Book Review

If Cats Disappeared From The World


I am mystified. The hype for this book claimed that it was a multimillion copy seller in Japan.  I’m not questioning that.  I simply don’t understand how it could have that kind of following!

IF CATS DISAPPEARED FROM THE WORLD is a simplistic children’s tale, just plain silly as the adult novel it promised to be.  The premise?  A young man is diagnosed with a brain tumor and given a week to live.  In his subsequent panic, he is visited by the devil, who offers him one extra day each in exchange for each major thing he gives up.

First, he gives up his cell phone, so we hear all about that.  Next, he gives up movies.  As far as I’m concerned, this says something about the young man, right there.

When, the devil suggests he give up cats, though, he balks.  He loves his cat.  He simply can’t bargain him out of existence.  Realizing that he will now die, he bequeaths his cat to his estranged father in a letter.  Then, postman that he is, he delivers the letter (and cat) to the man in person.  Their meeting, after so many years apart, is as flat as the rest of the book.

I was drawn to this book as a cat lover, but feel that the author squandered an opportunity to write something even vaguely profound.  Was something lost in translation?

This is a short book.  If you do read it, I’d love to know your thoughts.


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