Written by Marjorie Dawson

The Travelling Cat Chronicles A Book Review

The Travelling Cat Chronicles A Book Review

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Meet Nana, he’s the voice of The Travelling Cat Chronicles. How is his story amazing? And different? We need to tell you about it.

This is a cat that has a dry humour, and a practical view of life. Through his eyes we follow the story of Nana’s life and times and those of his owner Satoru. The writing is humorous, sharply written and vibrant with insight. We hope the movie from Japan (due October 2018) lives up to expectations.

Their relationship is beautifully and affectionately described throughout the book and their mutual regard will make you smile in recognition as a fellow cat owner.

The Translation of the Travelling Cat Chronicles

The world of Japan colours every page of the book but not in an obvious way, and the impression of clarity, freshness and the sheer beauty of the story is translated from the original Japanese with great skill and sensitivity by Philip Gabriel. The story flows so naturally you would hardly believe it was written in one language and translated into another. If you are a serious reader, you might recognise Philip Gilbert as the man who translates one of Japan’s foremost writers – Haruki Murakami

Travelling Cat Chronicles - Hiro Arikawa
Jack recommends The Travelling Cat Chronicles – Hiro Arikawa

The Cat Chronicles Story Unfolds

Nana’s story starts in the same way as that of many strays. He is a survivor who has his favourite haunts and warm spots for the cold winter months. He also has an eye for the best soft touch and settles on one young man, the one who drives a silver van with a warm hood, Satoru.

This is a road movie in book form. The story unfolds like layers of tissue paper around a gift, revealing more about the characters, their own individual stories and their impact on the life of Satoru. We know that Satoru has to rehome Nana when he begins his search. He starts with the closest friends from his past, and our question is ‘why’.

Is Satoru getting married and his fiancé hates cats? Is Satoru moving abroad and Nana can’t travel there? Why is he being so affectionate and loving but still determined to give Nana a new home? As the pair visit their friends, the story transforms the lives of its characters in unexpected ways in true road movie style. This is until the story takes an unexpected turn and we work out what is happening.  Piece by piece as though we are assembling a puzzle or watching a flower unfold, we begin to understand.

The turn transforms the story into an extraordinary tale of love and recollection, making it a story that defines friendships as they last over time. The cat’s tale shows us how, even late in the day, friendship, affection and family ties can change every one of us for the better.

[clickToTweet tweet=”A superb book that every cat lover will be touched by. Events and how these affect the lives of a #cat, his master and close friends. #Japan #travellingcat ” quote=”A superb book that every cat lover will be touched by. #” theme=”style3″]

Did We Like the Cat Chronicles Story?

We did.

Do not read this book expecting it to be like any other cat and owner and adventure book. The style is elegant and well-paced, affectionate, humorous and descriptive. It approaches sadness and grief with a lighter touch which makes what happens all the more gripping. It will leave you touched and uplifted. We loved it and think any cat lover with find the story resonates deep in their hearts.

The Travelling Cat Chronicles   Author Hiro Arikawa (Amazon link)
Translated into English by Philip Gabriel (translator of Haruki Murakami)

Do you have any amazing cat books you have read lately?

Marjorie and Jack reporters on
The Travelling Cat Chronicles Review

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Marjorie Dawson

Marjorie is a motorbike riding blogger and award winning cat photographer who believes that everyone can shoot and edit wonderful pictures they love regardless of the camera they use.

She is a Professional member of the Cat Writers Association, Kuykendall Image Award winner and published photographer at the Guardian newspaper.

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22 thoughts on “The Travelling Cat Chronicles A Book Review”

  1. Sounds amazing! I’m normally not an emotional person, BUT now that I have babes and my sweet animals, I can’t do sad stories! I am a sucker when an animal “feels sad” lol, so I’m not sure I can survive!

  2. The book sounds really interesting. I have a lot of books on my to read list, but I’m going to add that one to it. I’ll be sharing Sadie.

  3. I’ve only started reading a book by Louise Hay in 2018 so far. I have yet to finish my list from last year. I’ll have to add this book to my “Books to read in 2018”.

  4. Ooo this sounds like a great book! Haven’t read many cat books, but I think this one will pull the heartstrings, like any good animal book.
    And sweet Sadie. My circle is so very much dog based, but I’ll check around!

  5. “The story unfolds like layers of tissue paper around a gift…” I love that line from your book review. Your writing style and voice is lovely. I haven’t read a book about a cat in quite some time. I’m inspired to do so now!

  6. This sounds like a book Mom Paula may want to read. She said no sadness right now because she’s a little too emotional later, but she’ll definitely put it on her list to read. Maybe it’s something she should consider reading on the flight to BlogPaws, if she flies.

  7. The book sounds awesome – I may grab this for my daughter, a cat lover to the extreme! I also shared Sadie’s post on my FB page……fingers crossed for that poor girl!

  8. This book sounds delightful! I love that it seems to have a different touch and feel to it than most cat books like this. You did a beautiful job of describing it. We will have to check it out!

  9. Great translation is definitely an art. I’ve read one of Murakami’s works but in a language other than English so I don’t know if I’ve seen Gilbert’s work before but I’m interested to see his work!
    Poor Sadie. I’m going to go share the post.

  10. Looks like an interesting book! I’m not usually a ‘cat person’ because my fiance is allergic to them, so we can’t have any of our own. But I do love them, and enjoy reading, so I’ll have to check this book out!

  11. This sounds like an amazing story and you have planted the seed in my brain to read it so I can understand more, once again an amazing post, thanks

  12. This sounds like an AMAZIN’ book and oh my gosh, your review of it is so beautifully written.

    Gonna hop on over to Brian’s blog, now.


  13. This sounds like a book we want our mom to read to us for sure. We’re so sad about Sofie and we shared her all over social media.

  14. I can think of a few people that may enjoy that book! I hope Sadie finds a home. It’s heart breaking that people can treat animals as disposable. Ugh. Good luck sweet girl.

  15. That does sound good but we don’t handle sadness and grief well at all. Thanks for sharing sweet Sadie, the Dad says she really is a sweetie. No nibbles yet.


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