Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Sam the Cat and Other Stories” as Want to Read:
Sam the Cat and Other Stories
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Sam the Cat and Other Stories

3.45  ·  Rating details ·  546 ratings  ·  72 reviews
The New Yorker magazine named Matt Klam one of the twenty best young writers in America, and the seven stories that comprise Sam the Cat are all the proof we need.

Knowing, perceptive, and wickedly funny, Matt Klam loves his characters but spares them nothing: the swaggering womanizer Sam falls in love with a woman across a crowded room who, upon closer inspection, turns ou
Paperback, 256 pages
Published May 29th 2001 by Vintage (first published May 16th 2000)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Rating details
Sort: Default
un famoso ebreo, che sapeva di cosa parlava, ha detto che la psicoanalisi è un mito tenuto vivo dall'industria dei divani. e dalla vita di coppia, aggiungerei.
entrambe poi forniscono - disagio permettendo - spunti in abbondanza a registi e scrittori. qualcuno ne trae opere memorabili, qualcuno così così. come nel caso di questi 7 racconti d’esordio, che han fatto parlare di klam come di uno dei più promettenti scrittori americani under 40 (un giorno o l’altro per sfizio proverò a contarli). io h
Paul Bryant
Jun 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
It’s not on the scale of the moon landing hoax but there’s some kind of conspiracy going on to shut down some of America’s best short story writers. Consider these three cases:

Thom Jones (no, not the Delilah guy) - wrote three great collections, in 1993, 1995 and 1999 (The Pugilist at Rest, Cold Snap, and Sonny Liston was a Friend of Mine). He was on fire. Since then – nothing.

Wells Tower wrote a hair-raisingly brilliant collection called Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned in 2009. Since the
Aug 10, 2007 rated it liked it
Despite the fact that this is a collection of short stories that are all basically the same short story--emotional cripple of a man wounds women and doesn't know why--I still really enjoyed reading all of them. And I hope that he writes a novel, since clearly there's a character he has in mind to star.
Frieda Vizel
Aug 07, 2017 rated it liked it
I felt about this work the way I feel about men whose charm, self loathing and articulation I mistake for insight and humanity. In other words, I felt disappointed. A sharp book, but soulless.

Here is how it is. At first I am delighted by the rare honesty, by the intimacy of a man willing to say all the things about women - the fucking and sweet asses and unwilling penises - that are generally unforgivable and silenced and punished. I am drawn to the funny commentary that is terrifyingly verbote
Patrick Faller
May 30, 2014 rated it it was ok
Fair. The story "The Royal Palms" does something sort of risky for a guy like Klam, who seems interested in provocation as much as he's showing us the inner lives of guys most would write off as callow. But other stories seem disingenuous in terms of what they wanted. He doesn't quite go as far as Joshua Ferris does, using his characters as props in social satire; but he doesn't reach as generously toward the yearning behind the facade of masculinity, career, sex, money, as does a writer, say, l ...more
Ben Bush
Mar 19, 2017 added it
Shelves: read-in-2017
I went to a family reunion like this once, not mine: a TV sex therapist singing and sprawled across the piano, a racist nuclear technician, everyone falling off the wagon.

But aside from that—America circa 2000, as described here, is utterly unrecognizable, a foreign country. (It's hard to put my finger on it but these are the most pre-9/11 short stories I've ever read. For a sense of what happens to characters and short stories like these at that moment, check out Deborah Eisenberg's excellent T
Jessica Robinson
Sep 01, 2012 rated it did not like it
Technically well-written but filled with identically unlikeable, pathetic narrators and tedious, meandering stories.
Asghar Abbas
Jan 20, 2016 rated it really liked it

I had picked this up really expecting to hate it but ended up laughing. It was charming.

Witty would be a safe way to describe this.
John Luiz
Apr 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This much-acclaimed collection still may be one that average readers (and not book critics) will either love or hate. It's obvious why Klam has won so much critical phrase. He has a very distinct and unique voice. All of the stories are told in the 1st person except for the final story, "European Wedding," which rotates point of view among the bridge, groom, and an older man who thinks he's the bride's biological father. All of the narrators in the 1st person stories, and the groom in the final ...more
Sean Carman
May 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Klam writes in an original and thoroughly enjoyable voice. His loose style brilliantly captures the way people think, the way they use language, and the way they tell stories. That's the attraction of this collection, and it's enough to make it a truly enjoyable read. That and the forbidden, voyeuristic thrill of eavesdropping on the base, misogynistic observations of Klam's narrators, of course.

But as Patrick Faller suggested in his review (track down it down on this site if you can), Klam's c
Megan Jones
Oct 18, 2012 rated it liked it
Honestly, this can't even be a fair review reading it after the awesomely edgy work of Jonathan Ames. I loved Ames because of his honesty - brutal, in-your-face truth. That what I was expecting of Klam's work - an examination of real life, the honest truth behind so many typical American people. Maybe A.M. Homes style from the male perspective. Nope, what I got was a work about ordinary people, in ordinary situations, little climax, little humor - just the mundane life I live each day. And as re ...more
Feb 19, 2010 rated it it was ok
Once review I read here said that it was hard to read straight through, since the narrators sounded similar. I'd have to agree. I know better than to read most short story collections straight through, but I'm laid up right now. Many readers here commented on the misogynistic characters; I guess that is not entirely inaccurate. I saw the narrators as feeling trapped in horrible lives and hating themselves, and it just came out on women--of whom the men expected some sort of salvation. For what i ...more
Vanessa Wu
Jul 13, 2011 rated it liked it
I picked this up second-hand. It was published in 2000. It has 6 rainbow-coloured condoms on the front, still in their wrappers and 3 on the back no longer in their wrappers, possibly used.

For this reason I give it 3 stars. If all six condoms had been used it would have got 5 stars, because 5 is the max.

This gives you an idea of the kind of blokish insights and humour to expect. Is this fashionable? Maybe it was eleven years ago. Maybe not even then.

It's written in colloquial American, which mea
Jul 16, 2016 rated it did not like it
Oddly enough, I picked up this book after listening to an old reading by Sarah Vowell. In her Q&A session, someone asked her favorite writers, and she mentioned Matthew Klam. So, admittedly, I had rather high expectations. I was not prepared for the misogynistic fluff of Sam the Cat, and other stories. From the perspective from a womanizing, possibly gay guy, it was a curious blend. And I kept hoping the stories would improve. Yet, the didn't. Klam must have other redeeming qualities I've ye ...more
Dec 10, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: boys who like girls
Matthew Klam, write more books.
Roberto Musa Giuliano
"The short story is a dying art form," says Stephen King (I'm paraphrasing liberally) in his introduction to 'Everything's Eventual', "and we need to save it. Go read a short story collection. 'Sam the Cat' by Matthew Klam, for instance."

Sure thing, Stevie, anything you ask for. I knew I had a copy of 'Sam the Cat' lying around, bought who knows when, who knows why (but I do know why: that's what a good cover design is for). So? All seven stories feature ostensibly different first person narrat
Sep 23, 2017 rated it liked it
I read this book with the expectation
 ( Frieda said so ) that it would make me either very happy or very sad, very excited or very angry. Disappointingly though, it did niether. 

I give the book 3 stars because I found it entertaining and erotic. This guy is clearly a delicious "knower" and lover of  women. Too bad his expertise only extents to the female body, but hardly to her heart and psyche.

The author Matthew Klam seems to suggest exactly that-

"You know that pain you feel when you see an inc
Josh Luft
Jul 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't know that Matthew Klam intended for these stories to be political when writing them in the 1990s, but in 2017, with the narrator of each a white heterosexual male, often angry, bitter, chauvinistic, frustrated, insecure, and vulnerable in their thoughts—if not actions, as well—it's a perfect time for white heterosexual men (which includes myself) to pick up a copy of this book and, in addition to delighting in the veracious voice and caustic humor, maybe use it as a spur for a bit of sel ...more
Mar 07, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: roman
Boş bir kitap olduğunu tahmin ederek aldım. Bunun böyle olmasını az çok bekliyordum ve fakat bu kadar da boş olacağını hiç düşünmedim. Sırf, öğle arasında yemek yerken okuyup, gülümseme beklentisi içinde okumak istedim ve sonuç hüsran...

Tavsiye etmiyorum.

Alıntılar; (her kitap içerisinde bir yada birkaç alıntı yapılabilir, değil mi? :) )

- "İnsan ne zaman inandıkları uğruna çalışmaktan vazgeçip saçma sapan şeyler için çalışmaya başlar?" dedim. "Bence otuzuna gelince," dedi."(syf.177) Haklı :)
Sep 23, 2017 rated it did not like it
...and your point is?

That's what almost every story had me saying at the end. There are laugh-out-loud lines interspersed in so much pointless drivel, that this book could be condensed into one paragraph of golden comedy.

The point that did hit me on the head once I finished the book was, that it seems like the one thing modern love is most lacking is, sleep. Forget love, forget sex, sleep (or lack of it) features prominently in at least half the stories. It is, perhaps, the most universally rela
Pat Pujolas
Oct 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Another re-read for 2017. I enjoyed this collection far more as a younger man. Now it seems emotionally immature. I can look past some slight misogyny, especially in a well-rounded character, but the descriptions of women's bodies and the acts of sexual intercourse are amateur at best. My favorite story is "Royal Palms" which alone is worth the cost of admission here. Just be forewarned: the content doesn't quite live up to the hype on the jacket.
Matthew Tett
Aug 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
A great set of short fiction, mostly told through the first-person narrative voice of male characters. Most of the stories focus on relationships and their complexities - but Matthew Klam is particularly adept at observing the other side of a relationship, the side that isn’t seen but is thought about.
Hannah Farrow
Jun 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great collection, disappointed with the last story.
Kat Stromquist
Jul 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Like an angrier, more sexually depraved Raymond Carver.
Nathan Leslie
Feb 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Is it possible to be a New Yorker writer and still, somehow, underrated and overlooked? Witty book of short stories, psychologically astute, funny, rich characterization.
Jul 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: short-stories
You have to really like white guys who are rich and unhappy. In this environment, I'm tired or them
Mar 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Seven short stories about young post-college men in the process of figuring things out--about themselves, what's important, and their relationships with others.
Jan 02, 2014 rated it it was ok
This book has been sitting on my shelf for about 12 years or so. I vaguely remember buying it because Stephen King said it was good. Apparently, Stephen King doesn't know what the fuck he's talking about because this book isn't at all what it was cracked up to be. This is a book of short stories by literary darling Matthew Klam. Back in the day (i.e. around 2000) Klam was regarded by The New Yorker as one of the twenty best writers in America. Apparently, The New Yorker doesn't know what the fuc ...more
Eileen Wuchter
No, no, no! It seemed the same male character in each story - but each story
A slightly different character flaw.
I don’t need every story to have a happy ending but I need at least some hope
Julia Molloy
Jun 28, 2015 rated it liked it
Bold, realistic and striking: Matthew Klam’s collection of short stories certainly grabs us if only for his unmerciful depiction of American life.

While researching some of Stephen King’s short stories for a university module, I came across an essay of his on the short story. He describes short fiction as ‘still piecework, the equivalent of those one-of-a-kind items you can buy in an artisan’s shop’ (‘Practicing the (Almost) Lost Art’ in Everything’s Eventual). He then goes on to recommend Matthe
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Beautiful Girls
  • Honeymoon: And Other Stories
  • The Point and Other Stories
  • Lust and Other Stories
  • The Varieties of Romantic Experience
  • Tourist Season
  • This Too Can Be Yours
  • In the Land of Men
  • Venus Drive
  • The Brutal Language of Love: Stories
  • How It Ended: New and Collected Stories
  • Girl Trouble
  • Shakespeare's Kitchen
  • Without a Hero
  • The Coast of Good Intentions
  • Dark Roots
  • Throw Like a Girl
  • The Lone Surfer of Montana, Kansas: Stories
Matthew Klam was named one of the twenty best fiction writers in America under 40 by The New Yorker. He’s a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Robert Bingham/PEN Award, a Whiting Writer’s Award, and a National Endowment of the Arts. His first book, Sam The Cat and Other Stories, a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book of the Year in the category of first fiction, was selected as a Notable B ...more
“Amare una persona è diverso dal volerla intrappolare, dal volere qualcosa che sia tuo e solo tuo. E' come tentare di abbracciare il tuo quadro preferito, come parlare o danzare con l'ora più perfetta della giornata, con il ricordo dell'albero più bello che hai mai visto.” 0 likes
More quotes…