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Summary

Barney Willow thinks life couldn't get any worse. He's weedy and has sticky-out ears. Horrible Gavin Needle loves tormenting him. And worst of all, his Dad has been missing for almost a year, and there's no sign of him ever coming home. Barney just wants to escape, and find another life. Being a cat, for example. A quiet, lazy cat. Things would be so much easier - right?

©2012 Matt Haig (P)2012 W F Howes Ltd

What listeners say about To Be a Cat

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A children's story, but immensely enjoyable by all

I read this after reading The Humans by the same author (I love Matt Haig) and although it is very much a children's story, it still has the same quirky humour and pathos of The Humans. Haig's writing is so tender, funny and engrossing. A really lovely little story.

13 people found this helpful

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Very nice book!

A boy wishes he were a cat and has his wish granted. Except... It's not as fun when no-one know he's a cat and his head teacher is out to get him. Fun story, altho I hate when cats are mean/bad in books 😂 also then the main character/cat was about to drown in the river I almost couldn't keep listening 😖💔
Anyways, sweet book! Would recommend!

6 people found this helpful

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Quite depressing until the end

I found most of this book quite depressing, and it only paid off at the very end when all is well again! Not sure how a child would feel about the story. As an adult, I found it quite difficult to persist reading and finishing the book, just because it was pretty grim. However, the voice performance was great and flawless.

4 people found this helpful

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Fantastic story writing and narration

An incredibly amusing story with such great narration that brings it to life. Listening to it was like watching a movie!
I'll certainly never look at cats (or 12-year-old red-haired boys) the same way again.

2 people found this helpful

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Gripped my 8 year old from start to finish.

It was tense, all the plot twists? Amazing!
A good balance between calm and action.
Recommended for 8-9+ due to level of thrill which might be a bit much for younger or emotionally young children.

2 people found this helpful

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  • L
  • 12-02-20

Purrfect

It was good, but quite scary sometimes. It was funny and enjoyable. - By a 10 year old.

2 people found this helpful

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  • 04-09-21

Best book ever!!!

I listened to it about 15 times it’s so amazing. I really love it thx soo much for this book and have a nice day!!!!!

1 person found this helpful

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Amazing!

I would highly recommend reading the book before you listen to the audiobook because there is a twist at the end which might put some people off reading it again. If you know the ending, it spoils the book for the other times you listen | read it, so enjoy the original book while you can. This isn't to say you can't listen to the audiobook- it really is stunning! The story is about a boy who turns into a cat, and tries to change back again using the help of his friend. The only problem is that his friend doesn't recognize him. He has to battle through mean cats, his headteacher who has a terrible secret, and... The Terror Cat!!! This is a book for the numerous, cat loving people, and is great for children from the age of 7 to 11. Listen to this, and you will not regret it!

1 person found this helpful

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So good!

Such a funny story and very well narrated! Made me want to be a cat, even after the ending.

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Great story for kids and cat lovers!

We LOVED listening to this story together as a family. It’s always hard to keep everyone happy but this kept us all riveted to the spot with all the unpredictable up and downs. Our daughter loved the idea of humans turning into cats and the accurate details and descriptions of a cat life and inside thoughts. A great read and there’s a big request for a second book!

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  • Peter Darling
  • 22-01-19

Excellent children's author.

This, as is Haig's "Boy Called Christmas", is a wonderful children's book. Very imaginative story, easy listening/reading, and a writing style and sense of humour that can entertain and amuse even adults. I enjoyed both books a lot and think both could become very good movies. Though almost every single big plot point is very predictable before even starting to listen to this particular book, at least to adults, it is still very interesting and not predictable to see how the characters get to those points. And the ending was not so obvious after all. This story is somewhat dark and distressing what with the unhappy people and abused cats, but the writing style and well sprinkled light humour makes it perfectly tolorable, especially since a happy ending for the main character is implied early on. Though, even that doesn't lessen the most disturbing bit where the evil cat described how it had murdered its owner in a slow and painful way, especially as the owner was established as the most kind person you could meet. It is by far the darkest thing in this book yet somehow doesn't feel out of place.

So, I might not have very young children listen to or read this. Especially if they love cats and/or are very sensitive. I would recommend this to pre-teens and older people. Anyone younger only if they can truly control their emotions about ficonal characters and events and understand them.

This is a well written, funny, slightly unsettling, emotional and captivating story. Totally worth even the regular price and certainly the Member price. I aim to buy books that I would listen to at least twice in my life, and this is absolutely one of them. There may not be much new to discover the second time around but I do want to experience this story's humour and some of the sweeter emotional bits again some day.