Mark Benyon, Alistair Benyon & Chris Paul, illustrations by Adrian Teal
Tumbleweed, out now
Cats take after their owners they say… and Blofeld’s Cat proves the point…
For those who were expecting savvy cricketing commentary, you’ve got the wrong Blofeld. This is the one who is constantly battled by [redacted] of the British S[redacted] S[redacted], the one with a licence to [redacted]. Although because of the very unofficial nature of this book, you have to piece the details together to reach that conclusion… (he says, to preserve them from the wrath of EON).
Think Grumpy Cat meets Garfield, with the latter’s sense of self-worth magnified by being connected to (or, in his mind, pretty much in charge of) a supersecret villainous organisation that may – or may not – be returning to the fray later this year. The text covers the normal “Grumpy Old xxx” topics (social media, behaviour, the standard of television etc.) with the occasional reference incorporated to places linked to the villainous feline’s on-screen appearances – e.g. Paris, a volcano lair, the Alps (in scenes that were obviously cut), and an oil rig. Oddly, there’s no reference to being sent plummeting down a chimney…
The text is a bit hit and miss – there are some very funny observations scattered through the book – but what makes this really work are the illustrations, which place our annoyed feline in various outré situations. There’s a card game one (reprinted larger at the back) that I wish had been the focal point of the book – telling some of the stories that we know so well from Blofeld’s Cat’s perspective (noting, perhaps, the indignity of being thrown at Number 1 so that passing secret agents could kill surgically-altered duplicates).
Verdict: An amusing collection that puts a much-missed part of a certain franchise front and centre where he deserves to be. 7/10