The Cat And The City is a collection of interlinking short-stories which are set in Tokyo in the run up to the 2020 Olympic games.
The stories, all very different, feature human characters who each have a brush with a mysterious street cat; it weaves its way into each of the tales. As you read on you discover there are small links between the separate stories, and I was nodding my head each time I picked up a common thread.
Author Nick Bradley has brought the reader real-life Tokyo through lost and often lonely characters, even though they may live in a city with 13 million other humans. Bradley portrays a mix of people reflecting both the old and the new of Toyko, with its cosmopolitan inhabitants.
I was very lucky and won a copy of this book; it is very different from the style of books that I often read, so I was delighted when I enjoyed the tales. I would recommend this to readers who have an interest in Japanese cultural fiction and perhaps to feline fans.
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In Tokyo – one of the world’s largest megacities – a stray cat is wending her way through the back alleys. And, with each detour, she brushes up against the seemingly disparate lives of the city-dwellers, connecting them in unexpected ways.
But the city is changing. As it does, it pushes her to the margins where she chances upon a series of apparent strangers – from a homeless man squatting in an abandoned hotel, to a shut-in hermit afraid to leave his house, to a convenience store worker searching for love. The cat orbits Tokyo’s denizens, drawing them ever closer.