The Guest Cat

by Takashi Hiraide | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 1447279409 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingover-the-moonwing of Lausanne, Vaud Switzerland on 4/17/2019
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6 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingover-the-moonwing from Lausanne, Vaud Switzerland on Wednesday, April 17, 2019
Bought this (bookdepository) for another bookcrosser but of course I shall read it first. Love the cover and those green eyes that suddenly flash metallic as they catch a ray of light.

Journal Entry 2 by wingover-the-moonwing at Lausanne, Vaud Switzerland on Sunday, April 21, 2019
Well now I'm in a quandary because I didn't really appreciate this book, and I don't want to send it to the person I chose it for. Whether it's the fault of the author or the translator I can't say, but the style is very stiff and formal, with many convoluted sentences and numerous dangling participles that make my hair stand on end. The narrator says in the concluding pages that he has put a lot of separate articles and notes together to shape them into the novel, but quite honestly, it needed more work, cutting out the needless repetition. A pity, considering that the narrator is supposedly a writer or poet and his wife a proofreader; one would have thought that together they could have produced something more polished.
The book is apparently a best-seller in France as well as being a Sunday Times top ten bestseller; maybe the French translation flows more easily. Maybe it is selling well because of the attractive cover. Or because it has Cat in the title.
The description of the layout of the houses and gardens, the alleyway and fence are overly complicated and difficult to imagine; the digressions on Machiavelli , Florence and the Arno irrelevant and just give the impression that the author is airing his knowledge. And I'm not convinced we need that lengthy information about calculating the height of a tree using its shadow - do we need to know the height of the tree anyway?

Praise on the back cover calls the text lyrical, captivating, illuminating, achingly poetic... There must be something wrong with me because I just found it clumsy. For instance: "Preceded in death by the old man only three months after they moved to the suburban eldercare facility on the day of the Tanabata Festival of the previous year, the old woman continued to call on occasion."
(Many sentences with this kind of structure.)
On the positive side, the observations and descriptions of the effects of light and nature in the garden are very effective. It is informative about the housing situation in Japan. The cat connection is more tenuous - I felt that the narrator communicated more with the dragonfly in the garden than with Chibi: neither he nor his wife ever touch her.

Image shows a zelkova tree. These are mentioned many times.

Released 3 yrs ago (4/26/2019 UTC) at Haus der Jugend - BC Convention 2019 in Mainz, Rheinland-Pfalz Germany

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

for the book buffet

Journal Entry 4 by feltre at Zografou - Ζωγράφου, Attica Greece on Friday, April 26, 2019
From the book buffet.

Journal Entry 5 by feltre at Zografou - Ζωγράφου, Attica Greece on Monday, May 6, 2019
I took the book because of the cat and after reading the previous journal entry I had low expectations. Despite this I liked it enough to send it to another bookcrosser as a birthday gift.

Journal Entry 6 by feltre at Zografou - Ζωγράφου, Attica Greece on Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Released 3 yrs ago (5/8/2019 UTC) at Zografou - Ζωγράφου, Attica Greece

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Sent to Arvores for his birthday.

Journal Entry 7 by wingArvoreswing at Porto Santo (ilha), Madeira Portugal on Monday, May 13, 2019
It's here :-)
A wonderful birthday surprise. Thank you!
I can tell that every thing was carefully picked (it could not be a coincidence - or several, for that matter). Plus, a female cat has recently adopted us :-) But I hope we're not as bored as this couple looks to be :-)
Thank you so much for your kindness feltre, and for all the surprises. I truly appreciate this.

Journal Entry 8 by wingArvoreswing at Porto Santo (ilha), Madeira Portugal on Saturday, February 27, 2021
It's a simple story told in a simple way.
It's amazing how it resembles to our own story with our female cat that adopted us, nearly 3 years ago. The same quietness, the same gentleness, the same unique way of communicating with us. Apparently she was run over by a car, too. But I don't buy that story, because she is not affraid of cars but of men (except me). She is blind from her right eye and broke her jaw (there's still a scar there). She must have suffered a lot, but even with that suffering she is the most gentle creature.
When she came to our home, we took her to a vet because she was so thin. We then were told that she had a chip and a "owner". This woman came to the vet's clinic, all full of love and care (apparently) and sadly we had to give her back, of course. But the cat came to us the next day, never to leave our home again. And the "owner" never came for her, although we told her where we lived, just 300 meters from her place.
So today she lives comfortably (I hope) with us, never demanding a single thing, and behaving amazingly well. Plus, her colours are the same as Chibi's. I'll add a picture of her (Sindu) to this weird comment :-)
The book will go to mcsar soon, after the wish list tag game.

Journal Entry 9 by wingmcsarwing at Richmond, British Columbia Canada on Thursday, April 8, 2021
Thank you for the tag book. Despite the less than stellar ratings by the previous readers, I think I will still enjoy the book. Reading anything about cats just can't help but bring a smile to my face. I look forward to reading it.

Journal Entry 10 by wingmcsarwing at Richmond, British Columbia Canada on Saturday, April 9, 2022
I enjoyed it. The title is a bit misleading as the guest cat does not play as big a part as I'd like in the story.

Journal Entry 11 by wingmcsarwing at Richmond, British Columbia Canada on Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Released 3 mos ago (4/20/2022 UTC) at Richmond, British Columbia Canada

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Congratulations on winning the Export an Animal sweepstakes. I hope you like the animals I am sending. Enjoy!

Journal Entry 12 by wingPaulanniwing at Riihimäki, Kanta-Häme / Egentliga Tavastland Finland on Thursday, May 5, 2022
The books arrived today. I love cats and enjoy Japanese novels, so I think I will like this. Thank you for sending it, mcsar!

Journal Entry 13 by wingPaulanniwing at Riihimäki, Kanta-Häme / Egentliga Tavastland Finland on Friday, July 1, 2022
I realise that I have read this book as a Finnish translation. I like it a lot, it is slow reading where the couple has time to observe their garden and its seasonal changes, their life and relationship. They become very attached to the cat visiting their garden and home, but the book is about change, removal, settling in new things.

Something in the book reminds me of Japanese haiku poems. Like they, it invites a reader to pause and look behind the words and simple phrases.

I'll take the book to the Riihimäki mini-meetup to look for a new reader.

Journal Entry 15 by wingsakirmowing at Turku, Varsinais-Suomi / Egentliga Finland Finland on Saturday, July 2, 2022
The book is with me now, thank you!

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