Monday, 31 October 2016

A Street Cat Named Bob - James Bowen

'I invited Bob to jump on my lap, which he did in the blink of an eye. A moment or two later, the conductor appeared. She was a cheerful West Indian lady and smiled at Bob, then me. ‘Is he yours?’ she said, stroking him. ‘I guess he must be,’ I said.'

Confession of the day: I love cats. Cats are amazing and wonderful and I'd be at a loss if something happened to one of our two little fluff balls back in Finland. Cats all the way. So of course, I've been meaning to read perhaps the most famous book written about a cat for the longest time.

A Street Cat Named Bob is about Londoner busker James and his cat Bob, whom he meets on the streets. They become inseparable and set out against the world together. This book is about their first few years together - James starting out as a recovering drug addict busking in the streets for money, Bob as a weak shadow of a cat.

The book isn't sugar-coated; James clearly has no qualms about expressing just how rough life on the streets can be. I was surprised about this, since I was probably more prepared to read about the cat rather than the man. It was welcome, though - I don't suppose one ever knows too much about the hardships other people are forced to go through. I liked learning more about their lives and hearing the whole story.

I suppose for this book, though, it's true what they say about life being stranger than fiction. It gave me lots of happy fluffy feelings and made me really feel like I was connecting with James and Bob (it would be weird to call them 'characters', right?), and I'd say that's a sign of a good job well done.

The writing style is pretty much what you'd expect from an author who's not really an author; it's more of a man telling his story. It's in his own words so I didn't mind that, but it's not to be expected that a book like this would be a masterpiece in a literary sense. It's not very complicated in writing and suffers from some repetition, but it's not an experience-breaking thing, so I'll give this a sound 4/5. I do recommend it if you like cats and find an interest in stuff like this!

I'll be sure to check out The World According to Bob the next time I need my daily dose of cats, since it's kind of like a direct continuation of this book. I'm also so excited about the upcoming movie, by the way! In most scenes, Bob plays himself!! How cool is that? I already convinced my boyfriend to come watch it with me, I'm that excited! Keep you updated on my thoughts afterwards! (I'll be disappointed if it's not dark enough; I have a bad feeling it'll be a bit too much of a feel-good family film.)

'I’d even been approached by an American lady, an agent, who asked me whether I’d thought about writing a book about me and Bob. As if!

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