Book Review: "The Travelling Cat Chronicles" by Hiro Arikawa

Here I am, preparing my "Best of 2018" list when I had the sudden realisation that I haven`t reviewed most of my favourite books of 2018. For whatever reason, I always find it harder to review the books that I absolutely adore. Because I`ll sound like a broken record, stating how much I love this and that, and most of you will probably wonder if my vocabulary is better than the one of a 5-year-old. For the record, I`d like to think that it is. Anyway, my loyal readers are aware of my passion for Japanese literature, so it`s no surprise I ended up falling in love with this little novel. Also, to put it out there: I`m both a dog and cat person, cause yes, you can be both.

"The Travelling Cat Chronicles" tells the story of Nana, a stray cat that gets adopted by a guy named Satoru. Although Nana acts though at first, soon Satoru becomes his whole world, so the fact that he`ll be given away comes as a shock. On their journey across Japan, we find out more about Satoru`s life, and every chapter feels like a lesson about humanity. 

Nana was such a fun narrator, every witty remark reminded me why I love cats so much. I know they get a bad reputation, but there were so many scenes where Nana was showing Satoru how much he loves him, in subtle ways of course. As for Satoru, he`s one of those characters that seem too good to be true. Despite all of the terrible things he went through, Satoru remained a caring friend, a gentle soul that puts everyone needs before himself. I am trying very hard not to give too many spoilers because it`s one of those books where you have to go in blind.

I wouldn`t say that the writing style is over the top; not very poetic nor very simplistic, for that matter. Every sentence has a nice flow, and the story has so much feeling about it, you don`t really need unnecessary embellishment. Whilst the unbreakable bond between Satoru and Nana is the selling point, I`ve also enjoyed Satoru`s relationships with his school friends. From experience, I know that when people grow older, they also grow apart. But just because someone is not into your life permanently anymore, that does not mean you can erase the past and all the memories. Like I mentioned earlier, this is the type of book that will make you feel a wide array of emotions (have a box of tissues for the ending though). It`s beautiful and meaningful, a charming story about life.

As you might have guessed, I gave this book 5 stars. It`s a must-read novel for anyone that loves Murakami, or slow burning books full of sentiments. It`s also perfect for this time of the year because although the ending is sad, it also makes you feel thankful for everything you have. Definitely recommend, pick it up if you have the chance.

1 comment

  1. This book has been on my to-read list for a while! I came across it on Bookdepository, and thought it looked incredible. Now I'm definitely going to buy it soon!

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