What the reviewers say:
Canada and the US:
Sunil Patel, Lightspeed, February 2016
“With remarkable skill, Roy brings these characters to life in all their feline glory: They are not human characters written as cats but actual cat characters, down to their mannerisms and thought processes. I had absolutely no trouble accepting them because the writing was so effortless, and Roy doesn’t shy away from the inherent humor in treating cats as people: I was sold from the moment she used the word “all-cats-bulletin” on page five.”
Simon Sylvester, The Globe and Mail, January 2016
“One of the joys of this novel is Roy’s intricately imagined animal, avian, even insect society – a community that lives alongside but not as part of the bumbling, oblivious Bigfeet (that’s us). An ode to New Delhi and a thrilling adventure to boot…”
Piali Roy, The Toronto Star, January 2016
“Roy’s obvious love of these creatures has produced a vivid world while warning of the dangers of isolation and fear. The Wildings is a novel that can seduce even those most indifferent to cats.”
Macleans.ca, February 2016
“Roy has created an immersive world of scents and sounds—we feel the corrugated steel roofs under paws, learn the best places to stay dry in a monsoon. The sleek queens, brawling toms and tail-chasing kittens live by a feline moral code, and you can feel their claws unsheath at the thought of the human world plotting their destruction.
The central conflict here, though, is cat on cat. The narrative pits the upstanding ferals against indoor cats—the violent joys of freedom against cushy confinement.”
“A few pages into Nilanjana Roy’s The Wildings, you’ll wish you had whiskers and could mew. The world as imagined by Roy in this remarkable debut is filled with marvels, not the least of which is the feline social media network which makes Twitter look witheringly banal. Roy is a cat-, cheel-, mouse- and mongoose-whisperer and this is the animals’ story, unhampered by human interference.”
Deepanjana Pal (@dpanjana) in DNA India, August 26, 2012
“This is a warm, imaginative and well-paced book. It is superbly produced too, with Prabha Mallya’s lovely illustrations sharing page-space with text, or even (as with two small butterflies watched by an enthralled Mara, or a swooping cheel with his wings spread out) weaving amidst the words. Both writing and drawings pay tender attention to the many elements of the natural world. Though the cats are the main characters, many other creatures move in and out of the narrative: three zoo tigers and a langur whom Mara befriends during her virtual wanderings; a stately mongoose who speaks the generic tongue Junglee, which all animals can understand; an Alsatian pup mistreated by his human owners; warblers and squirrels, bats and mice.”
Jai Arjun Singh (@jaiarjun), Tehelka, August 2012
“Roy’s style has the even, unfaltering omniscience of a master narrator with a deliberately underscored presence, and the book should appeal equally to adults, older children, and readers of fantasy and adventure and well as the category known as literary fiction. Shining through, however, is her wonderment at her subjects, a wonderment lovingly conveyed in the way they are etched. The Wildings is above all a love paean to cats; that it also happens to be a marvelously-spun novel that could well become a classic in its own time is almost secondary.”
Sharanya Mannivannan, Sunday Guardian, September 3, 2012
“The book weaves a fast-moving plot. Like all good literature, its scope is universal, an allegory that explores hunger, survival, parenting and freedom. This world will remain invisible to readers unless they tap into their noble inner cattiness—a big ask for some adults. It is also possible that some nuances of the tale may elude younger readers. But Roy’s achievement is intense. She has looked so carefully at the feline world, at the way they wash and move and speak, that the reader’s idea of cats will be altered forever. More importantly, The Wildings is the creation of a fully formed imaginative world that carries great allegorical resonance. Roy is, in essence, a moralist.”
Divya Guha, Open Magazine, September 2012
“If a debut novel can be equated with a cat’s first kill, The Wildings is as perfect a strike as Mara’s. Gripping, humorous and truly immersive, it is well worth a sequel.”
Saibal Chatterjee, Sunday Indian, August 2012
“The Wildings is an epic tale of cats. It’s a fantasy written by a person who loves cats, and has observed them quite closely. She invites you to empathise with her characters.
There’s a scrawny cat who often hides herself behind the flowerpots in our small patch of green. She has an eye on the birds visiting my birdbath. I used to shoo her off; now I just let her be.”
Shekhar Bhatia, The Asian Age, September 2012
“The thing about reading The Wildings is that if you have cats (or a cat), it doesn’t take long for you to spot them somewhere in the pages. And if you don’t have one, then you are likely to concede that Nilanjana Roy has made a cat lover out of you. Roy draws you into a cat’s world — not a world of cats — and she does it without any superciliousness (a failing that cats are often, erroneously, accused of).”
Nayantara Mazumder, The Kolkata Telegraph, October 2012
(Read the whole thing)
“Nilanjana Roy’s The Wildings is as much a modern fable as it is a floor-level point of view of cosmopolis,largely through the eyes of cats. Roy “spent most of her adult life writing about humans before realising that animals were much more fun”. The writing itself is cleverly feline and engaging. The tales’ strength and narrative drive urges the reader on, compelling one to go on with the shadowy hovering of cats tailing you to move forward, sure-footedly—and this at the arc-looped behest of a skilled writer’s cadenced baton. The dialogues are well handled and convincing, a task many novelists find hard to get pitch-perfect.”
Sudeep Sen, Outlook, October 2012
(Read the whole thing)
“It is a novel for all seasons and ages… Nilanjana Roy has created a savage, dangerous world parallel to our limited, self-centred human one. It is a world of heightened senses and myriad species, a world that seems tangibly real… Roy has her readers on the edge of their seats, their disbelief perfectly suspended, as they travel through the many perils of the plot. Fear and friendship, predators and prey are deftly portrayed.”
Gillian Wright, India Today, October 2012 (no link available)
Best known amongst littérateurs for her blogging, Nilanjana Roy seems an unlikely candidate to wrest the mantle of cat-based artistic accomplishment from YouTube. With The Wildings she has scored one for books. A prolific columnist and editor but a first-time author, Roy has given us a hair-raising read that wears its print proudly: an entrancing fable in the tradition of The Rats of N.I.M.H. and Watership Down.
Matt Daniels, Mumbai Boss, September 2012
“Journalist Nilanjana Roy sets herself a tough task in her debut novel The Wildings, which starts out to be a grownup book about animals, with splashes of heroic fantasy, traces of sci-fi, and yet an adventure for all ages… [Prabha Mallya’s] gorgeous pictures provide tantalising suggestions of what a different book this could have been, perhaps with reduced text and a co-authorship for the illustrator.”
Angshuman Chakravarty, Time Out, August 2012
Bloglove: (from, most appropriately, a Manxcat)
Somehow, I knew that Beraal was going to make an impact on me. A feisty young queen, she oozed charm, grandeur and strength. And tis a cat we talk about! Wildly engaging and foxy, “The Wildings” by Nilanjana Roy. She’s named the book rightly so and has created a band of characters with such mystique, you immediately become attached.
Fancy That Manxcat, August 2012)
I have said it before and I will say it again: If you love cats or animals or own cats or pets, then, “The Wildings” by Nilanjana Roy will be a perfect read for you. Even if you don’t own pets, it will.
From professional photographer Naina Redhu, a book review in pictures.
“Right from the word go, I was sucked into the world of Katar, the confident leader , Beraal, the beautiful, agile queen, Southpaw, the cutie kitten always getting into trouble and Mara, the orange kitten, the anomaly … the devilish Datura…Tooth, the cheel… I could go on and on. The world is viewed through the eyes of these cats where all people are the “Bigfeet”. As the cats roam and hunt and laze around; the streets of Nizamuddin Dargah in Delhi come alive. There are endearing moments, humorous moments and nail-biting moments- I don’t ask for more in a book.”
From the blog Freebooking
“Nilanjana Roy earns her stripes with her very first novel ‘The Wildings’.”
The Indiaplaza blog
“Roy manages to nail the connect between character and reader. She fires sure shot after sure shot, with her gun firmly on the shoulders of her furry protagonists. They are compelling and as real as a character that’s not human can be.”
From the blog Hey Bhau, Pudhe Chala
The kitten took a big breath. “It is my Bigfoot — she’s called Nilanjana, by the way,” she finally said, “I heard her say she is writing about us in a book.” “Impossible,” Beraal spat, “you must stop it immediately. Your Bigfoot once wrote a column – that is something they post because they can’t speak Junglee,” she explained to Southpaw – “that led to other Bigfeet messing about our affairs for weeks. No,” she hissed, arching her back “it must be stopped.”
Qawwali turned to address the cats, “I heard it on the Junglee web that the last time a Bigfoot called J K Rowling wrote about our kind, it caused so much interest in the animal kingdom that the unicorns went into hiding and haven’t been seen since.”
Kishore Singh, The Business Standard, August 29, 2012
Reviews from foreign editions of The Wildings
Peraltro nello stile denso della Roy il ritmo è proprio quello ideale per apprendere perché arriva un poco alla volta, sbuca fuori dalle pieghe, fa le fusa e si manifesta con miagolii inequivocabili.
Un bel libro. Scoprirete quante domande possono farsi i gatti e, soprattutto, quante risposte sanno darsi. Saggezza e dolcezza.
Queste sono solo alcune delle belle frasi che ho trovato nel libro. Tutta la storia mi è piaciuta molto e se amate i gatti ve lo consiglio caldamente, magari per festeggiare con loro. Una lettura piacevole e rilassante che in molti punti fa emozionare davvero molto.
Quindi, visto che oggi è la Giornata Mondiale del Gatto, un saluto speciale a tutti i felini e ai loro amici e, con giuramento gattesco, vi consiglio “felinamente” questa lettura!🙂
Si potrebbe pensare che l’autrice abbia deciso di guardare il mondo attraverso gli occhi lucenti dei felini per promuovere fermamente il diritto alla libertà; il gatto, infatti, non concede facilmente il suo sguardo e, sebbene possa acconsentire di diventare nostro amico, mai accetterà di essere nostro schiavo. «Se si potesse incrociare un uomo con un gatto», diceva Mark Twain, «l’essere umano ne risulterebbe migliorato, ma il gatto peggiorato».
Il gatto, con o senza stivali, è stato spesso protagonista, sin dai tempi più antichi, di storie e favole: è astuto, veloce nell’azione, capace di sfruttare ogni situazione per portare a buon fine il proprio obiettivo, senza mai venire a patti troppo stretti con gli umani e senza mai perdere la propria identità felina.
Los indómitos es otra sorpresa más para mis sentidos. Es original, imaginativo, plasma los animales salvajes y reales, con necesidades y objetivos, con maldad y bondad, pero también es una exquisita plasmación del mundo animal, de la cultura india y, en esencia, de la vida felina. Si adoráis los felinos, os hará estremecer, ¿pero sino? pues también.
El libro es precioso y ya no solo por la historia, sino por las bellísimas ilustraciones que acompañan al texto. En ellas podemos reconocer a nuestros protagonistas y algunas escenas que acontecen a lo largo de la narración.
Es un libro que os recomendaría, tanto si sois amantes de los gatos como si no, porque su historia está muy bien elaborada y resulta una lectura diferente e interesante.
Als ich das Buch gesehen hatte, habe ich zuerst gedacht “Och nööööö – versucht da jemand etwa auf der Warrior-Cats-Schiene mitzufahren????”
Denn Katzen und Clans…… es klang so sehr nach meinen (immer wieder gern gelesenen) Warrior Cats……… ich war also sehr skeptisch.
Doch ich kann nur sagen: da lag ich ABSOLUT falsch. Denn “Der Clan der Wildkatzen” ist eine völlig eigene Geschichte – und zwar eine wirklich toll erzählte.
Ich fand die Welt der “Wildkatzen” sehr “lebendig” geschildert und sehr liebevoll detailliert noch dazu.
Die Figuren haben “Herz und Seele” und man kann sie richtig vor sich sehen.
Die kleine Katze Mara zum Beispiel wird so liebevoll detailliert und lebendig beschrieben, das man regelrecht das Gehüpfe und Gehopse des Katzenbabies vor sich sieht.
Die Autorin zeichnet uns mit diesem Buch ein spannendes Katzenabenteuer mit einer lockeren Rangstruktur, einem Grundverständnis um Gebiete und Regeln unter den Katzen und den Irrwegen der Katzenkultur. Auch lernen wir, das alle Tiere sich untereinander verständigen können und auf eine Grundsprache aufbauen. Das Leben wird von Regeln und Pflichten bestimmt und Harmonisiert somit. Eine Störung in diesem Gefüge kann nicht geduldet werden. Ein Buch das ich persönlich nicht aus der Hand legen konnte und durch seine Einfachheit überzeugt.