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Dialogues de bêtes

3.55  ·  Rating details ·  200 ratings  ·  29 reviews
«KIKI-LA-DOUCETTE : Elle a voulu - j'étais petit - me purger avec l'huile. Je l'ai si bien griffée et mordue qu'Elle n'a pas recommencé. Elle a cru, une minute, tenir le démon sur ses genoux. Je me suis roulé en spirale, j'ai soufflé du feu, j'ai multiplié mes vingt griffes par cent, mes dents par mille, et j'ai fui, comme par magie.
TOBY-CHIEN : Je n'oserais pas. Je l'aime
Paperback, Folio, 160 pages
Published November 1st 1975 by Gallimard Education (first published 1904)
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3.55  · 
Rating details
 ·  200 ratings  ·  29 reviews

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Debbie Zapata
Dec 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gutenberg
For some unknown reason, I have never read anything by Colette. I don't remember now how I came across this title at Project Gutenberg, but it made me curious, especially when I saw it was a series of small sketches written like plays and featuring Toby-Dog (a French bulldog) and Kiki-The-Demure (a Maltese cat). It was originally published in 1904 so is one of Colette's earlier works.

And it is absolutely delightful! There are seven scenes, such as Sentimentalities, where we first meet Toby and
Barks and Purrs is a collection of seven episodes in the lives of Toby-Dog, a French Bulldog, and Kiki-the-Demure, a Maltese cat, living in a comfortable household. The episodes cover a hot afternoon, a train ride, and what happened when dinner was late or their mistress was ill. We hear about the first fire in autumn, a heavy storm, and about a visitor in the household.

All in all, this seems a little boring, doesn't it? Wrong, because these loosely linked snippets into their lives are addictive
Nicolas Chinardet
Dec 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: french
A humorous and often elegiac collection of short vignettes. As the book progresses darker undertones mingle with Colette's colourful palette to create moving short pieces. It's a delight to read.
Jun 16, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lette
An utterly cheerful and amusing narration of various antics and experiences of TOBY- the dog and KIKI-the demure cat. Colette shrewdly depicts the several shades of traits, revealing the gullible and devoted Toby and the sly and narcissistic Kiki, whilst revealing the underlying human persona in these animals. It may sound like an elementary school read; even so it is worth a glimpse for the fineness of Colette’s inimitable flair to convey complex elements through simplistic tenderness of animal ...more
May 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
J'ai lu très lentement Dialogues de bêtes; un livre qui trainait et dont je lisais quelques pages à la fois seulement. J'ai adoré le style lyrique donné aux animaux de compagnie. Traiter des trivialités vécues par les chats et les chiens comme de grands drames grecques a rendu toute la lecture des plus agréables.
Own a furry pet that is either a dog or cat? Read this. Colette captures the attitude and strangness of those that pet owners share thier lives with.

Told as conversations between Kiki the Demure and Toby-Dog, the story concerns the pets' responses to various situtions, the most distressing being the late dinner. Immensely funny and immensely true.
Chris H-C
Oct 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I rather enjoyed this little play. Well, it was read to me by librivox volunteers so it sounded a little like a play. Short, diverting, with oodles of character. I guess it goes to show that the attitudes we ascribe to pet dogs and cats haven't changed much in the last century.
Oct 21, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 out of 5
Demonstrating that feelings about cats and dogs have been consistent for the past 100 years, this 1904 book reads as if it were written last week for the Barnes and Noble gift table. Well, actually, it reads much better than that because Colette really captures the attitude and tone of a standoffish cat and a rambunctious bulldog. The book is really a collection of seven short episodes plus a prologue and mostly involves the two pets talking to each other. The readers for the public domain libri ...more
Jacek Litka
Książka to zapis rozmów pomiędzy kotem i psem zrealizowana w formie teatralnego dramatu. Myli się jednak ten, kto po przeczytaniu tego zdania uzna książkę za twór banalny. Zwierzęta te tak doskonale zantropomorfizowane w swoim przedstawieniu zdają się mówić samą prawdę na temat tego jakie tak naprawdę są koty i psy oraz jak łatwo można odnaleźć w nich ludzkie cechy. A może to jednak na odwrót? Może autorce chodziło o to, aby pokazać jak łatwo odnaleźć cechy tych pociesznych zwierząt w nas, ludzi ...more
Aug 30, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This brief and unexpected offering by French writer Collete is an extended dialogue between her French bull-dog, Toby-Dog, and her Maltese cat, Kiki-the-Demure, who by species and personality necessarily have quite different views of the world and of their master and mistress. Delightful reading. Both this piece and Flush, written by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, elevate the “art form.” Apparently pet companions of literary people are more literate than your run-of-the-mill cat or dog. But isn’t t ...more
The Bookish Rose
Fun read, especially for people with pets. Written from the point of view of a dog and his feline companion, this book contains anecdotes presented in dialogue form which makes for an easy read. Not for serious readers, this book is exactly like its lead characters - a bit of fluff. The only part which I disliked was the excessively long ode to fire in one of the stories. In conclusion, it is a nice book to read when you have nothing else to read, a one-time read.
Nicole G.
Dec 08, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
Cute and clever conversations between a dog and a cat that live in a house with their humans. Despite this being translated into English, I don't think it loses any of the flavor of its original language. Even though it's rather old, it's still amusing and timely to read the well-known quirks of our pets in these pages.
Maureen M
Oct 06, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: france
This cat-and-dog tale has some funny moments, but doesn't really develop beyond the dogs-are-from-Mars cats-are-from-Venus schtick. I have been looking for works that explain why Colette was so famous in the first half of the 20th Century. I guess I'll have to keep looking.
Alice Urchin
I basically just read this because it was written by Colette. I wasn't sure what to expect. It was entertaining and sort of cute, as far as talking animals go. The actual copy wasn't great, some textual errors and wrapping issues, but nothing horrible.
Jane L.
Sep 16, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I guess this was an amazing book for the time it was written. Not so much now. It's written from the point of view of the dog and cat. I wanted to read something of Colette's writing; now I see I should have chosen another volume.
Jun 25, 2009 rated it it was ok
This book was given to me when I was 16...and I have started it so many times. I finally finished it. It was a clever idea...but Colette is probably not my favorite writer. The secret notes hidden between the pages were better. :)
Marti Martinson
Mar 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's as if Colette channeled Moliere into a Saturday morning cartoon. REALLY funny in some parts. Delightful, too, except for the extended scene at the fireplace; that grew tiresome. I could also see it as a stage play.

It's not really just for kids.
Jul 29, 2011 rated it liked it
Le seul livre de Colette que j'ai lu. Sans doute pas le plus représentatif de sa carrière je suppose, mais cela m'avait bien plu à l'époque. Les dialogues étaient assez savoureux. Je ne pense pas relire de Colette cependant, mes goûts ont bien changer entretemps, pas sûr que j'accroche.
Dec 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: french
Unusual and entertaining , and seeming to me completely accurate based on my own pets' personality.
Gail Smith
Feb 04, 2013 rated it liked it
Clever little book. You must read Toby with an Almerican or English accent and KiKi with a bored French one!!
Aug 22, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
On a more generous day this would be a four. It's amusing as both a cat owner and dog lover to read a book from animal perspectives.
Oct 02, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
funny little book from kindle's free collection. not quite what i was expecting, but cute read for fellow fans of talking animal stories.
Nov 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dogs, literary
Animal lovers, prepare to fall in love. Colette captures the characters of Dog and Cat perfectly, and provides a short, ultimately bittersweet, journey into their world.
Jul 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
quite cute, though abruptly ended. fun to peek inside the minds of a French bull dog and grey tabby cat. I've always meant to read a book by Colette and I was not disappointed.
Sep 09, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's an interesting concept, to see the world through the minds of pets. I'm not sure what I expected from Colette, but this was unusual and entertaining.
Adam Pluszka
rated it really liked it
Mar 03, 2017
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Oct 26, 2017
Rémi Marcoux
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Jan 20, 2018
Robert Monahan
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Feb 26, 2015
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Colette was the pen name of the French novelist and actress Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette. She is best known, at least in the English-speaking world, for her novella Gigi, which provided the plot for a famous Lerner & Loewe musical film and stage musical. She started her writing career penning the influential Claudine novels of books. The novel Chéri is often cited as her masterpiece.