BOOK REVIEW: The Confessions of a Catnip Junkie PLUS BONUS GIVEAWAY

Tue, Sep 21, 2010


Guest book review by Peter J Wolf

There are, it seems to me, two approaches to writing a good adventure story. A writer can either draw the reader anxiously along toward an uncertain ending, or disclose the outcome up front and let the reader settle into the adventure itself. I don’t imagine either approach is easy, but the writer who gives away the ending, does, I think, take on some particularly daunting challenges. To do it well—to produce a page-turner—as Allan Goldstein has done with The Confessions of a Catnip Junkie, is therefore commendable.

Catnip Junkie is the story of two-year-old Doo Doo, a restless orange tabby whose curiosity takes him coast-to-coast and back again, told from the perspective of an older, much wiser cat. “I am two cats,” he says. “The Doo Doo who was born of this story and the Doo Doo who lived it, fourteen years ago.”

Perhaps it’s this dual role that makes Doo Doo such a charismatic narrator, his confessions so compelling. Speaking of which, I have a confession of my own: I was a little hesitant to delve into Catnip Junkie. Four-hundred pages of cat-speak? Really? (Confession #2: I do talk to my cats, and more often than not reply—a different voice for each of them—on their behalf. Still, I do my best to spare others.) Once I picked it up, though, I found the book difficult to put down—due, in no small part, to the numerous scrapes recounted by a feline protagonist once “full of lust, mostly wanderlust.”

“I have dreams of that used-to-be-me cat being trapped all the time. He was always plotting an escape, making an escape, escaping. I wonder, how could a cat get himself stuck so often? Fourteen years later that is still a marvel to me, even more than his whiskersbreadth escapes. He still brags about those, the cat-who-used-to-be-me thought he was pretty slick. He was, but he was also an idiot. I can see that now, but he couldn’t.”

But Catnip Junkie is surprisingly touching, too—more so, I suppose, for anybody who’s ever had a cat go missing. In the end, the need to be with his people proves more powerful than the catnip that lured him away. “Having loving humans,” confesses Doo Doo, is “like the late-morning sun on your back, a belly full of food, and a head floating in the bright clouds of nipland, only better.”

With motivation like that, it’s no wonder this hero’s journey is such a delight to settle into.


One lucky reader is going to receive a copy of The Confessions of a Catnip Junkie. To enter, please leave a comment on this post. The winner will be chosen in a random drawing on September 29. One entry per person. This giveaway includes free shipping to addresses in the US and Canada.

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479 Responses to “BOOK REVIEW: The Confessions of a Catnip Junkie PLUS BONUS GIVEAWAY”

  1. 251

    this sounds like a great book, would love to read this

  2. 252

    Yup, that cat looks totally hooked -> Just like our Mr. Weasley is LOL. His brother Benny-Ben-Ben-Benjie-Bunny (Bennie for short…) was able to get off the nip-sauce after a brief stint in the “spin-dry” cycle with Eli, our A.D.D. cat.

    I wonder what this cat has to say about his “fixes” LOL

  3. 253
    sandy c

    as the human of a wandering fellow this would be very interestng!

  4. 254

    Although I was initially put off by the thought of a whole book narrated by a protagonist named “Doo Doo” I think that this book will go on my wishlist anyway!

  5. 255

    Not much of a reader, but I would give this one a try.

  6. 256

    Looks great! Would love to read.

  7. 257

    What an excellent review. I haven’t had a good read in a while and this sounds like a goody.

  8. 258

    Sounds like a fun book to read and most of us with cats can relate to it.

  9. 259

    Gotta have it!!!! Nothing like having your kitties curl up with you by the fireplace while reading a kitty book. =^..^=

  10. 260

    Would LOVE to read this book. What a great face Doo Doo has!

  11. 261
    Jeanne B.

    My five cats and I would LOVE to read this book! Two are orange, two are blue, one is black. Of the orange and blue cats, one each is a tuxedo cat. But they all love cat stories of any color.

    We are avid fans of Rita Mae Brown’s Sneaky Pie mystery series, as well as the Warrior series by Erin Hunter.

    In the Sneaky Pie mysteries, the dogs and cats talk amongst themselves and assist the humans in solving the mysteries in very believable ways–but they can’t talk like we can.

    In the Warriors series, the cats definitely speak their own language, but it’s easy to understand once you get into reading. The series follows several generations of feral cats in a mythological, epic-journey manner reminiscent of Watership Down but more accessible.

    We’d just love adding “The Confessions of a Catnip Junkie” to the list!

  12. 262
    Babs (formerly Kush's Human)

    This would arrive just about the time I finish THe Brothers Karamazov… perfect timing!

  13. 263

    Several orange cats have passed through my life. Each very wise and eccentric. I can “hear” them each sharing the admissions of that used-to-be-me-cat. And being willing to allow me to read of another of their kind while they snuggle in to my body warmth. The Black One claims 400 pages would be a wonderful length of time to stay curled in between covers. So, here I am throwing in my (their) comments in hopes of a good winter’s read. (:

  14. 264

    What an adventure! This book sounds like so much fun to read. I’ve got my first non-furbaby due in November and will be reading to him from the start. This sounds like an exciting way to get started.

  15. 265

    A must read for me… or not it’s on my list!!!

  16. 266

    I’d love to read this (probably with multiple cats on my lap at the time!).

  17. 267

    I love stuff like this!

    Thanks for the giveaway >^..^<

  18. 268

    My cat can’t wait to read this book!

  19. 269
    Marta Esterkin

    A cat’s confession? This must be a work of fiction!!! Somewhat of the fantastic purrsuation?? :)

    Intriguing to say the least… will love reading it!

  20. 270

    I LOVE it!!
    I was a little hesitant too but knew moderncat had never steered me wrong before so I read the book review & am happy & proud to proclaim that I want to read about Doo Doo’s adventure with the nip and his people!
    Sounds intriguing!!

  21. 271

    I can’t wait to get my paws on this tail of the woes of cat nip!

  22. 272

    This book sounds like one I could read to my two cats! But I wouldn’t want them to get any ideas…

  23. 273
    Courtney W.

    I’m always up for a good read.

  24. 274

    I think it sounds like a good read. Count me in please. >^..^<

  25. 275
    b. badger

    people who don’t talk to their cats are missing out.

  26. 276

    The book sounds awesome!

  27. 277

    What a wonderful perspective! This would make a wonderful gift for my mother’s collection! After I borrow it, of course!

  28. 278

    Oh we would love to win this!

  29. 279

    sounds like my kind of book!

  30. 280

    Gosh, I’ll have to hide that book from my prisoner (indoor) kitties, who never got to act upon their wanderlust!

  31. 281

    Doo Doo and me for 400+ pages sounds wonderful!

  32. 282

    Sounds like a great book to read aloud to Clo, Frouf & Dexter!

  33. 283
    L B

    Really hope I win, but if I don’t, I’ll buy a copy anyway. My favorite book genre is travel essays, especially those filled with humor gleaned from comparative observation. We only dare to imagine those provocative images through feline eyes!

  34. 284

    Sounds like a great book! Would love to read it.

  35. 285

    Would love to read this to my cats!

  36. 286

    Well, after that review, this book will not only be a must-read, but a must buy multiple copies as gifts!! Can’t wait!

  37. 287

    Hmm… speaking of contests, I’m trying to spread the word about this cat photo contest on the Lifetime website. Submit a photo and you could win cash, a one-year supply of cat food and other cool prizes. For more info, check out this link:
    Thanks and best of luck to those who decide to enter!

  38. 288
    Linda Kish

    Other than the angry look, this is my cat.

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

  39. 289
    Tammy Botzon

    Love the title & picture :)

  40. 290

    Yes, I would be most pleased to receive a book such as this.
    Thor the Cat.

  41. 291

    Is this book readily available in bookstores such as B$N and Borders? I’m definitely interested in taking a look at it.

  42. 292
    Joy M.

    I could read it aloud to my boys who never go out.

  43. 293

    Probably a good read for my commute.

  44. 294

    This book looks like a fun read!

  45. 295

    Sounds interesting as a Tale of Two Cats:-)

  46. 296

    I enjoy first person cat stories, and Jeanne B. didn’t mention Shirley Rousseau Murphy’s Joe Grey, and don’t forget Carole Nelson Douglas’ Midnight Louie mysteries. My cats are indoor cats although 2 of them won’t believe it. Biters and KC sneak out any chance they get. Biters stays in the yard, but KC was once gone 35 days. The others wouldn’t go out even though KC left a huge hole in a screen, and I didn’t have the Bengal family yet. I’m going to the library site after this and see if they have the book.

  47. 297
  48. 298

    I wonder if my young fella, Shackleford, will reminisce so eloquently when he reaches a ripe old age? He certainly loves his catnip!

  49. 299

    I ahve been ready for a cat story and this book sounds like just the right one thank you for offering it to us.

  50. 300

    sounds fun! I could use a good read to settle into!

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