Max and the Cats: A Novel

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Plume, 2003 - Fiction - 115 pages
3 Reviews
Max Schmidt grew up in the stockroom of his father's fur store, cloaked among the foxes, minks, and leopards, hiding from the glaring eyes of a stuffed tiger atop the wardrobe. It is here he dreams of traveling to distant lands; and here, as a young man, he begins an affair with the store's married clerk.
Forced to flee when his lover's husband discovers the affair and denounces Max to the Nazi secret police, Max steals away to Hamburg, where he takes passage on a freighter destined for disaster. When the ship founders somewhere off the coast of South America, Max is trapped in a dinghy with a hungry jaguar. Max believes his days are numbered-until he washes ashore on the coast of tiny Porto Alegre, Brazil, prepared to begin anew in the tropical clime.
But when Max discovers his next-door neighbor is a Nazi hiding from persecution, he finds that for the first time in his life, he is the master of his own destiny, ready to take matters into his own hands...

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User Review  - grandpahobo - LibraryThing

I read this mainly because it was cited as an inspiration by the author of Life of Pi. It was interesting, but rambled on in various directions without a coherent purpose or plot line. Read full review

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User Review  - ivan.frade - LibraryThing

I discovered this book because of the plagiarism case with Life of Pi. I guess whoever claimed it didn't read beyond the summary of this book. There is a shripweck and a survivor in a boat, but in ... Read full review

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About the author (2003)

Scliar was born and still lives in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. A physician since 1962, Scliar started his career as a writer telling stories about his experiences as a young doctor. He is a prolific writer and has produced more than 10 novels, many of which have won literary prizes. He studied at the Yiddish College in Porto Alegre and went to a Catholic school for his secondary studies. This childhood experience provided the imaginative background for many of his stories. His writing has much of what he called "his Jewishness": "As much as possible I live in peace with my Jewishness. I have extracted from it what it has of the best: fantasy, ethical substance, and above all, humor" (Escrever & Viver). The Centaur in the Garden is a story about a centaur who is Brazilian and Jewish, a fantasy of the half-horse, half-human child who grows into adulthood in search of his identity.

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