The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa, Translated by Philip Gabriel

The Travelling Cat Chronicles

Hiro Arikawa, Translated by Philip Gabriel

An international bestseller, The Travelling Cat Chronicles gives voice to Nana the cat and his owner, Satoru, as they take to the road to visit three of Satoru's longtime friends.

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A book that “speak[s] volumes about our need for connection—human, feline or otherwise” (The San Francisco Chronicle), The Travelling Cat Chronicles is a life-affirming anthem to kindness and self-sacrifice that shows how the smallest things can provide the greatest joy—the perfect gift for cat lovers and travellers!

We take journeys to explore exotic new places and to return to the comforts of home, to visit old acquaintances and to make new friends. But the most important journey is the one that shows us how to follow our hearts...

An instant international bestseller and indie bestseller, The Travelling Cat Chronicles has charmed readers around the world. With simple yet descriptive prose, this novel gives voice to Nana the cat and his owner, Satoru, as they take to the road on a journey with no other purpose than to visit three of Satoru's longtime friends. Or so Nana is led to believe... 

With his crooked tail—a sign of good fortune—and adventurous spirit, Nana is the perfect companion for the man who took him in as a stray. And as they travel in a silver van across Japan, with its ever-changing scenery and seasons, they will learn the true meaning of courage and gratitude, of loyalty and love.

On New York Post's Required Reading List

Advance Galley Reviews

As a cat lover, I had to read The Traveling Cat Chronicles. I absolutely adored this book told from the cat, Nana’s point of view. Nana is a stray cat who slowly becomes Satoru’s cat by means outside of Nana’s control. The book begins with Nana taking a journey to visit Satoru’s friends, or so he is led to believe. Satoru is looking for someone to take care of Nana, because he won’t be able to for a while. As we follow Nana and Satoru’s journey, we start to see Satoru’s life as remembered by his friends. Each visit with his friends reveals a little bit more about Satoru’s past. You also learn the true, heart-breaking reason why Satoru is so anxious to find a new caregiver for Nana. This book is a little slow moving, but funny and sweet. It’s an interesting viewpoint to read from the cat’s perspective. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

I was unable to read this copy on my ereader.

A very interesting story. I'm glad I got a copy of this translated work. It's definitely worth the read. 4 stars.

The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa (translated by Philip Gabriel) is a literal journey across the country and figurative one through Satoru's life. This journey is a story of the connection between two living beings and of unconditional love. This idea goes beyond the fact that Satoru is a man, and Nana is a cat. That is the memory I will take from this book. Read my complete review at Reviewed for Penguin First to Read program.

Good story. Interesting and entertaining! Enjoyed the cat perspective!

You don't have to be a cat lover to enjoy this book, but it certainly doesn't hurt. It's a lovely little story that was a lot more emotional than I was expecting. The story details how Satoru and his cat, Nana, meet and the journey they take across Japan. We get to meet all of the people that meant the most to Satoru and how each of them have been impacted by cats, and other animals, in their lives. These stories meander in much the same way that Satoru and Nana do on their journey. One element of this book that I liked a lot is the use of Nana's perspective to tell the story. Since the book is essentially about Satoru (it shifts between telling parts about the present day and his past), having the cat put in its two cents about Satoru is a good choice. It helps to build the camaraderie between the two of them as the story progresses, which adds to its impact. Some of the small moments along their travels end up being the most important.

The Travelling Cat Chronicles is written from the perspective of Nana, a cat. Are the cats fighting, or is one teaching the other how to be a real cat? Many times throughout the book, we are shown that our first impressions can be very wrong. The story doesn’t progress too quickly, so don’t expect any high intensity action. But each friend that they visit highlights once again, how fond Saturo is of animals, and how much he cares about them. Therefore, the reader can quickly conclude, that something serious must be the cause for Saturo to seek out a caretaker for Nana. A little over half way through the book, the cause for the roadtrip, and for seeking out a caretaker, is revealed in a very interesting fashion, in case the reader hasn’t guessed it by then. That doesn’t rid us of the suspense, because now the dilemma becomes even more present, how badly Saturo races to find a new home for Nana. If you want to find out how things work out, I can warmly recommend giving this book a try. It is beautifully written, has wonderful characters, a very rare glimpse at our strange world from the point of view of an animal, and the sad ending has the potential to jerk tears from your eyes. If you don’t mind a slightly slower pace for the book, and don’t need every story to have a happy ending, then this is a wonderful read for you. There are still plenty of heartfelt silver linings, but in the end, it does deal with our mortality.

This was a cute book and at the same time, I expected more from an international best seller. That being said, I was in tears at one point in the book as the author challenged me to think about what animals feel about the humans who adopt them. I found this book to be easy to read and fairly light and probably a good book for young adults.

Meh 2.5 Stars The description of this book was intriguing, a road-trip tale of a man and his cat told through the cat's perspective? Sign me up! Unfortunately, I wasn't really that into this book.The structure was clean and even. Each chapter you learned about Satoru through another person (and/or cat's) perspective. I love the idea of Nana as the primary narrator that we are going on this journey with. But the story also felt too formulaic and predictable. I ended up finding Nana super annoying. The writing never swept me up into the story. I can see the pieces that would make this book enjoyable to other people, but it just left me lukewarm. I'm not mad that I read it. And I think there are lots of people who will read and love this book. I'm just not one of them. Thank you to Penguin's First To Read program for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The Travelling Cat Chronicles is a book that will take any person with a heart on a wild ride of emotions. The narration is done by the cat, Nana, and is absolutely genius! This book is a perfect read for a rainy day, stuck indoors snuggling with a cat and drinking coffee. The writing is beautiful and light-hearted while the story is original and really packs a punch. As you follow Nana and Saturo along their journey, never knowing why Saturo goes to such great lengths to find Nana a new home (until the end, of course), you grow very attached to the characters, almost as though you are in the silver van with them; this makes the book twice as good and captivating to read. The book seems like a light-hearted read all around, an easy story to quickly read with no extra energy spent and no mental damage done, but that is an illusion. Despite the cutsie, heartwarming feelings that are prominent at the start of the book, it destroys you slowly and silently as you continue to discover more of the character's pasts and their reasoning for their actions. This is a well-rounded story with gorgeous writing and a genuine, original story that anyone would quickly fall in love with; I would recommend this to anyone, especially those in need of a low-stakes story of friendship and hardships.

3.75 stars Thank you to Penguin's First to Read and Berkley for a chance to read and review this book. Editions published between November 2, 2017 and October 23, 2018. Such a great little read - light, but with so much moxie. You can read this and see a light little humorous cat loving novella or you can read it as strengthful, inspiring, message-giving prose. Narrated in part by Nana, the cat, we see life from both Satoru's view and also from the cat's. Going from an injured stray cat to one who would give his life for his master, Nana is an intricate character in the novel. Inspiration comes from the way Satoru lives his life. This is the story of a dying man, much in love with his cat, who has not always had the fairest or best path in life handed to him. Unbeknownst to all his friends, Satoru is trying to find a forever home for his cat, Nana, while he is still able, before his young life comes to an end. This book was translated from Japanese. I find that Japanese authors are wonderful at parables. There is always so much meaning behind their stories, and this one is no exception.

This was a wonderful and life affirming read. Told from the prospective of Nana, a stray cat taken in by Saturo, these two soulmates travel throughout Japan searching for a new home for Nana. Simple prose and a moving story, this is one of my favorite recent reads. Fair warning: have tissues beside you.

[I received access to an advance galley through the Penguin First to Read program.] Five years ago, Satoru helped rehabilitate Nana after the cat was hit by a car. Things have been good, but now unavoidable circumstances mean that Satoru can no longer keep a cat. Climbing into a silver van, the man and his cat road-trip across Japan, visiting old friends in the hopes that one of them can provide Nana with a new home. The story alternates between present-day observations from Nana (whose cattish voice is brilliant), and third-person flashbacks to Satoru’s childhood that provide the background for his relationship with whoever they happen to be visiting. Frankly, I liked the cat’s voice far better. Satoru is a perfect human, kind to everyone and relentlessly self-sacrificing. The expository elements went from mildly-interesting to irritating within the first ‘travelling’ chapter, and Nana’s down-to-earth narrative could only help so much. As for the broader plot elements... there are only so many “completely unavoidable circumstances” that force a cat-lover to let go of their beloved companion, so the twist halfway through the book isn’t all that twisty. Did I cry? Oh yeah. But it was the sort of crying that comes from someone bludgeoning all the soft parts of your heart. No gently-plucked heartstrings here! The emotional bits have all the subtlety of brick to the face. The positive notes (including nearly everything about Satoru’s self-sacrificing character) take a flying leap over the border between ‘sweet’ and ‘saccharine.’ I still haven’t washed the more cloying taste out of my mouth. But hey, I did cry. I guess that means it succeeded on some level. Unfortunately, I can’t say if this is an issue with translation or source material. I will point out that this isn’t to be released until October, so the final product may be better. As is? Recommended only for the emotionally masochistic.

This was one heartwarming read - for both cat lovers and non-cat lovers alike. I fall under the latter category so that says a lot about how I felt with this book. Nana was such a joy to read, he reminds me a lot of Garfield and the sass. I often found myself laughing at his retorts (if only he could actually voice them out!) and of course, later on, the feels that came were heartbreaking ones. Thank you Penguin Random House for providing me with an advance reader copy of this book. Absolutely loved it.

I don't love all cats but I love MY 2 cats; sisters, torties, 7 years old! They hide when visitors come but are just the sweetest girls with me and my husband. Snickers is talkative and adventurous and likes to cuddle or just meow in your face. She braves the dogs very well and will defend herself. Sassy has been emotionally scarred by a previous adopted male cat we had who was extremely possessive and hated other cats. He hurt my girls until we gave him to my in-laws. He was the SWEETEST purr box to humans but just awful to other cats. Sassy gained weight and became skittish when we had Stache (the evil male) and has never recovered. She used to be sassy, now it's short for Sasquatch because she's a fatty. But loooves to cuddle with Mama at night, spoons right with me or sits perched ON me. She's also afraid of the dogs and we try to make the dogs be nice to her, and we tell her to get over it, the dogs are just excited about her and would LOVE the chase. lol. ANYWAY, you needed that backstory before my review. This book really hit home and I was cuddling with Snickers on the couch as I was finishing up reading this book and I. WAS. SOBBING. I was petting her and talking to her and just crying. Holy heartstrings. It was a pretty slow book but I knew where it was going right from the get-go, it was pretty obvious. It was a very sweet book and Nana had just the best personality. It was a beautiful, sad story about the lengths a man will go to for his cat.

What a sweet book! Love the perspective of Nana and Satoro...I laughed, I cried, I sighed. Thank you to First to Read for advanced digital copy of the book. Will need to by a hard-copy for my collection.

I'm no stranger to books making me cry or briefly tear up but this thing just straight up kept me SOBBING for THIRTY PAGES (at the very end). And that's not to say that The Travelling Cat Chronicles is a sad book. It is a BEAUTIFUL, wonderfully tender journey, full of contemplative stillness, colorful imagery and mindful moments to nourish the soul. It is so sweet and fulfilling. (Think: The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and/or The Secret Life of Walter Mitty). The Travelling Cat Chronicles is the story of Nana (the cat) and Satoru (his owner). Through Nana, we learn many curious details about Satoru's past, we meet old friends, and visit scenic destinations. Nana is quite insightful and it is pleasant and cozy to be inside her head, since she has a very good grasp of the world and of human emotion. As for the crying part, don't let that dissuade you from reading this. It was a good cry, the kind that makes you feel lighter afterwards. And the whole point of the book is to not feel sad about it. I would recommend this to cat lovers, yes, but not exclusively, since the story isn't so much about the cat, but his owner. I'd also recommend this as a beach read and a bedtime read, because it's very relaxing and episodic and you can put it down at any moment with the comforting knowledge that you can take your time to come back to this one. There's a handful of books I've described as "a warm hug", and this one's going on that list. Also it's going on my top 5 books of 2018, no take-backsies.

The opening sentence of this book gave me a start and I did a double check to make sure I wasn’t reading a spin-off of “I Am a Cat.” But this is no satire or commentary on Japanese life. This is a heartwarming and beautiful story about an owner and his beloved cat. As a “cat fanatic” (to use Nana’s words) I became emotionally invested in both characters. Through the book, the reader not only gets funny feline perspectives but also the touching moments of understanding Satoru’s character. This translation gives the book a warm and soft tone, very cat like. The story had me in tears near the end, keep your tissues close. Received an advance copy from Penguin’s First to Read program.

Nana is living the life of a stray cat in Tokyo. He’s claimed the top of a van as his home. He’s doing just fine, thank you, until one day when he’s hit by a car and injured quite badly. Satoru, the cat lover who owns the van and who has been leaving Nana food, takes Nana to the vet and brings him into his home to recuperate. Nana reminds Satoru of a cat he had as a child that he had to give up. That cat’s name was Hachi and Satoru still mourns the loss of that beloved cat. Five years pass quickly when Satoru tells Nana that they have to take a journey. Satoru has to find another home for Nana but doesn’t tell the reason why this is so. Have you ever had a cat that you loved beyond all reason? Then this is the book for you. Nana the cat is the witty narrator of this delightful yet poignant story. I’ve read several books by Japanese authors over the last year that had the same charm and quirkiness. These books are written in such a simple manner and yet are so profound. They read like a folktale with deep meaning and I’ve on the hunt for more like this one. This delightful book truly touched my heart and I know I’ll never forget it and that’s all I can ever ask of a book. Nana and Satoru crept into my heart and there they will stay. Most highly recommended.

I passed the half-way mark of my life some years ago and don't often cry at movies or over books anymore. This book made me cry. A good kind of cry. It is top-of-the-console-tv warm, giggles-with-best-friends funny, first-love sigh-worthy, a-walk-in-an-ocean-of-grass romantic and wondrous, all those other things that makes a book a keeper to be read again and again, and to be shared over and over. (Just make sure you keep a copy for yourself in case the shared copy doesn't find its way back to you.) In this age of dysfunctional relationships and anti-heroes, to find a book such as this is like water from the moon. This book deserves to be a classic to be read for the next hundred years.

Unable to read this novel, it downloaded fine then froze.

Unfortunately I was only able to download this book. But unable to read as it froze. Could not turn the pages. Should I try downloading again as I really was very interested to read this book .

This was sweet, surprisingly sad novel. It describes the feelings of both owning and loving a pet as well as the complex relationships we have with people in our lives. However, it's a very subtle, undramatic book. Slice of life comes to my mind to describe it though it has a very clear purpose. My interest did wane a little in the middle portion of the book and it moves a bit slowly, but it was a nice read. Anyone can read this, but if you are an animal lover this would be a good read for you.

This is a quiet book, but it will sneak up on you and break your heart. And then leave you with a smile. The story is told from the point of view of Nana, Satoru's adopted stray cat, on their final journey through the Japanese countryside. It has plenty of understated humor and piercing pathos, so you don't necessarily have to be a cat lover in order to find something resonant in this book. It probably helps, though, in accustoming yourself to the narrator. ;) This seemed like kind of a slow, meandering book until about the halfway point, but towards the end I couldn't put it down. Thanks to the Penguin First to Read program for a free digital ARC of this book.

This a beautiful story written in a spare but very expressive style. It was a bit difficult for me to read because I felt the losses deeply due to my own life experience. So, lots of tears but again, very beautiful.

My Review: I received a digital copy of this book through the Penguin First to Read program, the following is my honest review. I had actually picked up a copy of this book a earlier this year but when I received a copy from Penguin it really moved up the reading schedule. I must say that the new cover for the Penguin edition is much more fitting to the story and I wish I had waited for that cover. I love how this is told from Nana, the cat's, perspective and how he is so witty and matter of fact about his opinions. I knew starting this book that I was going to become attached to the cat and that definitely happened, I love how loyal Nana is but yet that cat confidence that he is just sticking around to do his person a service. I love Nana's description of the world from his point of view and the bits you also get from his human, Satoru. We also get some back story about Satoru on their travels but we don't find out until later in the book why he is looking for a home for Nana. I really love the slight twist at the end, it was as emotional as I had expected it to be but for some slightly different reasons. Definitely a book to read if you are a cat lover!

I absoloutely loved this book. I've read it twice already. It's so endearing and heartbreaking all at once.... Love it!

Nana, a stray cat named for his crooked tail that looks like the number 7, has no patience for: People trying to grab him from his carrier by his scruff Humans chastising him for not eating what he kills Being pet on his tail Other cats Nana, however, is loyally bonded to Saturo - no other human understands Nana like Saturo does. Saturo also adores Nana, but for reasons not initially revealed, he is on quest to find Nana a new home. Saturo and Nana embark on a journey, and Nana discovers the friends of Saturo’s past and the hardships Saturo endured before adopting him. The Travelling Cat Chronicles appealed to what I love about cats - their haughty independence, their tenacious loyalty, and their finicky inability to be appeased. I also appreciated the Japanese setting that explored the beauty of the country as well as the culture of daily life that was new to me. Told from Nana’s perspective, this book was amusing with quips that will charm cat lovers. I’ve always thought that each cat has a Person - the one they bond to, the one they love above all others. Saturo is Nana’s Person, forever, no matter what happens. Many stars for this book. Thanks to Penguin’s First to Read program for the advance copy in exchange for my review.

One day I’ll learn that books like this always leave me weeping.

I received this book in exchange for an honest review. I truly enjoyed it. I’ve been a cat lover forever and when I started this book, it seemed to be just a child’s story lengthened for grown-ups. But it was so much more. As the story progressed, I was drawn into the depths and found what a tear jerker it was. It is thoughtful and entertaining at the same time. I’m so glad I got the chance to experience this journey between a street-wise cat and his own adopted human. Definitely a keeper for the library!

Honestly this was such a sweet and painful and beautiful book. I loved the way the story unfolded, the simplicity of the plot but the depth of the relationship and understanding between the characters. Of course, it helps that I love cats and am fascinated by their incredible range of personalities. You can often imagine what a cat may be thinking, and yet they are far more subtle than a dog. The attention to detail and pacing was perfection. Satoru and Nana are characters that I am sure will stay with me for many years to come. I’m so glad I had the opportunity to experience this journey. I hope more of the authors books are translated into English. I’ve now preordered this to add it to my shelf with my Murakami books.

At first, this simple story of how a stray cat entertains the idea of becoming someone’s pet is slow going. Satoru finds him under his silver van and begins feeding him daily. Then an accident happens, and Satoru comes to the rescue in caring of this stray. They agree to belong to each other. After that I realized why the author took his time in sharing, so readers would grasp the significance of this relationship between Satoru and his pet cat Nana. Nana’s voice,…”….Having had Satoru take me in as his cat, I think I felt as lucky as he did.” “Strays, by definition, have been abandoned or left behind, but Satoru rescued me when I broke my leg. “He made me the happiest cat on earth.” Satoru takes Nana on a journey around Japan, to find a new home. There is beautiful scenery and places he always wanted to go. Along the way he visits dear friends he hasn’t seen in a long time. They all wonder why he suddenly wants to find a new home for his beloved Nana. Each friend mentions to Satoru that they’d seen the company he worked for was laying off some employees. Was he one of them? It would explain his request. Satoru has Nana explore each friends home in hopes there would be a perfect fit. His friends reminisce about their childhoods and the pets they had as kids. During these visits the reader and Nana discover that Satoru’s childhood wasn’t very happy. The reader and Nana get to know this young man inside and out. They see Satoru with fresh eyes and your heart fills with emotion as the journey comes to an end. This is a story written through a stray cats’ eyes and talks about loyalty, love, family, friendship and a special bond between cat and owner. The story takes a twist along the way when friends ask him why he is doing this and he doesn’t fully answer. As Nana and Satoru have fun, take in all the beautiful sites; the cat and the reader learn the heartbreaking, touching truth as it sneaks up on them and nestles into your heart. The ending made me go back and look at the story with a different perspective and a tender heart. I got choked up. It makes you realize your life can and does touch so many! I was interested in reading a book that was written by an international bestselling author Hiro Arikawa who has entertained readers worldwide. This novel was translated from Japanese to English by Philip Gabriel. I’m thankful for the opportunity to go on this journey with Satoru and Nana! Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising” Nora St. Laurent TBCN Where Book Fun Begins! The Book Club Network blog Book Fun Magazine SVP Promotion

The Traveling Cat Chronicles is a slow paced book (a pace that works for the story) about a man’s journey with his cat. The physical journey is the surface of the book. Beneath that journey is a journey of friendships, love, loss, acceptance…. and more. It was well written. The apparent simplicity of the writing fits the story and makes the reading easy. You are not hit over the head with the themes, love and loss, of the story but they are there. I will be thinking about this book and Satoru and Nana for a while. I’m glad I went on their journey with them.

Beautifully written and deeply moving - a must read. I read this book in less than a day because I had a need to know where the story ended. It follows the journey that an unusually named cat - and his person make across Japan. A thoughtful, and tender read, a delightful adventure for a cat and some life-affirming lessons to be learned along the way.


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