Book review: A boy, a bookstore and a talking cat

A talking cat, a reclusive adolescent and magical mazes make The Cat Who Saved Books an exciting read while taking the reader on a whimsical journey.
Cover of the book, The Cat Who Saved Books.
Cover of the book, The Cat Who Saved Books.
Updated on Jan 25, 2022 06:50 PM IST
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ByEtti Bali, New Delhi

That books are an escape into the extraordinary is well known so it is only natural that a book about escaping the ordinary and saving books would be special. Throw in a talking cat, a reclusive adolescent and magical mazes and you have to yourself a heartwarming read that is easy on the eyes and mind. The Cat Who Saved Books by Japanese author Sosuke Natsukawa has been translated from Japanese by Louise Heal Kawai and takes the reader on a whimsical journey of self discovery.

The book begins with a disclaimer about the death of the protagonist’s grandfather, and is gripping from the word go. It leads the reader into the world of Rintaro Natsuki, a hikikomori — a Japanese word describing a condition that mainly affects adolescents or young adults who live isolated from the world. Natsuki’s grandfather runs a second-hand bookstore where he spends many hours in the company of books. But upon his grandfather’s death, Natsuki is in a dilemma as to what to do with the store; the books and the space have been his sanctuary. This is when he is encountered by Tiger, the talking cat, and together they embark on a journey to save books.

If one is looking for a comfortable yet engaging read for a lazy winter afternoon, then this is a definite pick-me-up. And who wouldn’t be intrigued to read a story where books and a talking cat are involved!

Title: The Cat Who Saved BooksAuthor: Sosuke NatsukawaPublisher: Pan MacmillanPrice: 499

Author tweets at @TheBalinian

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Monday, May 23, 2022