Panther in Argyll by Lisa Tuttle

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Book Information  
AuthorLisa Tuttle
TitlePanther in Argyll
Book Reviews / Comments (submitted by readers)
Submitted by Aditya Bidikar 
(Apr 14, 2005)

Summary: A girl called Danielle is visiting her Godmother in Argyll. There she meets a young boy named Fin. But then, things start getting worse, because, according to rumour, there is a Panther in Argyll.

I don't know why, but I think this book is excellent. This book has weaknesses. It is a little too short, there's not much happening, and, frankly, it's weird (though I don't take that as a weakness at all). But these weaknesses don't matter. It's too short? That means it won't be boring. There's not much happening? Well, there are so many good books like that. One thing, the best reason to read the book is that it's there. It's been written, so it should be read. There are very few books that can be said to be that way.
When you start reading the book, the weaknesses vanish and don't matter. From the cover and the prologue, I expected the book to be experimental. It isn't, but that's not much of a problem, really. Every book has a "thing", y'know, at least every good one. This book's thing is that it is about the inner person. The animal inside us is a representation of the inner self - it is the inner self. Everyone has it. Some have it more than others. Some know it more than others. That's the thing.
Anthropomorphism is one of the plagues of today that is publicly accepted, even appreciated. It might have its uses, of course - seeing your dog as a person might help you treat her/him better. But on the whole, it isn't a good thing. By superimposing our own personalities on animals, we destroy their personalities. This book tries to do the opposite - it tries to impose an animal personality on the human one, and this works, because it helps you realise what might be going on.
And the best thing is that all these points gel together in this book, which is streamlined in a weird way (which is to say, not in the traditional manner). Everything in this book fits so well, that I have to recommend it to you.
Quite excellent.

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