The Travelling Cat Chronicles (Hiro Arikawa)

—– 8 March

DNF. (or did I?)

That’s not to say it’s a bad book. There are few parts of the book I do enjoy but there are more parts I don’t, not because it’s not nice but because I don’t like the way it comes off to me. It’s not preachy but I find it boring.

We have multiple points of views in this story. The cat’s, the cat’s owner – Satoru -, and the people Satoru meets.

The gist of the novel is Satoru trying to find his cat, Nana, a new house because he can’t keep him anymore. So he goes on a roadtrip reconnecting with old friends to see if they can accomodate Nana.

I’m guessing it’s cause he’s dying, but I don’t know I haven’t finished it and I’m not intending to.

This book is really slow and boring. I think it might have to do with the fact that the story is translated from Japanese to English so maybe the original work might read much better. I enjoyed Nana, the cat’s point of view. Nana’s point of view seems like the only one with things happening. Everyone else’s point of view just meanders and drags. Everyone else is recounting their individual relationships with Satoru and what happened to their relationships. And it’s just… I mean there are interesting things here and there that happen in these flashbacks… but it just doesn’t come off as interesting. Because it’s all telling. And it doesn’t help that I kind of don’t like Satoru. He’s not a bad character, but he’s just not my kind of character. I don’t hate him, I just don’t like him enough to want to know more about him. He’s the kind of guy that wants to be by himself and I’m the kind of person that will respect you for that and leave you alone… Hmm. And maybe it’s cause I don’t like reading his interaction with Nana. I don’t like their relationship.

But I do like the cat. Nana’s a little ridiculous. And I really want to know where everything goes to… but… nah. I’m halfway through. I can force myself to read this actually… It’s a relatively quick read at 245 pages. It’s a slow story but it feels like it’ll be worth it. Do you ever feel that way? I felt that for Eleanor and Park... all I was, was disappointed but this book might be better? Because I know the ending is going to be sad. I know that. I just don’t feel any form of sadness yet. And I don’t want to give up on this book yet. Urgh. Okay I’ll trudge on with this book.

—– 12 March

I am indeed DNF-ing this book at page 204/247. I’ve reached the point in the book where we learn about Satoru’s medical condition. And I don’t find it sad. The only thing I find sad is how slow and repetitive this book has been – the cat thinks something, the owner thinks the same thing, the cat thinks its great the owner thinks the same thing, so we end up having three descriptions of the same thing. I don’t think me being a dog person might is affecting my view on this book. But maybe it does. But I don’t know. I just didn’t like how much telling there was in this book and how slow it moved. There’s no character arc or drastic change. Satoru in the past (mentioned during recounts) and Satoru after the medical condition (at present) come off as mostly the same person. He could change in the remaining 43 pages. But I can’t anymore. The cat is the same too.  Everyone seems to be in denial about Satoru’s prognosis in this book.

I did enjoy knowing what happened between Satoru and Sugi. I think that showed a slightly different side of Satoru.

I also enjoyed Kosuke’s life in the first story before the book got too slow for me.

That’s about it.

2/5 – it’s for a specific type of reader. Try it if you’re a cat person and let me know if you feel different. Or read it if you want a slow read. But just don’t if you’re a dog person.

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