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Cat Out of Hell

3.33  ·  Rating details ·  2,713 ratings  ·  626 reviews
Acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Lynne Truss (Eats, Shoots & Leaves) is back with a mesmerizing and hilarious tale of cats and murder
For people who both love and hate cats comes the tale of Alec Charlesworth, a librarian who finds himself suddenly alone: he’s lost his job, his beloved wife has just died. Overcome by grief, he searches for clues about her disapp
Hardcover, 163 pages
Published March 3rd 2015 by Melville House (first published 2014)
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Natalie Williams Supernatural, by dint of some sort of sorcery I guess . . .

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Average rating 3.33  · 
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 ·  2,713 ratings  ·  626 reviews

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Sam Quixote
Mar 30, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Alec, a retired librarian and recent widower, is taking a break in a coastal village to get over his recent bereavement and decides to look into a laptop filled with information given to him by a fellow librarian. Inside the laptop are files that tell the story of an actor called Wiggy and his acquaintance with Roger - a talking cat. Roger’s story spans decades, years in which his supernatural longevity, intelligence and speech were down to a mysterious cat called the Captain and a Satanic cat c ...more
Jun 22, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, horror, humour
The second book in this series is available as an audio download from my library. I was thinking of borrowing it but decided it would be sensible to read the first book beforehand. As you may have seen from the blurb, the storyline is based around a university librarian, Alec Charlesworth, who stumbles across the secret existence of demonic talking cats with magical powers. In the novel all cats had these powers once, but over time they have decayed, and now only one cat in a million still posse ...more
Ivonne Rovira
Jun 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: readers seeking something VERY different
Lynne Truss — best known for the clever punctuation guide Eats, Shoots & Leaves — branches out into fiction with Cat Out of Hell.

In Cat Out of Hell, a perspicacious talking cat named Roger meets a singularly dim-witted human, Will Caton-Pines, nicknamed Wiggy. Wiggy’s sister Jo, who had recently acquired Roger, has vanished. To say any more would be to spoil the fun; this slender book is best approached with very little prior information. However, let me say that Cat Out of Hell isn’t the light
Ron Charles
Nov 25, 2014 rated it liked it
Lynne Truss doesn’t hate cats. She just thinks they’re minions of Satan.

If you’ve ever used the Internet, you know this is not a popular opinion. In fact, the Internet was invented back in the 1980s by Al Gore (or possibly by his cat) expressly to share pictures of adorable kittens hanging from branches: “Hang in there, baby!”

But Truss is used to speaking her mind, even if it means getting clawed to death. In 2003, this British writer turned a hectoring punctuation guide into a hilarious bestsel

Lynne Truss is a best selling author (Eats, Shoots and Leaves) so I expected to really enjoy this book described as a "suspenseful and often hysterically funny adventure" about a demonic cat but unfortunately I didn't find it either suspenseful or at all funny. I just found it silly and really struggled to finish it in the hope it would get better. It didn't.

Perhaps I just wasn't in the right mood for reading this. The whole book is written in a flippant almost smug tone in by the central charac
In Cat Out of Hell, Lynne Truss - better known for her best-selling grammar guide Eats Shoots and Leaves - has fashioned a surprisingly brilliant and original tale involving cats with supernatural powers and some seriously hapless humans. Alec, an academic who is recovering from the death of his wife, is staying in a quiet cottage by the sea when he starts to make his way through a package of papers and recordings given to him by a colleague. These concern the experiences of an individaul known ...more
Fiona MacDonald
Jul 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-books
I really can't explain how I feel about this book. It's too peculiar to be scary and too poignant to be funny. Lynne Truss is well known for her humour, so it was probably quite overwhelming to attempt a Hammer horror novel. Although initially finding the whole thing very silly and a bit pathetic, now thinking back over it I realise I enjoyed it immensely. Added to which it has one of the best back cover blurbs I have ever read. I love the idea of a talking cat, and although you might think it c ...more
Kaethe Douglas
Mar 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Peter Cashwell, Spuffyduds
I expect my immediate relations will read this with the same glee I did. Others who might also enjoy it very much: fans of cats, mysteries, horror, Sherlock Holmes stories, libraries, classic works of horror, dogs.

It's a bit of every pre-war litterary genre thrown into the blender and served frothy, with a little bit of gore on top, to savor.

Anf for those who also enjoy this ilk, there's a 5 page Note From the Author at the end, there's a literary mood board showing Truss' inspirations, all frie
I read this book to fill the Thirteen (13) square of my 2018 Halloween Bingo card.

I am always a fan of books that involve libraries and librarians, so this book has been on my radar for a while now. So it was very handy when the black cat on the cover qualified it for the ‘unlucky 13’ choice for bingo!

If you’re a cat lover, I think this book will also make you snicker, as you discover who cats *really* report to and how much their traditional powers have lapsed! Roger and the Captain will have y
My rating: 1.5 of 5 stars

‘All of this story, remember, is based on the completely unacceptable and ludicrous premise of an evil talking cat called Roger that traveled romantically in the footsteps of Lord Byron in the 1930s and now solves cryptic crosswords torn out daily from the Telegraph.’

I’m all about dark humor (and if we’re being completely honest, anything involving cats) so when I read numerous reviews describing this novel as such, I jumped at the chance to read it. Sad to say, the
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
Cat out of Hell is so far the most problematic book that I have had to review so far. I thought it would be a sweet story about a talking cat, instead it was a grim story about a talking cat, well it tried to be grim, but it was mostly confusing and silly with a lot of plot holes. The only part of the book that I really liked was the scenes with Watson the dog. I wish that I had a dog called Watson then I also could have called out to him: “Come at once if convenient, Watson! If inconvenient, co ...more
Apr 08, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fun book - very well written as you would expect from Lynne Truss, and quite surprising in its content! Apparently she was requested to write a horror story and although a bit tongue in cheek it is a mystery with a touch of horror and a a little weirdness on the side! A very quick and entertaining read - I enjoyed it very much.
Mar 29, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cat Out Of Hell is a novel by British writer and journalist, Lynne Truss. When Alec Charlesworth’s beloved wife, Mary dies, he heads to a cottage on the coast of North Norfolk with their dog, Watson, to grieve privately. Isolation is what he craves, but, finding he needs some mental stimulation, turns on his laptop to read an email from a library colleague of Mary’s. It contains several files concerning a cat called Roger, and by the end of his perusal, Alec is confused, sceptical and rather irr ...more
A mock-horror novella about evil cats: a strange digression for Truss. I enjoyed the use of a Cambridge library setting and the faux-epistolary strategy of compiling disparate documents, but, overall, this is really rather silly. “I had been expecting…the authoritative tones and narrative control of a story by M. R. James,” the main narrator says in disappointment, a sentiment I might echo. For a much better comic romp, try Truss’s Tennyson’s Gift instead.
Angela Oliver
Dec 09, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, animals
From the woman that brought us "Eats, Shoots and Leaves" comes this perfectly gramatically correct tale of a feline with a dark past, and an even darker present. It is a quick read - I devoured it in less than two hours, and uses a few novelty techniques in the telling: movie script, transcript, descriptions of illustrations, regular narrative and an exchange of emails. It starts innocently enough as a mystery - a mourning widower seeks out a quiet cottage to recover from his wife's death, and d ...more
Woo boy. This was not good. I think at one point I was going to DNF, but decided to just get done with it so I can throw it back from whence it came. An interesting synopsis does not a good book make. I was so happy to finish with this one I leaped into my next book.

"Cat Out of Hell" follows a man who just lost his wife, Alec Charlesworth. Alec is a man after a reader's heart. He's a librarian who just lost his job. Stuck in his lonely home with just his dog, Watson. Alec starts searching for wh
I thought that this was brilliant. I love how it was written,I love the humor, it went quite well with the sinisterness of the story. I love the references in it. I was so taken by the book that I actually spent a better part of the morning wandering around the living/dining area reading it.

Looking at other ratings and reviews it appears that this is not everyone's cup of tea, and I would like more actually.

Most definitely checking out the authors other works.

Over all 4.75 stars
Mar 18, 2015 rated it did not like it
This book was not what I had expected, it’s neither here nor there. If it wanted to be horror is too bland, if it wanted to be noir it’s too gross, and if it wanted to be comedy the hilarity just isn’t there.
The writing style is rambling at best, a deliberate choice from the author, but the why is lost on me as it doesn’t enhance the reading experience, the contrary I would say. (And sometimes to absurd see e-miaow)
Some digressions are useless and boring. Sometimes the author gets lost describin
From BBC Radio 4: Book at Bedtime:
By Lynne Truss. Comic and chilling gothic tale about a widower and a supernatural cat
Anna Kļaviņa
Humorous horror story.

I enjoyed the narrative and found the story to be amusing mystery. What I didn't like, was that cats were demonized, and because of that I was going to give the book 3 stars however I was pleasantly surprised by the twist towards the end of the book. 4 stars.

Mike Nelson’s installation To the Memory of HP Lovecraft
Jennifer (JC-S)
‘I was in search of silence and tranquillity.’

Alec, a retired librarian has recently been widowed. He heads off to a coastal village in North Norfolk with his small dog Watson in search of peace. But one night, while searching for mental stimulation, he opens his laptop and starts looking through a folder entitled ‘Roger’ which a former colleague had sent him. Inside that folder are files in which a man called Wiggy tells the story of his acquaintance with Roger – a talking cat, who sounds like
Mar 06, 2015 rated it liked it
Creepy horror-fun. (Yes, I realize that sounds oxymoron-ish. Lol.)

Quick, chilling entertainment if you're wanting a horror/mystery mash-up with along with some dark chuckles... and a cat who wants Daniel Craig to voice him if there's a movie version. It reminded me a bit of a slightly creepy version of Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore & other books of that ilk with its various literary & cultural references. I found it entertaining & worth my time to read.

Maybe a slight spoiler (?)...
I must ad
Jan 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
I'd recommend this to anyone who suspects that deep down cats really are bastards (even cat lovers), likes dry British humor, and can handle extremely unlikely circumstances. And enjoys elements of horror. Lots of framing devices and cutesy communications, so if that's not your style, stay away. As a light read with expectations of being amused, rather than edified, however, it kept my attention and I liked both Alec and Wiggy enough to overlook some gaps in logic.

I will note that the BACK of m
Eh, it was ok. I'm not a fan of the narration style and it feels like something is missing from the story. Plot holes. This was easy to read, but nothing really goes on, and this definately isn't a scary story. The introduction definately is missing something. Well, the whole book's missing something. It's like it was many pages longer, but then was forced to cut it to 230 pages, so it got chopped big time.

If it was free, maybe it would be worth your time, but this book definately wasn't worth m
Anna Greathead
Mar 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I would give this book 6 stars if I could! I just loved the concept - the idea that cats were totally fed up at the loss of their powers to instantly kill, maim or hypnotise people rings so true to anyone who has ever spent any time near any cat!

The style of writing was engaging and intriging. I put in on my Kindle at 11pm on Wednesday night and finished it by 5pm on Thursday.... I read it at traffic lights and in the playground waiting for the kids!
As a cat owner and someone who works in a library, I found this story delightfully disturbing.
Mar 10, 2015 rated it did not like it
The Captain is a powerful cat that takes another cat, Roger, under his wing in Lynne Truss' horror novel, Cat Out of Hell. If the British critics are right, this is supposed to be a funny horror novel featuring cats who have died eight times and are in their ninth life, a life that goes on forever. It's a story told by a retired librarian. My opinion? Don't believe everything you read on the flap of the book. The summary has an error. There are a few humorous lines. And, the story, for a mystery ...more
Mar 07, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, feature
I suddenly understand all the bewildered looks Wren gives me - Cat Out of Hell by Lynne Truss [This book was kindly provided to me for the price of No Monies by the kind people at Random House UK/Cornerstone, facilitated in this act of goodness by the almighty NetGalley]
I have one goal in life: the acquisition of 16 more cats who will happily eat my corpse in the 3 week gap between my acquiring that state and anybody noticing. This fact may or may not be related to my enjoyment of this book.
If you have ever kept a cat then it will come as no surprise that they are in fact a species of evil geniuses. Cat Out of Hell is an absolutely brilliant novel that tells the story of the rise and fall of cats as masters of the world. It is very difficult to write a review of this book without spoiling the story, it is framed as a mystery after all. If you don't want to risk spoilers then please don't read further, simply go grab a copy of this and find out for yourself. What will be clear from ...more
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Lynne Truss is a writer and journalist who started out as a literary editor with a blue pencil and then got sidetracked. The author of three novels and numerous radio comedy dramas, she spent six years as the television critic of The Times of London, followed by four (rather peculiar) years as a sports columnist for the same newspaper. She won Columnist of the Year for her work for Women's Journal ...more

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Her Favorite Clever Literary Cats: From the grammarian who wrote Eats, Shoots & Leaves comes new comic horror, Cat Out of Hell. She offers a feline...
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“Once someone has shown you a convincingly different way of looking at the world, it's hard to remember how you saw it before.” 2 likes
“In fact, it seemed to me that every single item on the news – concerning economic doom and political hypocrisy and social breakdown – was not “news” at all. What I could hear was just a series of utterly transparent ploys to frighten and alarm the listeners – and frighten them, moreover, about the wrong things. The” 1 likes
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