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The Wildings (The Wildings #1)

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  751 Ratings  ·  162 Reviews
A small band of cats lives in the labyrinthine alleys and ruins of Nizamuddin, an old neighbourhood in Delhi. Miao, the clan elder, a wise, grave Siamese; Katar, a cat loved by his followers and feared by his enemies; Hulo, the great warrior tom; Beraal, the beautiful queen, swift and deadly when challenged; Southpaw, the kitten whose curiosity can always be counted on to ...more
Hardcover, First edition, 312 pages
Published August 17th 2012 by Aleph Book Company
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Jul 03, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
3.5 Stars

Magical and inventive, this novel explores the lives of a group of stray cats in the Nizamuddin district of Delhi. Roy has a distinctive voice, a clever touch with description, and a talent for giving each of the animals in her story a idiosyncratic personality that fits both their species and individual character. From kitten to cat, crow to tiger, Roy has imbued the creatures with such vitality that the Big Feet can hardly compare.

I very much enjoyed sharing this with my young nephew
Nandana Nallapu
Oct 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The Wildings by Nilanjana Roy took me into the intriguing world of stray cats. But Ms.Roy didn’t just extrapolate the lives of the lovely felines in this book; she has a string of other interesting animals too - cheels, dogs, squirrels, rats, a monkey and even a tiger(living in the zoo)! The book is primarily about the colony of cats, living in the Nizamuddin area of Delhi, who get the news about the world by telepathic “linking.” The story takes an interesting turn when a powerful ‘Sender’ land ...more
Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore
Apr 08, 2017 added it
Recommends it for: Those who liked Watership Down and/or Duncton Wood.
The Wildings is an engaging tale of a group of “wildings”, stray cats living in Nizamuddin in Delhi, and of a little orange kitten with extraordinary powers, a “sender”, Mara, who suddenly comes into their midst (even though she is an “inside” cat). We are taken into their world, free and happy, yet fraught with danger as they explore, go on hunts, train the newer members of their clan, and face their enemies—predators and their own kind gone rogue. The cats hunt for their food as is their natur ...more
Feb 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Lovely book, may have been written for children (I don't know) but certainly entertaining for us old folks. It's about cats, and they act like cats. There's an exciting battle, the good guys win (I don't think that's really much of a spoiler) with poignant moments. Highly recommended for children, or if childlike you've never outgrown the love of a good yarn.
Dec 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely adored this book! Partly, I admit, this may be because I love cats, so a story about a group of stray cats in a Delhi neighbourhood is bound to spark my interest. Also partly because it reminded me so much of Ursula Le Guin's Catwings, which I loved as a kid. But mostly, it's because The Wildlings presents us with such a beautifully imaginative urban landscape, where animals have created their own community and systems of power, and humans are mere "Bigfeet" who are relegated to the ...more
Kayla (Heroic Pages)
This book was so interesting, reading from the POV of cats and few other animals, learning their culture.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Susmita Bhattacharya
Dec 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A really lovely book. It is the winner of the Shakti Bhatt prize for 2013, and most deservedly so. It is a story of cats, stray cats, feral cats, the Big Cats, and all the flora and fauna of Nizamuddin, Old Delhi. But it isn't just a story of animals, it can be translated into the more complex world of humans, of love and hatred, territory and war, compassion and humanity, and the rules that govern each living creature. One must live according to the laws of nature, the sacred code of conduct be ...more
Céline Morais
Aug 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Début lent, mais une fois les personnages présentés, une histoire de chats, pleine d'amitié, de solidarité, d'ouverture à la différence avec une fin qui m'a ému aux larmes durant les 10 dernières pages. Je le recommanderais aussi pour mes élèves adolescents,
Jan 05, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Storia di gatti carina, divertente e avvincente che si fa leggere con piacere (naturalmente dagli amanti dei gatti).
Jim Nail
Apr 15, 2018 rated it it was ok
It started out good enough as we entered into the secret world of the wild cats living in the Nizamuddin district of Delhi. Ms Roy creates a vivid and imaginative depiction of a feline culture complete with legends and complex practices of psychic communication (through the whiskers), and the delicate social balance between the humans (big feet), the domestics and the ferals who live in a run down abode called the Shuttered House. But it falls apart. The language gets clunky, with regressive poi ...more
Oct 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
OMG, THIS WAS SO GOOD, FRIENDS. It was described to me as "Watership Down but with cats," which was a very apt description. But also, there are so many more lady characters (about half of the characters are female! Just like in life! Fancy that!) and, like, 500% fewer descriptions of the countryside. This was mostly cozy but occasionally harrowing, and it made me cry in the break room at work (to be fair, I am very tired today). Very recommended.
Graine Milner
Sep 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
A lovely, delightful novel. Written from the point of view of cats and other animals, the book convincingly transports you into their world.
Kim Stallwood
Nov 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It would be too easy to dismiss The Wildings by Nilanjana Roy as the "Watership Down book but about cats."

Richard Adams' Watership Down is the hugely popular novel about rabbits in the English countryside. The Wildings is also a novel but its protagonists are the feral cats who live in an old neighbourhood of Delhi. Both the rabbits and the cats rise up to the challenges that threatens their existence. Both books empower their protagonists with abilities such as thoughts and speech and the agen
Dani (The Pluviophile Writer)
A fiction where the characters are cats? Yaaasssss!

Review at The Pluviophile Reader:

4/5 stars.
ebook, 338 pages.
Read from May 30 to June 10, 2016.

I came across this book through Netgalley and loved the synopsis. I mean it’s a book in which all the characters are CATS! Could any book be more perfect for me? What’s even better is that it’s a series. Sadly, I failed to get a copy through Netgalley so I relied on my trusty library to get in on this book.

In Nizamuddin, a small ne
Nov 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This just may be my favorite book ever! It completely blew me away! I laughed, I ugly cried, I hugged my cats, I was destroyed and put back together. This beautiful story is full of touching moments and nail-biting suspense. It takes place in Delhi, India and with the descriptions I really felt like I was there. It was obviously written by someone who knows and loves cats because the descriptions of cat behaviour were spot on! I laughed out loud at the antics of little Mara the kitten. The autho ...more
This is at once a book for middle grade readers, and a postcolonial literary fiction novel for older readers. I mean--Old Delhi retold through CATS! With breathtaking illustrations! What more can a homesick girl want, no?

I had a ball rereading this, and cannot wait to pick up the sequel.
Oct 04, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reseña completa en:

Es más un 3.5, haber, es un libro mmm interesante... lo que sucede es esto, la autora NILANJANA es amante de los gatos, incluso sus gatos fueron la inspiración para bautizar a los protagonistas de esta historia, en ella NILANJANA junto con MUCHA IMAGINACIÓN, crea un mundo de gatos, una manera de comunicarse única de ellos y los convierte en mini tigres y leones al describir la manera en la que cazan y en la que hablan de sus dientes y ga
Il libro racconta di una colonia di gatti randagi che vive a Nizamuddin, un quartiere di Delhi, e tra di loro arriva una "emittente" che può collegarsi telepaticamente con gli altri gatti e anche con altri animali. Questa "emittente" è ancora cucciola e deve imparare a maneggiare questo grande potere perché grazie ad esso può fiutare il pericolo meglio e prima degli altri felini quindi è come una protettrice del clan. Questa gattina però è stata adottata dagli umani e vive protetta in casa mentr ...more
Nov 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am actually by no means a 'cat person', but this story enthralled and enchanted me, and I was utterly engrossed in the world of the Wildings.

This novel is a beautiful blend of adventure, friendship and excitement, with a healthy splash of a special sort of feline magic. I feel it would be a shame to say much of the plot, because it's honestly so lovely to watch it all unfold in the vividly imagined space of Nizamuddin. I have never been to Delhi, but I feel now that I've visited it on the back
Fantasy Literature
May 19, 2016 rated it liked it
I was telling my friend about my story-in-the-making (it’s about an underground colony of cats!) and he said, “Have you read The Wildings, by Nilanjana Roy? You have to.” Wanting a model for my story — and also intrigued by the premise, a colony of cats in Delhi — I bought it immediately.

The Wildings follows a cat colony in the Delhi neighborhood of Nizamuddin as they encounter two of their biggest challenges in living memory: the appearance of a new and oddly powerful “Sender,” and the incursio
Mar 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Starts a bit slow, but picks up pace gradually before climaxing in a heady battle between the cat clans.
The language is simple. The main characters are interesting. There seemed to be many side-stories to the characters, glimpses of which are given.

But it takes a while for the characters to set. It's not everyday you read a story of a clan of stray cats in an area.
Also, sometimes reads like a children's story especially with some lazy naming for smaller characters, but I guess that's part of the
Nov 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Superhero noire? Or a tale of hope amidst hubris? Or simply a lavish tribute to Murakami? Classify it the way you want. But it's for sure that such a tale starring not humans, but cats, is surprisingly intense and brilliantly narrated. Nilanjana Roy's exquisite prose about a band of wild cats out in the wild terrains of Delhi, can only make for a splendid read. A tale of struggle for survival, the bittersweet memories that come with it and much more. To reiterate, a tale as intense as this would ...more
Apr 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
An extremely evocative piece about the life of cats, I have to agree with Roy on one very important aspect. Cats are way more interesting subject matter than humans. The characters and life in Delhi that has been portrayed is extremely relatable to people who have, or even haven't, been fortunate enough to spend time with a feline. The added dimension of a Sender will have every cat parent wondering whether their kitten is the chosen one. An amazing read and highly recommended.
Sundeep Supertramp

A whooping 5 stars!!!

The original review of this book is posted on my blog...

To read the original review of this book, click here...
Jan 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
Absolutely rivetting. It grows on you like an old song that starts slow, and soon starts growing on you so much so fast that before you know it you are in its grip and cannot stop humming the melody. Roy's book is as much a good read as it is a visual treat. It has all the elements - friendship, loyalty, loss, war, revenge, and most of all, some very memorable characters that will stay with you long after you've read the last word. Highly recommended.
The book and the illustrations are beautiful. It's probably aimed at the younger set, tweens to teens, or maybe there's some other good reason I couldn't get into this story told from the Nizamuddin cat clan's point of view. I'm also not a fan of Watership Down so no doubt it's me and not the book.

I received this book for free through Goodreads Giveaways.
Dec 03, 2012 rated it liked it
What transforms the book from a good effort to a really enjoyable work are the sketches by Prabha Mallya. The story of the creatures in and around Nizammudin is fascinating and Nilanjana manages to keep the reader's attention and interest throughout the book. It is a tale of courage and friendships, and is the 1st of a Trilogy. Looking forward to the next work.
Jul 31, 2016 rated it liked it
This is a beautifully written novel about the life of street cats in Delhi. I enjoyed reading it, even though I don't really like reading fiction about animals. The combination of the wonderful drawings and the evocative language make it a worthwhile read.
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Gatti e letteratura: [17 ottobre 2013] I gatti di Nizamuddin 7 11 Mar 26, 2014 08:08AM  
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Nilanjana Roy is the author of The Wildings, published by Aleph Book Company in 2012. This is her first novel and stars a clan of cats in Nizamuddin. A collection of literary journalism, How To Read In Indian, will be published by HarperCollins in 2013.

Her column on the reading life for the Business Standard has run for over 15 years; she has also written columns for the International Herald Tribu
More about Nilanjana Roy

Other books in the series

The Wildings (2 books)
  • The Hundred Names of Darkness (The Wildings, #2)