The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa Philip Gabriel (Translator) November 3rd 2017
I don’t generally do animal stories, especially ones told from the animals point of view, but after reading the book blurb and the words’International Bestseller’ across the front cover, I thought, ok, lets see if I am missing anything!
Told mainly from the cat, Nana’s point of view it tells the story of Saturo and his search to finds Nana a new home.
Nana has no idea whys he needs a new home but tags along as Saturo packs up his van and off they go on a road trip around Japan. They visit Saturo’s old friends in the hope that one of them is good enough to rehome Nana, and slowly the reasons for Saturo’s actions begin to emerge.
Nana is the perfect narrator, full of attitude, slightly selfish, yet hugely protective of Saturo and as they visit each of the friends, Saturo’s past is revealed It is a past that was not always happy, but full of valued friendships and compassion. Arikawa is excellent at dropping little clues as they travel and slowly the reader begins to put the pieces together guessing some time before the end what is going to happen.
I cannot say that this spoilt my enjoyment of the novel as I was intrigued to know more of Saturo’s past and the often funny perceptive viewpoint of Nana.
Arikawa’s narrative is beautifully emotive and your a hard person if this novel does not touch you in some way. It depicts so cleverly the loneliness we sometimes feel with other humans and the complications it can cause. The relationship we have with our pets is simpler, and comforting for both sides yet the bond is stronger, more heartfelt
Yes, the novel is a little sentimental and I don’t tend to do sentimental, but I was surprised by how much I was drawn into Nana’s world. It was easy to read, yet totally captivating and I will admit to having a little cry.
A lovely, touching heartfelt story that is a must read.
Thank you to Poppy Stimpson and Doubleday for a proof copy to read and review.
About the author.
Hiro is a renowed author from Tokyo. The Travelling Cat Chronicles has been a publishing sensation in Japan and is due to be published in ten languages.
The translator Philip Gabriel is a highly respected Japaneses translator notable for his work with Haruki Murakami.