The Cat Who Saved Books – Sosuke Natsukawa

The Cat Who Saved Books might have been a book I would have loved if I had read it when I was a teenager, but unfortunately, it disappointed me at my current age. Neither the cat nor the fantastic elements nor the love of books that were tried to be instilled were enough for me to love the book. After a point, I even compared the author to old uncles who try to tell their boring stories. Aren’t we tired of writers who preach, no matter how well-intentioned?


The Cat Who Saved Books - Sosuke Natsukawa

I think that the Cat Who Saved the Books will not be liked by most readers with its tons of banal sentences, two-dimensional characters, and a story that can’t tell anything properly. I started reading the book with great excitement, especially since one of the characters is a cat. But everything changed when I saw that the cat was a dull side character. Contrary to the book’s title, the cat does not save the books, but an introverted high school student guided by the cat saves them all. Of course, we also see the change of this shy student as he saves all those books.

All in all, The Cat Who Saved Books might be fun for kids. It is, in my opinion, definitely not for adult readers. If the children around you love cats and don’t like reading, this might be interesting. But, you may find The Friends by Kazumi Yumoto a lovely book. I would recommend it wholeheartedly.

The Cat Who Saved Books - Sosuke Natsukawa

The Cat Who Saved Books

Grandpa used to say it all the time: books have tremendous power. But what is that power really?

Natsuki Books was a tiny second-hand bookshop on the edge of town. Inside, towering shelves reached the ceiling, every one crammed full of wonderful books. Rintaro Natsuki loved this space that his grandfather had created. He spent many happy hours there, reading whatever he liked. It was the perfect refuge for a boy who tended to be something of a recluse.

After the death of his grandfather, Rintaro is devastated and alone. It seems he will have to close the shop. Then, a talking tabby cat called Tiger appears and asks Rintaro for help. The cat needs a book lover to join him on a mission. This odd couple will go on three magical adventures to save books from people who have imprisoned, mistreated and betrayed them. Finally, there is one last rescue that Rintaro must attempt alone . . .

The Cat Who Saved Books is a heart-warming story about finding courage, caring for others – and the tremendous power of books. Sosuke Natsukawa’s international bestseller, translated from Japanese by Louise Heal Kawai, is a story for those for whom books are so much more than words on paper.

Sosuke Natsukawa

Sosuke Natsukawa is a doctor in Nagano, Japan. His first book Kamisama No Karute (God’s Medical Records) won the Shogakukan Fiction Prize and received 2nd Place at the Japan Bookseller Awards. It sold over 1.5 million copies and was adapted into a film in Japan.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges: 

Japanese Literature – A Literary Journey

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