Book Review

Book Review: Grumpy Cat — A Grumpy Book

This is perhaps the most important book review I shall ever write…because as Grumpy Cat, aka Tardar Sauce’s number one fan, I should be the one to writer her first book a glowing review.

But alas, I cannot.

This book has more problems than a litter box has grains of clay.

First, a word about Grumpy Cat. If you’re unfamiliar with the fabulous frowning feline, let me bring you up to speed. Grumpy Cat is a female cat with feline dwarfism and unusual markings that make her look like a Siamese or Snowshoe cat.  She has beautiful blue eyes and an underbite, which gives her a glaring frown even when she’s happy….and her diminutive size makes her absolutely adorable. Born in 2012 in Arizona to a stray cat a single mom and her daughter adopted. Grumpy made internet history a few months later when a family member posted the photo to Reddit.  Nobody believed the picture wasn’t doctored, so the family then posted a YouTube video to prove her frown was genuine.  The resulting memes are now a sensation. At the SWSX conference, people stood in line for hours to pose for photos with the cat while Al Gore stood like the Maytag Repairman, alone and bored, at a nearby booth.  Ah, the power of the cat. Slap a cat photo on anything and people will queue for hours.

I have six rescued cats and a Grumpy Cat decal on my office window.  I love Grumpers and her memes. I want a Grumpy Cat t-shirt.  I want to see her sweet blue-eyed glare every day.

But yet…the “slap a cat on it and they will buy it” syndrome feels like the impetus behind this book. Because really, this is a collection of memes and a few additional puzzles and games that I could have printed off of the internet, not a book on its own.

I pre-ordered the Grumpy Cat book, a new first for me. That tells you just how much of a fan I am of this little cat.  The hardcover book arrived on Saturday. I flipped through it.  And was disappointed. Yes, your number one fan, Tard, was disappointed with your first book.

Maybe that was the point?

(I can hear her say: “Good”.)

If you’re hoping to read more about the cat, or see photos other than the ones published ad nauseum on the internet, you’ll be disappointed.  This book is nothing but a collection of blog posts from the cat’s fan page, memes scraped off the web, and a few new pictures altered in someone’s design program.  The printing quality was even poor; the pages looked faded in my copy.  If I’m buying a picture book, I want crisp, clean images and glossy paper.

But by far the greatest issue I have with this book is the inclusion of a joke that ended with F U.  Why? After I glanced through the book once, I thought, “Oh — this is for children.”  I thought I’d let my little nephew who was visiting us over the weekend read it. Fortunately, I found the joke with the two letter punch line before handing him the book. Nothing like giving a 9 year old a book with a word he’s not allowed to say in it. He’d be repeating that one all over school when he returns in a few weeks.

So for your “Meme Manager”, Tardar Sauce, and for your human family, a few words of advice from this marketing expert and writer:

  • Your fans want to see your sweet, grumpy little face with new photos — not just the same two or three pictures we see all the time.
  • We’ve seen the memes. The funniest ones? Keep.  But don’t make just a book of memes with a few puzzles thrown in.
  • Add some text! I was hoping her life story, such that it is, would be included at the start of the book. It’s not.  I’d love to read her human family’s words of how they acquired her mommy….why they decided to keep Tardar and her brother, Pokey…what they are like at home. Favorite toys, favorite foods, the works.
  • The jokes with Dog and Cactus could be funny, but without the internet context they’re completely lost. I know how my dog and cats interact; you’re missing some fun there!
  • Let Tard be Tard! We love her.  We, her fans, adore her. As a certified crazy cat lady, I want to see Tard being Tard…being a cat; yes, keep the funny sayings, but give me more!

Grumpy Cat: A Grumpy Book is a stocking stuffer, a gift book, a quick and fun book when you need a fast laugh.  It is available on Amazon, and from book stores nationwide. I purchased my copy from Amazon.

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