A simple story told by a cat whose master takes him on a series of journeys, the purpose of which is revealed towards the end. A sentimental reader might cry.
Quotes from the book:
- “On TV and in photos, it [Mt Fuji] looks just like a triangle that has flopped down onto the earth, but when you see it in real life it feels overwhelming, like it’s closing in on you.”
- “Our silver van was like a magic carriage. Every time I got into it, it carried me to a place I’d never been before.”
- “Well, you catch something, you’ve got to take a bite out of it. Back in Tokyo, when I killed cockroaches I’d always take a bite. The hard wings were like cellophane so I didn’t eat those, but the flesh was soft and savoury.”
Nana is a stray cat rescued from a car accident by Satoru, a man living alone in Tokyo. Saturo, a cat-lover, takes Nana in and loves her like the cat he had as a childhood pet. Unexplained circumstances lead to Satoru visiting a series of friends whom he asks to take the cat. We learn of Saturo’s life from these visits, and it is slowly revealed why Saturo has to give up Nana.
- “Anyone who’s ever had a cat will be moved by this beautifully evoked feline roadtrip “ Full review: The Guardian
- “… it’s the wisdom and stoicism of the feline narrator that makes this book such an engaging read.” “In the wrong hands, a story like this could be little more than an entertaining curiosity, but Arikawa has a lightness of touch in her writing that elevates it to a tale about loyalty and friendship, eschewing sentimentality while speaking to our basic human need for companionship.” Full review: Irish Times
The book has been adapted into a movie, “The Travelling Cat Chronicles”, the original title being “Tabineko ripoto” released 2018.