Cats scare me terribly! I have nightmares about them. I might have even walked around an entire block to avoid getting anywhere near them (more than once).
Naturally, I was skeptical about picking The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa, thanks to a friend’s persistent recommendation. Read on to find how that turned out for me.I was fairly skeptical about #TheTravellingCatChronicles by Hiro Arikawa when I picked it up. Read my #review to find how it fared for me. turned out for me. #JapaneseLiterature #JanuaryinJapan #SouthEastAsianLit Click To Tweet
About the book
Book Name: The Travelling Cat Chronicles
Author: Hiro Arikawa, Philip Gabriel (Translator)
Genre: Fiction – Drama
Characters: Satoru, Nana, Kozuke, Yoshimine, Sugi and Chikako, Noriko
Satoru finds a feral cat with a crooked tail resting on his silver van and begins feeding it, regularly. They settle into an understanding that he would get to pet the cat for food. But then, the cat meets with an accident and it is Satoru that nurses him back. One thing leads to another, he adopts the cat and names him Nana, much to the indignation of the cat!
Nana and Satoru settle into a comfortable companionship. After a few years, Satoru decides to give away Nana and they embark on a journey to find a suitable home among his friends. Read The Travelling Cat Chronicles to join the duo on their travel through Japan and Satoru’s childhood memories!
My initial thoughts
I LOVED THIS BOOK – there I said it! It might made me laugh. Had me heartbroken. Once I even got frowned upon for letting out a chuckle while on the treadmill at the gym. Despite having guessed the climax, I was not prepared for it. I didn’t want the book to end but I am glad it ended the way it did.
Our cat Nana, is feisty, snarky and funny as a cat can be (sorry, Garfield). There are multiple POVs but I obviously, loved Nana’s version the best. His overconfident attitude and voice was how I imagined how pets to be like. Great work with the translation. I was able to feel how South East Asian the story was, yet could relate to it, cat lover or not.
Things that worked for me
- The easy writing style hooked me right from the beginning.
- It has a perfect balance between funny and heart breaking.
- The book didn’t feel like a translated work at all, and kudos to the translator!
Things that didn’t work for me
- The plot is pretty predictable and don’t look for anything “intense”.
The Travelling Cat Chronicles is a feel good book, with a bittersweet ending. Be prepared to cry, laugh and snicker throughout!
Let us chat
Have you read this one? Have you read any other pet related books? If so which one would you recommend? Let us talk.