Don't Eat Cat
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Don't Eat Cat

3.45 of 5 stars 3.45  ·  rating details  ·  350 ratings  ·  73 reviews
In this brilliantly entertaining send-up of zombie lit, Edgar Award winner and National Book Award finalist Jess Walter offers a twist on America’s favorite monster: You don’t have to be dead to be a zombie. Walter creates a postapocalyptic nightmare that is as sidesplitting as it is moving—and all the more damning because it’s so recognizable.

Set in the year 2040, amid ro...more
Kindle Edition, 22 pages
Published March 28th 2012 by Byliner Inc.
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the book isn't about zombie cats (sadly), but that is a cute picture, and it's difficult for me to write a review for a 20-page story unless it involves some sort of dirrrty monster sex.

this is a lightweight little zombie fantasy/regret-and-redemption piece.

it's too short to have impressive world-building or super-inventive mythology twists, but it isn't bad - it has moments of humor and moments of pathos, and moments of action.

and that's more than most people have in their 20 page short stori...more
Emma Sea
I read this in The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2012, but it definitely deserves its own rating.

Genius. Cutting. Prophetic.
Don´t read book. Even though it´s pretty short, it´s a waste of time. A few funny ideas and a different view on Zombies doesn´t make a good reading. So far the worst piece of fiction I read this year ...
Edward Lorn
This short story has been sitting on my Kindle forever. I can't even remember how I came across it. I needed a break from STEELHEART, so I dug through my library. Boy am I glad I did.

DON'T EAT CAT is surprisingly deep. It starts off hilariously, and I thought I had picked up a comedy. I rarely laugh out loud while reading (movies, yeah; books, not so much) but I cackled a good dozen times at this one. I guess I gel with the author's sense of humor.

I don't know if the story would be ruined by te...more
Nikki Vanderhoof
So this was a very short story but definitely worth the 20-30 minutes it took to read it.

Zombies do exist! Well they're actually strung out and addicted junkies but hey that's more realistic than full on apocalyptic dead people coming back to life kind of stuff.

One thing I love about this story was how the author combined financial and fast food industries as the future of services. This alone is such a great social commentary. Money and food rule most people's lives and it would just make sense...more
Sam Quixote
Set in the near (dystopian) future, zombies live alongside nonbies (normal people) in the United States as the borders were closed to immigrants and there was labour shortage. People became zombies via a club drug that was willingly taken. Is the future so terrible that taking drugs to become a zombie is a viable alternative? Apparently yes, and when Owen's girlfriend Marci breaks up with him and becomes one of them, he sets off to get her back.

Jess Walter, the excellent author of "Citizen Vince...more
Bare in mind - I reserve one star ratings for works that I find morally offensive. This one is just bad.

I am beginning to feel like a broken record and possibly a ridiculous one, but most kindle singles are too short. I enjoy a good novella and long magazine piece, but the 50-pager must be a difficult length to master. Most of the kindle singles I've read could have been fleshed out to novella-length and been the better for it. "Don't Eat Cat" was my first foray into Kindle-single fiction, and...more

"Don't Eat Cat," currently available on iBooks and Kindle, is just amazing and made me go in search of other fiction (non-zombie fiction) by Jess Walter, all of which (so far) is just as good.

In "Don't Eat Cat" zombies are a metaphor for drug addicts more than anything else and they only can function in a way that gives new meaning to "low level entry job."

Zombies or not, though, the writing is where it's at. One of my favorite lines goes something like this: "But THIS is the Apocalypse? F**k yo...more
Julia Cohen
This is not a great book I don't think. A novella. Zombie lit, which just itself makes it interesting. It won't take you long to read. There are some funny moments. Got the feeling that Jess Walter, usually a touching and gently good author was out for some fun one afternoon and this was the result. You won't waste too much time and it is funny in parts
Walter introduces a clever premise here, mashing up zombies with a dystopian future. The haves and have-nots are divided into regular people and soul-sapped quasi-zombies who are exploited in low-wage jobs and once in a while eat cats. The premise is ripe to satirize pretty much everything about modern society, but as soon as the premise is introduced, the story -- being a 99-cent Kindle Single -- ends.

I would love to see this world explored more (not that there's a paucity of zombie lit out the...more
A cute little story. The ending seemed a out of place with the rest of the story. I found parts of the story to be funny and over all it was a nice, fun read.
The allegory of Western developed nations in the near future being divided into zombies (the drug addicts, underachievers, and other "non-contributors" to the economy) and the non-zombies (the ambitious, over-worked, money-obsessed upper/middle classes) is perfect. In typical politically correct fashion, the non-zombies are told not to "call them zombies" even though their condescension is obvious. Even if you have the strength of character in an over-polluted, over-crowded, inflation-riddled so...more
I saw Jess Walter at the Get Lit! literary festival in Spokane, Washington, where he read from this short story. In the discussion afterwards, he and Colson Whitehead, author of Zone One, were asked what they thought caused all the recent interest in zombie stories. Jess replied that he had actually written this story as a way of trying to understand the zombie phenomenon. I personally think that with this story, he's spot-on to why brainless zombie stories are so relatable in our society right...more
Eric Townsend
I always find it a bit funny when the summary is so long like this one is when the piece is a bit over 20 pages. I guess they need to give extra reasons to purchase the short story since it isn’t free but is so short? Anyway, Don’t Eat Cat is a mixture of humor and a harsh view of reality. Zombies being a clear metaphor for anyone from druggies (the most obvious example) to the lazy and unmotivated (if you read between the lines/look deeper). The short plot is the selling point in this piece as...more
Alex Ness
I loved this story. I dug that it was short, to the point, funny, and had some nice thinking value inside it. I'm not sure what the author intended for us to relate the story to, but i have come up with a few ideas that seem to fit. Without giving anything away, the characters all seem very human and very real inside of this "don't call them zombies" context. The future aspect of this story is also important i think, because many of the small details seem to fit into a possibly overpopulated and...more
Mark Goodwich
This was a quick short story by the master Mr. Walter. After reading his
-The Financial Lives of the Poets, 2009.
-The Zero, 2006
-Citizen Vince, 2005
-Land of the Blind, 2003.
-Over Tumbled Graves, 2001 .

This was just a fun fast 30 page story, when it was done I wanted more. Maybe Mr. Walter could develop this character into a full novel in the future. I will not go into the story-line, many other reviews have already done this so I will just rate the book on its elements (1 to 5 being highest):

Jason Reeser
A clever little story (novelette) about a world inhabited by people who overuse a drug that turns them into oversexed, very hungry zombies (which we are always being told they should not be called--it is wrong to call them zombies, okay?) who seem to represent a portion of our population who has withdrawn from the productive/interactive paths of society. The main character is sick of all the zombies, but his bitterness is really entrenched over the betrayal of a friend who chose to go 'zombie'.
I hate not having a book with me. I used to keep a book on my phone for reading in cafes or while waiting to meet friends. That book would take a month or two to read.

The Byliner Originals series take about a half hour or so to read and are perfect for keeping on my phone for such occasions.

Jess Walters (whose book Citizen Vince is among my favourites) has written a fluffy little zombie story that's perfect for passing the time.

Walters writes great characters and this story is more about wittin...more
I realized as I began this story that I've read it before it some collection,but still a good one.
Joe Tynan
Fourth Star for this:

"Sure, the world sees crazy now. But wouldn't it seem just as crazy if you were alive when they sacrificed peasants, when people were born into slavery, when they killed firstborn sons, crucified priests, fed people to lions, burned them at the stake, when they intentionally gave people smallpox or syphilis, when they gassed them, tortured them, dropped atomic bombs on them, when entire races tried to wipe other races off the planet. But this is the Apocalypse? Fuck you! It'...more
Very short, but I guess that's what you get from a Kindle Single. It starts well w/a compelling dive into this future world filled with zombies you're not supposed to call zombies, but just as you start to understand the ground rules, the story abruptly ends. This is what short stories do, so on the terms of a sort of E.A. Poe definition of a good work of fiction, this succeeds well. It's humorous and the narrator has a distinctive voice an perspective. Recommended, but only three stars bc it ju...more
Alt-zombie short story set in a dystopic future (like there's any other kind)where a club drug turns people into zombies (including the narrator's girlfriend), but not so bad that they can't live among us and hold down a job at Starbucks. Even though I'm more of a zombie traditionalist I enjoyed this and wouldn't mind reading a book-length story set in this world.

My only complaint is that the use of corporate conglomorates (such as KFC/Bank of America) is overplayed in this type of fiction and...more
cool stuff.
Scotty Cameron
I felt like a liar clicking "read," but I just heard this at Jess Walter's reading. But, man. This guy can write. He takes the old zombie story, an archetype that he is admittedly not a fan of, and spins it into a short story criticizing the popular view of the world. Basically, the world isn't going to sh*t, it is sh*t.

Every bit of Jess Walter's style is present in this writing, from the dark humor to the Bambi's mom eat-your-heart-out tragedy. In twenty-six pages.
Steve Rochford
This is a really cool Sci/Fi short. Set in the near future, it is a narrative about the experiences of a person going about their day in a seriously transformed world.

I liked how the details of this future were so insane, but with recent world events, in reach of reality.

The personal story woven in to this bleak future was very well done.

Being a short story, this is an extremely short read. I would definitely read this author again!
There has been a spate lately of very good zombie books and this is one of them, albeit a short one. What makes it so good? Simply put, a nice little twist which turns it from a horror book into something a little deeper, something which asks questions about what it is to be alive and what it is to feel, or more specifically, what it means to opt out of feeling.
A quick read, well worth it. And cheap too...
Kurt Pankau
The first chapter of this short is absolutely hilarious. The story is a satisfying take on the zombie apocalypse with a tight resolution, but nothing ever lives up to the mirth of that first chapter. And, it must be said, it is zombies we're talking about. That story device isn't old at all.

But, as stories-that-are-intended-to-be-read-in-one-sitting go, this is a highly engaging and entertaining one.
Jun 28, 2012 James rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommended to James by: Steve Rochford
Jess Walter was a finalist for the National Book Award and a winner of the Edgar Allan Poe Award. This is astonishing to me considering what it was that I just read. Don't Eat Cat is Walter's first zombie story. I hope it's his last. I really have nothing else to say about this book other than that I'm glad that it was so short. Read into that what you will.
Apr 08, 2012 Alyssia rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Alyssia by: Mary Myers
Shelves: kindle
Like many of the others who have read this single, I felt as though the concept was rich enough to birth a far more in-depth exploration. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the humor and I found the philosophical ramifications of the ending to be fairly thought-provoking. Definitely worth the price, even though it is an extremely short/quick read.
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Jess Walter is the author of five novels and one nonfiction book. His work has been translated into more than 20 languages and his essays, short fiction, criticism and journalism have been widely published, in Details, Playboy, Newsweek, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe among many others.

Walter also writes screenplays and was the co-author of Christopher Darden’s 1996 b...more
More about Jess Walter...
Beautiful Ruins The Financial Lives of the Poets We Live in Water Citizen Vince The Zero

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