by Pup Matthias
Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.
Murrin Road, by L. B. Kitty
Seattle, WA, CreateSpace, October 2016, trade paperback $9.00 (171 pages), Kindle $3.00.
This is an Irish novel with funny animals. It begins:
“Lexy stood hunched and huddled by a billboard as the rain came streaking down, sometimes blowing along Murrin Road in waves. His fur matting where the moisture had penetrated, droplets resting on his whiskers and breathing heavily, he looked at the gleam of shining rails before him, and as he took a step out from the end of the road he could hear the hum of the vibrating steel.” (p. 1)
Lexy is a black cat in the gritty industrial part of London. While he is standing out and getting soaked in the rain, a truck roars up, throws something out, and speeds away.
“He walked slowly towards whatever it was the moved in curled flicking motions like a leech sucking goodness from the gutter. The rain was now really running through his clothes, it felt like it was pouring through his soul, could it cleanse him? He stood two foot away and looked down; in the faint orange glow of a distant street-lamp he saw a familiar shape. Except for its lumpy looking end, he recognized a Feline figure, he leaned down and saw that whoever it was looked like they had been beaten, bloodied, tied up and even had a sack placed over their head. He reached his paw slowly down ‘Just a little further…’” (p. 2)
Excuse me for not putting [sic.] throughout that quotation. The something is a sack with a white cat in it, who says to just call him Kitty. Brian O’Connor, “The Celtic Tiger” (he’s a Tiger – Kitty the author capitalizes all animal nouns), a mob boss, has ordered that Kitty be disposed of. Lexy objects to having trash dumped on his doorstep, so he takes Kitty and marches into Brian’s working-class pub headquarters to complain. Brian tells all his lieutenants to shoot Lexy. Kitty saves him, and the black and white cats become an Odd Couple-type best friends and eventually very chaste gay lovers.
Murrin Road is a good example of how not to write a furry novel – or a novel at all. The characters are unusually superficially funny animals. A couple of major supporting characters are Terri, a barmaid, and Lee, a biker. Terri and Lee are identified as a Fox and a Tiger when they are introduced, and then their species is hardly mentioned for the rest of the novel. They might as well be humans. “By this time Lee was awake and making coffee, Junior was sitting up eating plain toast.” (p. 92) That’s a tiger drinking coffee and a wolf eating toast. Inconsistently, some characters are named by species almost every time they are mentioned, like Marriot, an Otter: