Elisa Rolle's Reviews > King of Cats: A Life in Five Novellas

King of Cats by Blake Fraina
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Aug 26, 2011

Read in August, 2011

What is probably the first impression left by this novel is the crafted but complex writing style and the lack of chronological order of the novellas. If you want to give it it’s 2002, 2001, 1995, 2003 and 1987; the two big step in the past allow the reader to know better Jim, who is the main character around which the other two men, Elliott and Adam, gravitate.

If you are thinking this is a ménages a trois, well, you are not completely wrong even if it doesn’t actually arrive to be such “formal” relationship. From what I could put together, Jim arrived from England to New York City in 1987, a shattered dream in the past (and actually “shattered” is a very right term from what happened) and the only valued possession for him, a 1959 Les Paul Sunburst. Sometime between 1987 and 2001, Jim first meets Adam, and they are together on a rock group The Mogs, and then he meets Elliott, a street hustler.

Where actually no one of the three men has a balanced self, and so I doubt any of the possible pairing could work, I have to say my favourite was Elliott, maybe since to me he was the more fragile of them. On a logical level, it’s clear the right pairing is Jim and Adam, but Elliott was so obviously in need of someone to love him that I really hoped Jim could overcome his fear of commitment to be able to give at least a sense of security, even if not real, to Elliott. Truth be told, some of the love scene between Jim and Adam are really good, I particularly liked the one in the bus, so where from one side I cheered for Elliott, on the other side I was aware that probably Adam was a better choice. Sometime I even had the feeling that, for how much a spoiled brat Adam is, he cared for Elliott. Now I’m not saying that Jim didn’t care for him, but as we will learn on the last novella, probably Jim had his own issue to overcome, and when Elliott needed him he was not yet ready.

The author itself warned me about this novel, telling me knowing I like happily ever after, I would probably not like this one. All right, this is for sure not an HEA, but if we read carefully between the line, and an almost last sentence “He never stopped blaming me”, to never stopping blaming someone you need to be together, right? And so this means that at least one of the couple managed to be together, and even if there were regrets between them, maybe sometime they were able to put them aside to enjoy the fact they were together. Yes, the romantic in me want at any price to find a possible positive ending to this story, even if, be ready, one of this man will suffer for the sins of all of them.

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