Tuesday, February 10, 2015

A Street Cat Named Bob by James Bowen - Book Review

Have you ever read a book you loved so much that you feel even a glowing book review won't do it any justice? Well, that's what 'A Street Cat Named Bob,' was for me.
I found the book in this quirky little bookstore nestled in Kalk Bay, Cape Town and although I could barely afford to scrape enough together for dinner that night, I just couldn't leave the store without it.

I'll admit, at first I thought it was hilarious. Over the years I have managed to adopt the nickname, Crazy Cat Lady, among my friends... so when I laid eyes on this book in the store I had to laugh and take a photo of it for my friends. I knew they would find it funny. 
But after snapping a quick picture, curiosity got the better of me and I picked the book up to read the blurb on the back:

"When James Bowen found an injured, ginger street cat curled up in the hallway of his sheltered accommodation, he had no idea just how much his life was about to change. James was living hand to mouth on the streets of London and the last thing he needed was a pet.
Yet James couldn't resist helping the strikingly intelligent tom cat, whom he quickly christened Bob. He slowly nursed Bob back to health and then sent the cat on his way, imagining he would never see him again. But Bob had other ideas.
Soon the two were inseparable and their diverse, comic and occasionally dangerous adventures would transform both their lives, slowly healing the scars of each other's troubled pasts.
A Street Cat Named Bob is a moving and uplifting story that will touch the heart of anyone who reads it."

Needless to say, after that I was hooked! 
It is an absolutely gorgeous true story about a busking, heroine addict living on the streets of London. While struggling to beat his addiction, he stumbles upon a seemingly homeless ginger tom cat.  Little does he know that this friendly feline is about to turn his life around. 

This book is so heartwarming and emotionally touching. It is filled with hope and love! It's a story about angel's, blessings and guidance in the most realistic way possible. What I love most about this book is that it isn't written over-dramatically. It is believable and enjoyable to the point where you really can't put it down. I read the entire thing back to front within two days and was absolutely gutted when it came to an end - only because I didn't want it to! So for all the bad that is in this book, like it being quite repetitive, it really would be your loss if you chose not to read it because of the negative aspects it contains. 

I know that this book is based in London - but being put into the shoes of a homeless person for the duration of the read was really eye-opening for someone living in South Africa. Seeing things from their perspective is hard to take in but it is so important to understand it too 

It is so true that people perceive homeless people (or as we call them, 'hobo's), drug addicts and beggars differently. Very often we don't give them a chance and reading this completely changed my view on how to handle it when approached by someone on the streets again. As the author says, he could have been asking someone for the time but the second they see his appearance they shoo him off and won't give him the time of day. It really pulled at my heartstrings. 

One thing that this book reinforced for me was just how clever and incredible cats are... or any animal really. They choose people, you don't choose them - and that was exactly what happened in this book. 
Animals make the world a better place and they make our lives complete too. They are the best companions you could ever ask for and one thing this book really encourages is for you to just appreciate your furry friends.  

I was smiling the ENTIRE way through this book. It was such a feel-good read and to top it off, it had such a happy ending. 
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  1. Jade, this book sounds wonderful... I think anything that enlightens us to think more of people without judging them is a great thing... I will have to see if local library has this one... I have been wanting to pick up reading more, this definitely sounds like one I will like xox

  2. Oh I can just imagine curling up with my cat in the evenings and reading this treasure :)


  3. Sounds like an interesting read. And yes I know what it is to find a book like that.

  4. Oh sounds like a good read! I loved this video that I came across the other day... http://themindunleashed.org/2014/08/homeless-people-asked-write-fact-answers-may-surprise.html I think anything that makes us re-think our quick judgment of others is a good thing.

  5. So awesome! I will definitely get the book! Thanks for sharing! Enjoyed reading your post!
    xoxo, Vanessa

  6. okay I will be reading this! As you know I am a cat-addict! My Pudding was my world for almost 21 yrs and when she passed in August I adopted my sweet little Penny from the shelter. They make life so much better! and I totally believe they choose you--there were a few kittens that were not interested in me at all, but Penny? she simply attached herself to me and my mom and wouldn't stop purring! we knew she was The One instantly!

  7. This book sounds like a fantastic read. It sounds much different then any other books of its kind. You always have the best book reviews! I will have to add this to my "to read" list now.


  8. Hi Jade! Before I read your review, I could have sworn I'd read this but actually, I don't think so!! Great review and you make some very pertinent points!x

  9. Great blog you have here!
    Would you like us to follow eachother on GFC?
    Keep in touch,
    xo from Italy,
    Sonia Verardo

  10. Okay, I'll be honest and admit that I am not a cat person. LOL! I do love the sounds of this book, it seems like a really good read. This is also the first review I've read about this book and I must say I am intrigued. Will try to find it here.
    p/s: You should really try to swing by Malaysia if you have time after Bali, I think you'll like it. xx

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

  11. I'm not sure I would have picked this up at first glance but reading your review, I HAVE to find it. Looks riveting. :)


  12. I am adding to my Amazon wishlist! This looks great. I love cats and fancy myself a bit of a crazy cat lady!

  13. What a fabulous review! I am putting this on my 'Must Read' list. Will definitely check it out.

  14. I've actually seen this in a charity shop I think, but wasn't sure whether to get it. It sounds really good though, I'll see if I can pick one up on Amazon. I definitely agree with people treating homeless people so differently, I always try and think of the fact that they had a life beforehand and really anyone could end up in that circumstance.

    India / Touchscreens & Beautyqueens

  15. Thank you from the visit
    check back often
    I loved your blog also

  16. Thank you for this review, I want to read this book! Btw, I also love happy endings.

    Jasmine x
    For a Real Woman

  17. Lovely... If you will we can follow each other, just let mw know, dear. I always follow back.


  18. I love books which make you smile and feel good. I am really not the kind of person who likes to read thrillers or those kind of things. I am just too sensitive I think, like, when I read a good book and its over, I sometimes cry just because its so sad that I cannot continue reading. Did this ever happen to you?
    Thanks for your last sweet comment by the way :)!


  19. I'm so intrigued- the book sounds great! Im always looking for something new to read, so thanks for sharing!


  20. I like how you wrote: Cats choose people and not the other way around. I've read it before but unfortunately can't say if it's true since I don't have a cat although I'd love to have one :) xx Maja
    - http://modern-muffin.blogspot.com

  21. Love your book reviews!!
    xoxo, Vanessa

  22. Cool review, doll. I love a feel-good read! :)

    Le Stylo Rouge

  23. That certainly does sound like a cute book!

  24. This sounds like a really cute book<3 Enjoyed reading your review & I love the pictures as well! Fab review Jade, looking more to hear your thoughts.

    Benish | Feminist Reflections

  25. As a fellow crazy cat lady, I'm swooning over these books!


  26. This sounds like a really interesting read with a lot more depth than I would have thought based on the name. I think his thoughts on homelessness may be eyeopening to read.

    :] // ▲ itsCarmen.com ▲

  27. My cat definitely chose me. He was 3 days old on the other side of the fence crying. We've been together ever since! You definitely got me in the book reading mood!


  28. Oh, Jade! This touches my heart--that cats choose us! I've truly believed that about my own cats. In fact, I honestly believe the spirit of our dear Salem led me to our current sweet tabby cat (Tabitha). What a great book (and review)! Hugs, T. http://tickledpinkwoman.blogspot.com

  29. Such a great book review! This book sounds really interesting! x

    The Belle Narrative

  30. seems like an interesting read.You've written this review very nicely which makes others to feel like reading till the end.
    I am your new GFC follower from foodcnr.com
    Have a Great weekend!

  31. I actually learned about this book via FB. I'm not sure how it turned up on my feed but it did and I feel in love with that same blurb you shared (that was what was shared with me too). I hadn't actually made the effort to look into it further which is a shame because from the moment I saw it I knew it would change my life somehow. Animals are such beautiful creatures, especially those who choose us as friends. My little fur baby has been there for me all along and I can not imagine a life without her. During some very dark times she was the only thing I would get out of bed for. I pray she breaks world records and lives for a good 500+ dog years.


  32. It sounds interesting :)


  33. btw iam so in love with the travel map!
    i envy you, 'cause you visited so many lovely places :)
    lovely! travels are amazing

    hope you too visit my Blog <3

  34. Great review!


  35. i've heard about this but haven't read it yet! but i do love cat stories, haha! xx

  36. Ah, this sounds like a heartwarming story. :)


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