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A Street Cat Named Bob: How One Man And His Cat Found Hope On The Streets (2012)

A Street Cat Named Bob: How One Man and His Cat Found Hope on the Streets (2012)

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3.93 of 5 Votes: 1
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1444737090 (ISBN13: 9781444737097)
Hodder & Stoughton

About book A Street Cat Named Bob: How One Man And His Cat Found Hope On The Streets (2012)

I was browsing at the library and this book was beside Dewey, The Library Cat. I loved that book, so I decided to give this one a shot. I read reviews of this book prior to reading it, so I was braced for some really poor a result, I was pleasantly surprised. The prose isn't smooth, but it is clear...well, clearly expressed. There were some expressions that I assume are unique to London and not to the US, but it didn't really hinder my appreciation of the story. So, James Bowen, a guy who has fairly consistently made poor choices in his life, which leads him to become a drug addict and unemployed guy with some marginal housing meets up with this cat that inspires him to strive for some stability and even moves him to some self-reflection. Having Bob changes him. I'd call this a pleasant read. Cute but repetitive. Could be very useful for recovering addicts though. A reader named Sarah summed it up perfectly: Please don't think me churlish, but I will kick off by saying that this book is not terribly well crafted - it's repetitive and poorly copy edited. So, if you're snobby about writing, I suggest you give it a miss. That said, it'll be your loss, as it is a heartwarming book with an important message, for reasons other than its prose.Bowen describes how he was `invisible' when he was homeless, and the difference it made when he found Bob and took him busking with him. Suddenly people - the public - saw James, interacted with him, respected him. Having Bob humanised the man who was with him, and helped James turn his life around.It echoes why this book matters: were it entitled `A Man Named James' I strongly suspect it would be invisible too. I doubt it would be published, let alone topping the bestseller charts, with James on TV sharing his experience. As a cat lover, it was Bob that made me gravitate to the story, and I'm sure I'm not alone (he is a particularly fine feline for all sorts of reasons) but there's so much more to this than fluff: through telling us about Bob, James is also able to share what it's like living on the streets, to busk, to sell the Big Issue and to come off drugs - all things most of us would otherwise shy away from reading about.James Bowen isn't a writer, and he acknowledges at the end that he had some help in putting his story together anyway. But whilst A Streetcat Named Bob might not be great literature, it increases our understanding of people who often don't have a voice, and for that deserves its plaudits.

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A feel good book for cat lovers. A nice story.

Great for Christmas time!



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