“The only thing that can sleep in this vast city night
Is the shadow of a single blue cat
The shadow of the cat that tells the sad history of humanity” 🐾🐈
🐾This book grabbed our attention in one of the Waterstones stores we visited recently. However, without hearing, reading or seeing anything about it, we never planned of picking it up. And out of the blue, we found it again, couple stores down the road in one the charity shops, sitting in the… animals section. This time it had to come with us.
🐾The book is a collection of short stories based in Tokyo. Once you start reading it, you think that they are separate, however very soon the full picture unveils. Stories clash, interlink and connect. People meet, walk past each other, never to be seen again. Reading this book is like trying to solve a puzzle – looking for clues, noticing how the author tried to link the stories and smiling every time you spot it. And a cat. There is always a cat putting everything in order, fixing things, always watching.
🐾It is a refreshing book. The author uses Japanese manga, photos, fictional translations and Japanese folk storytellers to bring us a sad tale about a huge and lonely city of Tokyo. In our discussions, we could not stop talking about strange things – such as what the cat represents in this book? And we came up with most bizarre theories, from the story told in one of the characters heads, to sci-fi idea of a cat being the protector of the Tokyo streets. We answered questions about forgiveness and forgetfulness and what is the difference. Also, dwelled into bizarre stuff – such as do kanji characters represent characters in the book.
🐾Unfortunately, this book won’t be for everyone. You have to have a little understanding of Japanese culture and the daily lives of people living there. The author brings out a lot of quirkiness about the faraway land but does not explain much of it. So we would recommend to look up a few modern documentaries if you never visited it, or never been curious to learn more about the land of the rising sun.
One of the top 5 books read this year.
5 paws out of 5 from both of us
📖REVIEW BY 👩🏻🦰&🧔