Being an animal lover, and a human by default, I could totally connect with the emotions of both the characters- Nana and Satoru. This story took me on a wonderful adventure, of a cat and his owner. Though I read the translated version, I got the taste of Hiro Arikawa’s writing style.
I connected with both the characters from the very first chapter. This story is about a stray cat and a human who loved cats. From strangers to friends, the author has detailed their journey in a very thoughtful way while unraveling the emotional and learning aspects of life. One fine day, Satoru spots a cat outside his building, who allows him to cuddle in exchange for some food. They become friends, gradually. And then on an unfortunate night, the cat gets hit by a car. Satoru takes care of his newfound friend and their bond strengthens with time.
Soon, he adopts the stray and names him Nana. Satoru’s cat gets a home and he gets company in his lonely life. After spending a good five years together, Satoru decides to part with Nana, due to some unknown, ‘unavoidable circumstances.’ He approaches his childhood friend Kosuke, another cat-lover. The author gave an account of their friendship, and the back-story was equally interesting and amusing. This story is not just about the furry feline, but about love, friendship, trust, sacrifice and so much more. The ending will surely make your heart heavy.
The Travelling Cat Chronicles is astounding, gut-wrenching and heart-warming. It made me laugh; it made me emotional. The language is simple, and free-flowing. Hiro’s informal, relaxed storytelling, made this an easy read. There was a warmth in the dialogues, and the plot was fresh and interesting. The thoughts were insightful and enlightening. I will remember Satoru and Nana’s adventures for a long time. One doesn’t need to be a cat lover to understand this story. Anyone who empathizes with animals will thoroughly enjoy the story. Nana’s character was handled thoughtfully. His dialogues, reactions, gestures will make you connect with him easily. He entertained in a humorous way. Yet his words were meaningful and made me think.
Quoting a few of my favourite lines:
“Human beings are basically huge monkeys that walk upright, but they can be pretty full of themselves. They leave their cars exposed to the elements, but a few paw prints on the paintwork, and they go ballistic.”
“When an animal’s life is over, it rests where it falls and it often seems to me that humans are such worriers to think of preparing a place for people to sleep when they are dead.”
“Humans who think we don’t understand them are the stupid ones.”
“Life, be it human or feline, doesn’t always work out the way you think it will.”
The story was amusing, and emotional. Every reader will fall in love with Nana and Satoru. I thoroughly enjoyed the story. A light read, easy free flowing narration, this book is a must read if you are up for the humor mixed with emotions. One needs to read the book to get the feel. No review can do justice to the story, if you haven’t read the book yet, I’d suggest you to check it out. Their love for each other, will melt your heart; will make you fall in love with them.
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