Kirkus Reviews: A gentle happiness abounds in this simple tale, set against the backdrop of a rapidly changing China. Modern consumerism clashes with traditional Chinese culture, as observed by two cats in this small charmer.
Booklist: Major events in recent Chinese history are experienced first paw, as it were, by two precocious kittens who find relative comfort in the home of foreigners living in Beijing on the eve of the 2008 Olympics. In filtering ...international scandals through the eyes of lowly house cats, award-winning journalist-turned-novelist Aiyar cleverly illustrates how global circumstances can impact every strata of society.
South China Morning Post: The well paced and heart-warming animal story about courage, modesty and justice, set against the backdrop of Beijing’s red-walled hutongs, makes for entertaining and endearing reading.
Jai Arjun Singh in the Sunday Guardian: A lovely novel...Chinese Whiskers examines many aspects of Chinese society – insularity, the city-dwellers’ prejudices against migrant workers from the countryside, the friction between tradition and modernity, the hard-edged materialism of the younger generation – but it does this with a lightness of touch that is sustained from beginning to end....one of my favourite reads of the last few months
Gillian Wright in India Today: Fables are universal, and the issues Chinese Whiskers deals with are too. Greed, ego, selfishness, flattery and corruption are to be found everywhere, and so is the need for justice and truth… You don't have to be a dog or cat lover to fear for these cuddly characters' lives when they are in danger, or to be swept along by the drama and suspense of their adventures. This is Aiyar's first novel, and with any luck the adventures of Tofu and Soyabean have only just begun.
The Business Standard: Chinese Whiskers is an endearing story of how a dynamic China is affecting the lives of its people and animals… the story of the two cats deals with a serious subject in a manner that even a 10-year-old can enjoy.
Maura Elisabeth Cunningham in the China Beat: In a concise and gripping tale, Aiyar conveys the chaotic and ever-changing landscape of Beijing in the early 2000s as experienced by some of the city’s most vulnerable residents, both human and feline.
Asian Review of Books: What might be most unusual about Aiyar's book is that while adult readers will certainly enjoy the tale, it is also accessible to a young adult audience. Teens and even pre-teens who would not be ready to tackle any of the other China expat memoirs will find in Chinese Whiskers a wholesome but engaging plot. http://www.asianreviewofbooks.com/arb/article.php?article=1168
Mail Today: The cats have a way of purring their way into your heart, and you’ll find it hard not to finish this novel in a single sitting.