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The Travelling Cat Chronicles

by Hiro Arikawa, Philip Gabriel

The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa, Philip Gabriel X
The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa, Philip Gabriel
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  • Published:
    Oct 2018, 288 pages

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There are currently 37 member reviews
for The Travelling Cat Chronicles
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  • Susan B. (Rutledge, MO)

    heartwarming, and heartbreaking
    I love cats and travel, and greatly enjoyed my one trip to Japan years ago, so I truly enjoyed much of this book. I particularly appreciated the sections depicting the story from the cat's perspective, which I found touching and hilarious (despite my usual discomfort with the anthropomorphization of animals). I found the subject matter personally difficult, but do not how to say more without spoilers. I do wish I had known the major plot twist before reading, as I would likely have chosen to not read it at this time, as that issue is fresh in my own life. Cover text calls the story heartwarming, which it surely is, but for me at this time it was heartbreaking as well. Despite that, I'm still glad to have read it.
  • Peggy K. (San Diego, CA)

    Cats and Friends
    A delightful collection of stories that will entertain all pet lovers. While these stories all involve a cat they also give us a deeper look into relationships with family and friends. They show how our connections with animals shape so much of our actions. Take this book with you to read on vacation or in front of a fire on a cold winter day. There is a lot of humor here but also many touching moments.
  • Carole S. (Whittier, NC)

    The Travelling Cat Chronicles
    This book was hard for me to get into as I found it to be slow and quirky. At times I felt detached from the characters. The ending was wonderful, sad, full of heart and hope that pulled it all together in a satisfying, but tearful way. Cat lovers wanting a tender story about the deep connections we make with our feline friends may enjoy this heartfelt tale.
  • Erica M. (Chicago, IL)

    Not what I was expecting
    Having lived with dogs and cats for the past 35 years, and read most of the best selling novels about various pets over those years, I started the Traveling Cat Chronicles with different expectations than how I found the book to begin with. First of all, there was a cultural difference in the approach to the man/cat bond. Secondly, I felt that there was a disconnect because of the translation. I just felt that a warmth that I was used to from the American bestsellers was missing. Also, the foreshadowing - that device that keeps you moving forward to find out why things are going the way they are going - was awkward. It is only because of these issues that I gave the book a 4 and not a 5, since by the end, I was totally wrapped up in the characters and the way the story played out. If you approach the book with the understanding that it is not another "Marley and Me", that it is its own story, I think you will find it truly enjoyable.
  • Joan P. (Owego, NY)

    The Traveling Cat Chronicals
    This is really the story of Satoru, a Japanese man, told by his loving cat, Nana. Saturn can no longer care for Nana so he makes visits to old friends to find a suitable home for the cat. Each friendship reveals much about what a good man Satoru is and we discover that he has always made others happy even though he has had a hard life. Nana interacts with other animals and remarks about the humans at each stop. He is very insightful and funny. It gives us a look at what our animals think about us. Anyone that has a beloved pet will appreciate this book and cat lovers will nod and say, "I knew they were smarter than dogs."
  • Anne C. (Herndon, VA)

    Travels with a Cat
    The first word that came to mind as I began reading this novel was "pleasant." It seemed like a rather simple story, with the only confusion on my part being the very emotional reactions the main characters had to cats. I am a cat lover and have had pet cats most of my life, but I was puzzled by the almost mystical feelings of the cat lovers in the story. Then I googled "Cats in Japanese culture" and learned that cats have a very significant role in Japanese culture. As I continued to read the book, it appeared that owning a cat was considered a great privilege and that the cat should be treated like an honored guest.

    Once I got past my cultural confusion, I enjoyed the book, especially as the plot got a little more interesting with some foreshadowing of problems to come. Satoru decided to give his beloved cat Nana away and traveled to his friends' homes to see if anyone could keep the cat. The depiction of the strong bonds of friendship between Satoru and his friends from elementary, middle, and high school was lovely. While some of the story is told from the cat's point of view, other passages about past events do not seem to be related by the cat.

    Each of Satoru's friends had some regrets about their past actions, and at one point his friend Sugi asked him, "How can you be such a good person when you've been so unlucky?" Later Satoru's aunt Noriko, who had raised him after his parents died, expressed her regrets to him for mistakes she had made, but he kept telling her how happy he had been with his life. His optimistic spirit and satisfaction with life seemed to be based in part on his love for his two cats, one from his boyhood, and Nana, his pet in his adult life.

    Nana, the stray cat, became so close to Satoru that he remarked, "I am Satoru's one and only cat. And Satoru is my one and only pal." And later, "As we count up the memories from one journey, we head off on another."
  • Lucy S. (Westford, MA)

    I think my expectations were too high for this book - there were so many really high positive reviews. I thought it was a nice story, but it felt more like a children's book in the writing style and that was distracting to me. I liked the strong concepts of love, loyalty and friendship and the ending, although so sad, stays with you. I just wish the writing style was different.

Beyond the Book:
  Cats in Japanese Culture

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