Mini Book Review: The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa

At first, ‘The Travelling Cat Chronicles’ seems like an unassuming book. A quirky road trip adventure of a man and his cat across the Japanese landscape. You could ask, what’s the point in following this trip down memory lane? Many of the interactions Saturo has are mundane conversations of the past. To many, this concept might sound tedious, but the beauty of this story is in emphasising the profound effect of conversation. It’s in the reminiscing, looking ahead, and reconnecting, even for a fleeting moment. It reminds us of the importance of connection and friendship.

“My story will be over soon. But it’s not something to be sad about. Remembering those who went ahead. Remembering those who will follow after. And someday, we will meet all those people again, out beyond the horizon”

So, what sparks this road trip? The answer is subtle but ever hidden as circumstances force Satoru to look for a new home for Nana. The twist? Our narrator is Nana. Now, having a story narrated by a cat might seem strange to you, but haven’t you ever wanted to know what goes through the mind of these perceptive animals? If you’ve ever owned a cat, then Nana’s voice will reflect your cat’s behaviour. It’s hilarious and poignant, emphasising the devotion between pet and owner as a family. In many ways, his perspective also gave us some poignant observations on the nature of humans.

“No other animal in the world would try to defy the laws of nature, but humans are a very peculiar species.”

Much of this book lies in quiet moments. It’s a gentle tale that touches on the beauty of connection. It’s in the people (and pets) that weave in and out of our lives and the impact, as minimal as it may be, they have on us. It’s as tender as it is moving, one that will tug at the heartstrings.

“As we count up the memories from one journey, we head off on another. Remembering those who went ahead. Remembering those who will follow after. And someday, we will meet all those people again, out beyond the horizon.”

What did you think of The Travelling Cat Chronicles?

About the Book

Summary

Sometimes you have to leave behind everything you know to find the place you truly belong…

Nana the cat is on a road trip. He is not sure where he’s going or why, but it means that he gets to sit in the front seat of a silver van with his beloved owner, Satoru. Side by side, they cruise around Japan through the changing seasons, visiting Satoru’s old friends. He meets Yoshimine, the brusque and unsentimental farmer for whom cats are just ratters; Sugi and Chikako, the warm-hearted couple who run a pet-friendly B&B; and Kosuke, the mournful husband whose cat-loving wife has just left him. There’s even a very special dog who forces Nana to reassess his disdain for the canine species.

But what is the purpose of this road trip? And why is everyone so interested in Nana? Nana does not know and Satoru won’t say. But when Nana finally works it out, his small heart will break…

9 thoughts on “Mini Book Review: The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa

  1. LOIS, YOU POSTED SOMETHING!!! I remember when you read this book and I’m so glad you chose to write a review 🙂 ❤ I can't exactly imagine the voice of a cat, but it does sound delightful. I like the sound of this book focusing on the quieter moments, because they can be so important. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Surprise 😂 I felt like I should probably show my face here again haha. It felt good to write something, even something so short. The book really is so tender. I cried at the end. The cats POV was unusual but hilarious and also quite poignant. It just made me think of my cats haha. It’s a short book too which gives it brownie points.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. So glad to see you around here, Lois! This does sound like a gentle yet powerful story. It does make me crave some Japanese literature all of a sudden. 😀 Thanks for sharing!

    P.S. I also wanted to make a quick mention that I will be moving on to my own blog going forward (temporarily cross-posting content to warn readers on Bookidote) and that I’d love for us to remain connected over on my new blog (roarsandechoes.com). Don’t feel obligated to do so though! Stay safe!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It feels so good to finally get a post up. I’ll likely be a sporadic blogger going forward but hopefully I won’t leave it as long as I did.

      The book really is such a quirky and tender read. It’s made me want to read more Japanese literature now. Any suggestions?

      Thank you for letting me know. I’m so excited to check out the new blog. The name is epic. I’ll definitely hop over to say hi. 😁😁

      Like

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