Kinga's Reviews > Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World

Dewey by Vicki Myron
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's review
Dec 27, 2009

it was ok
bookshelves: fluff, jeez-louise, keep-your-day-job
Read in January, 2010

I didn't expect this book to be quality literature and of course it wasn't. It was a feel-good book, only I've noticed that most feel-good books actually make me feel nauseous instead of good. Especially those that idealize small town America.

I thought I was going to scream if I had to read another paragraph about how amazing the town of Spencer, Iowa is. To give you a taste:
"That's another of Spencer's unique and valuable assets: its people. We are good, solid, hardworking midwesterners. We are proud but humble. We don't brag."
Sure they don't. I have just read a 275 page long eulogy to Spencer and its people.

Try as she might Vicki Myron didn't fool me. Under a heavy sugar coat I could see rotten flesh bubbling with old grudges, grievances and hostilities. I would love to read more about that but I guess it was a no go as the people's real names were used.

The book was really chopped (a bit like my review). There were parts about Dewey, bits about Vicky's life, and the history of the town all thrown in together. They didn't blend very well but I was slightly entertained by some chapters so I am giving it two stars.
Oh yeah, the cat was cute.
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Reading Progress

12/27/2009 page 2
06/08/2016 marked as: read
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Comments (showing 1-27 of 27) (27 new)

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message 1: by Liz (new)

Liz Michel I was creeped out by this book title Kinga 'cause in my small town we also had an orange tabby library cat named Dewey. He too had been adopted at an early age by the librarians....Dewey met a bad end when he got run over in front of the library one morning...I, at 9 years old, found him on my walk to the library and had to go to the circulation desk to tell the librarians. It inspired such a frighteningly emotional response on their part that It's burned in my memory over 2 decades later...Hope
this more famous Dewey had a better end.

message 2: by Paquita Maria (last edited Feb 25, 2011 09:19AM) (new)

Paquita Maria Sanchez Leslie Hall is the most redeeming thing to EVER EVER come out of Iowa (to my knowledge.) This is what she thinks about small-town-America:

(1:46 brought tears to my eyes the first time that I watched it.)

message 3: by Dave (new)

Dave Russell I remember when the ad for this book was all over Goodreads. Good times.

Brian Spiekerman What's wrong with a feel-good book? Can't you appreciate good feelings?

Kinga I can't. I guess, Brian, I am just a bad person.

message 6: by Mariel (new)

Mariel I knew it!

message 7: by Eric (last edited Mar 28, 2012 06:26AM) (new)

Eric Weird! My mom was born in Spencer, IA, and my grandmother lives there.

We are good, solid, hardworking midwesterners.

Well, except for the town's not-inconsiderable population of meth addicts...but sure.

Kinga Ha ha ha!

Kinga Hi Jennifer,
I see that you have written in your review: "Unless you are a tragic, 20-something hipster who revels in misery for the sake of it, feeling good isn't such a bad thing. This book also lacks pretense, which again, won't appeal to the hipster set."

I must say I am flattered I have never in my life been called a hipster. I mean I have always aspired - trying to grow a beard, wearing jeans that are bit too tight.. But somehow I never managed to fool anyone. If only I had known that all it would take was not liking some boring, badly written poor excuse of a book!

And to be called 20-something! You don't even know what this means to me! As of today I have excactly 15 days left to be a 20-something! Your review was more heart-warming to me than this whole bloody cat book.

But of course I understand you feel very emotional about this book - being a cat yourself and all.

message 10: by Leo (new)

Leo Morales-Egizi Good review- I don't think I'm going to waste my time on this book. "Wesley the Owl," however, is great if you want to learn about owls and read some cute anecdotes about the eponymous owl, without any attempt to make the animal some b.s. symbol of courage.

message 11: by Leo (new)

Leo Morales-Egizi And I just realized what my picture looks like. Does it just make things worse if I point out that I was doing winter beards when hipsters were still dressing like Weezer?

Kinga I think that makes you uber-hipster - ahead of hipsters.

Plucino Very interesting analysis! "Try as she might Vicki Myron didn't fool me. Under a heavy sugar coat I could see rotten flesh bubbling with old grudges, grievances and hostilities". Sort of "Dark side of America".

message 14: by Jenny (new) - added it

Jenny Ha! I feel the exact same way about all the Spencer worship. I can barely get through this thing. The rare mentions of Dewey are saturated with the author's own life.

Kinga Did you manage to finish it?

message 16: by Say (new) - rated it 3 stars

Say I liked it a little more- but I skipped over the parts that had nothing to do with the cat.

Courtny Munger You wrote:

"Under a heavy sugar coat I could see rotten flesh bubbling with old grudges, grievances and hostilities."

That's a strong visual. I don't think this book is award-worthy, but why rake the author over the coals for trying to tell a heart-warming story? Why must people do this? It's no Steinbeck or dickens, but what's wrong with that? To me I can enjoy it for what it is.

And cats are awesome, so this book is a-ok with me :)

Courtny Munger Ps cats are awesome

Kinga Good for you.

It wasn't heart warming for me at all, because of that line you quoted above. Most of the book just seemed fake and I wasn't fooled.

There are truly heart warming stories out there like The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope. Now THAT is heart warming.

Kinga I have nothing against heart-warming books and absolutely nothing against cats, but this book was just really shit, I'm afraid.

I also don't expect everything to be Dickens or Steinbeck (as made perfectly clear by some very questionable choices on my shelves).

message 21: by Mason (new)

Mason Marcobello Lol

message 22: by Theresa (new)

Theresa Cooper I just bought this book the other day because it was a Kindle Daily Deal. Your review made me laugh. I'm not expecting much from this book now, but I will still give it a shot.

message 23: by Kacey (new) - added it

Kacey James I'm so sorry that you feel small town America is beneath you. Need I remind you that small towns help the big towns continue to thrive. Do you know where the food you eat comes from? Perhaps you should just by pass the feel good section and stick to something more in the Goth section? just saying.

message 24: by Kinga (last edited Dec 29, 2013 03:19AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Kinga Lady, what are you on about?
Have you read my review? When did I say 'small town America is beneath me'?

What do clichéd literary devices have to do with food production?

Goth section? Really? That's your come back?

message 25: by Miriam (last edited Dec 29, 2013 12:12PM) (new)

Miriam I hate to break it to you, Kacey, but most food in the US is produced by oligarchic agribusiness conglomerates at this point. Not that this is relevant to Kinga's review either way.

Kinga No, Miriam, don't say that!

Food is produced by library cats!! Everybody knows that.

message 27: by Miriam (new)

Miriam If only we could buy the food directly from the library cats, we could cut out the middle man, save money, AND support the library!

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