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Maximus in Catland
Gival Press

Copyright © 2007 by David Garrett Izzo.

Nominations:
2007 DIY Book Festival for Fan Fiction
2007 New York Book Festival for Science

When the kittens become adults and Catland's leaders, they face the threat of the evil human Reltih who wishes to rule the world. The lessons are about life and educate the young and old. Tears will flow when the orphan, Maximus, becomes Catland's greatest warrior and defends his adopted home from the enemy. And while he does he anguishes that he has lost Princess to his best friend Huxley, a love he never reveals but that he gives to their son Matthias.

"Maximus in Catland is a charming book. For those among us who adore felines, as the author clearly does, there is the additional benefit of seeing an alternate history for beloved pets! David Garrett Izzo has written a fable set in a time when big cats were a sentient and, indeed, heroic race, while human beings were the greedy, cruel newcomers. The spiritually aware cats have to counter the power-mad and evil human Reltih, and the trio we first met as kittens—Huxley, Maximus and Princess—now grown, join forces to lead the battle against the human. Maximus in Catland has all the necessary ingredients for a successful fairy tale: good and evil, unrequited love and loving loyalty, heroism and ancient wisdom. When one spells the name of the cruel and avaricious human leader backwards, the fable becomes parable, and, much like C.S. Lewis's Narnia books, can be interpreted as straightforward fantasy or something a little deeper. "
—Jenny Ivor, author of Rambles

"… a world of myth and metaphorical meaning.
Maximus the First is a giant lion-sized black cat with a shiny white chest and burning yellow eyes. Maximus was stolen as a kitten and cared for in captivity by a wise, magical eagle named Wystan and watched over by a wizard named Gerald. The first half of the book involves Maximus’s rescue by the red-and-tan tabby named Huxley.
The second half recounts Maximus’s conflict with the evil humans, likened to Nazis with names that are cyphers for Hitler and Mengele, men who have chosen 'Second Nature' (the Dark side), that is, ego and power over collective identity and common good.
Maximus in Catland is, in fairy-tale style, another examination of the idea of the Truly Strong Man—or, in this case, Cat—which is one who would give his own life for the sake of transpersonal good (what in Catland is called 'Great Mystery').
I liked this little book. As a cat-lover myself, I thoroughly enjoyed the images of giant housecats bounding to the rescue. Izzo’s writing is very descriptive. This book is a treat—with a truly mystical message."
—Toby Johnson, Lambda Sci-Fi award winner for Secret Matter

"Maximus in Catland is an interesting story that grabs the reader and doesn't let them go until the end. The story is a lot of fun. David Garrett Izzo spins a tale of giant cats that ruled the world with mysticism, honor and courage. I found these cats to be everything I wished humans could be today. What a wonderful world it would be if these giant cats really did exist. Overall, I would have to say that this is a very good story and can be read by young adults and adults both. So, if you love cats, whether they are small house cats or large, intelligent, gentle cats, this is the book for you."
—Conan Tigard of The Reading Review –Fantasy Place



Conan Tigard of The Reading Nook –Fantasy Place: http://www.readingreview.com/fantasy/catland.html

In the Book of Books is the story of Maximus the First, the most famous of the large cats that ruled the world before recorded history. Maximus was born a slave of the humans. When his mother dies at his birth, Wystan the Wise, the ruler of Eagleland, who has a red feathered head with a red plume, and is also a slave, hides Maximus under his wing so the slave owners will not discover him. Three months later, Maximus is set free by the leader of Catland and the leader of the Freedom Riders, Trevenen, who adopts Maximus. Little does Trevenen know that his newly adopted son is really his second son. Maximus is taken to Catland and meets Travenen's first son, Huxley, and they become fast friends. But there is something unusual about Maximus. He is big. In fact, he is enormous in comparison to the other large cats. Later, when the Freedom Riders return from an excursion in the east, they bring back a kitten; the last of her tribe. Princess Blue becomes fast friends with the two boys. As they grow older, Maximus becomes leader of the Freedom Riders while Huxley is being trained to take over leader of Catland for his father one day. The human, Reltih, is still holding Wystan captive and is conquering all the surrounding nations. The only question is whether Maximus can withstand Reltih, who seems to be intent on conquering the world.
Catland is David Garrett Izzo's fist fictional novel. He is the author of numerous books and articles about the authors Aldous Huxley, W.H. Auden, Gerald Heard, Christopher Isherwood and Stephen Vincent Benet, all of who appear as characters in this story. Catland is a fable that can be read by all age groups.
From the beginning, I liked the story. Catland is an interesting story that grabs the reader and doesn't let them go until the end. The characters are interesting and the story is a lot of fun. The violence is extremely minimal and this book is okay for younger reads, as there is nothing offensive in the story. David Garrett Izzo spins a tale of giant cats that ruled the world with mysticism, honor and courage. I found these cats to be everything I wished humans could be today. What a wonderful world it would be if these giant cats really did exist. Overall, I would have to say that this is a very good story and can be read by young adults and adults both. So, if you love cats, whether they be small house cats or large, intelligent, gentle cats, this is the book for you.
I rated this book an 8 out of 10.


 

Toby Johnson, Sci-Fi award winner for Secret Matter and Editor/Publisher, White Crane Journal –Toby Johnso@aol.com

“Before recorded time, the big cats ruled the world with mysticism, honor, and courage,” goes the subtitle for Catland by David Garrett Izzo. On the surface, this is a piece of fluff—but quite fun—about legendary housecats the size of human beings who inhabit a world a little like Tolkien’s Middle Earth where intelligent, even psychic, animal spirits share the earth with one another, wizards, majestic eagles, and problematic human beings, and a little like the galaxy far, far away where the Light and the Dark sides compete for the power of the Force, i.e. a world of myth and metaphorical meaning.
The story tells of the adventures of the head of the Cat Freedom Riders, Maximus the First, a black cat with a shiny white chest and burning yellow eyes. Maximus was stolen as a kitten and cared for in capitivity by a wise, magical eagle named Wystan and watched over by a wizard named Gerald. The first half of the book involves Maximus’s rescue by the red-and-tan tabby named Huxley.
The second half recounts Maximus’s conflict with the evil humans, likened to Nazis with names that are cyphers for Hitler and Mengele, men who have chosen “Second Nature” (the Dark side), that is, ego and power over collective identity and common good.
Izzo’s dedication at the head of the book reveals that Max, Huxley, and Princess are he and his wife’s household cats. But, of course, the names are also reminiscent of the 1940s and 50s poetry/mysticism circle of W.H. Auden, Gerald Heard, Stephen Spender, Aldous Huxley, and Christopher Isherwood. Izzo is a scholar of this period in English and American letters, having written and edited several books and scholarly anthologies on these mostly gay literary figures. One of Izzo’s books is a novelized account of these men’s experience of the rise of Nazism in Europe called A Change of Heart (to be published Gival Press) which examines Isherwood’s idea of the Truly Strong Man.
Catland is certainly not a roman a clef, though there are parallels between the cats and their namesakes (Huxley the red-and-tan tabby is half-blind from an eye-infection like his namesake Aldous). But it is, in fairy-tale style, another examination of the idea of the Truly Strong Man—or, in this case, Cat—which is one who would give his own life for the sake of transpersonal good (what in Catland is called “Great Mystery”
I liked this little book. As a cat-lover myself, I thoroughly enjoyed the images of giant housecats bounding to the rescue. Izzo’s writing is very descriptive. This book is a treat—with a truly mystical message.


 

Izzo’s writing is very descriptive. This book is a treat—with a truly mystical message.

A Play:
Aldous Huxley: This Timeless Moment
http://www.humanjournal.org
The ghost of Aldous Huxley visits a theater on the 75th Anniversary of his novel, Brave New World and humorously talks about his era as well as the present.


A Play:
The American World of
Stephen Vincent Benet

http://www.amazon.com

Written and performed for Benet’s Centenary celebration July 1998 in his birthplace of Bethlehem, PA

Published in 1999 by Encore Performance Publishing www.encoreplay.com or www.amazon.com

The ghost of twentieth century American author Stephen Vincent Benet (John Brown's Body, The Devil and Daniel Webster) visits a theater where he has been told by his wife Rosemary that a speaker will lecture on Benet's life and work. Benet begins chatting with the audience and soon realizes that, in fact, he is the speaker. Benet tells his story and that of his era, 1898 to 1943 that included the roaring twenties, the depression, the rise of fascism, and World War II.

Reviewed by Cynthia Gordon, Easton Express Times
“Izzo has created a remarkably moving picture of one of the literary greats of the century. The warm, well-balanced qualities of Benet shone in the performance. Ideally, Izzo will repeat his creation many times. Izzo’s performance matched his excellent script."

 

A Short Play:
Wrath
http://www.linnaeanstreet.com

An urban after dark mugging turns into a conversation of philosophical contemplation that ends in the Twilight Zone.

Performed by Einstein’s Bastards in NYC on January 9, 2003; published in the Web literary journal Linnaean Street fall – winter 2002.

© 2007 David Garrett Izzo Designed Sapphire Website Designers