown bears in the Smoky Mountains, psychic cowboys, the Grand Canyon, the lights of Las Vegas, and stars in Hollywood. Claude accompanies de Vries on many of her adventuresÄbut he also spends a lot of time sleeping. Along the way, he has several illnesses that require veterinary attention; in order to survive these moments of panic, de Vries consoles herself by buying designer clothes and considering plastic surgery. The bond between the writer and her cat seems truly genuine, but do we really need to know all the details of de Vries's angst about her wardrobe, her lack of a boyfriend, and her self-indulgent lifestyle? Her language, which ranges from British bawdy to downright trashy, adds nothing to her narrative. The moral is this: cats should be left at home, and this work is too uneven to be recommended.ÄEva Lautemann, Georgia Perimeter Coll. Lib., Clarkston Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

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