Sunday 8 November 2020

The Travelling Cat ChroniclesThe Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I read this book for my bookclub. I was quite looking forward to it, but it was a struggle to read for two reasons. First was the translation: I felt this could have been edited better after the initial translation. A lot of sentences didn't read well and could have been reworked, and also some paragraphs.

The second was that it was a VERY long time until anything happened. It is a sort of aimless ramble about a guy going round his old school friends to see if anyone will take his cat. It is from the POV of the cat sometimes and that could be considered interesting, except it wasn't always. For more than half of the book you have no idea why he is trying to get this cat homed as he does have an apartment. With each friend he visits we go on a trip down memory lane about how he met them. We learn more and more about him during each visit, but it isn't until around 70% in that you find out why.

And really it is only the last chapter that really redeemed this book for me and make it a 3 star rather than a 2 star. Finally something interesting happened. Heartbreaking? Maybe. I didn't feel connected enough to the character to feel a great deal as I felt the narrative was very flat. Yes it is sad.

This is a 'Literary' book, hence it has won a ton of awards. I am still yet to understand why these sorts of books have such an impact. I feel that they are given an award and that is what attracts people to read them. They are put on a 'bestseller' list and thus people think, oh it must be good I will buy it. But personally, this was left wanting. Maybe in its original language it reads a lot better. Maybe there is a lot lost in translation.

I feel like I missed the point of it. Lovely cover though.

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