When street musician James Bowen found an injured cat curled up in the hallway of his apartment building, he had no idea how much his life was about to change. James was living hand to mouth on the streets of London, barely making enough money to feed himself - the last thing he needed was a pet. Yet, James couldn't resist helping the strikingly intelligent, but very sick animal, whom he named Bob. He slowly nursed Bob back to health and then sent the cat on his way, never imagining that he would see him again. But Bob had other ideas.
©2012 James Bowen and Garry Jenkins (P)2012 Hachette Audio
SciFi/Fantasy and Classics to History, Adventure and Memoirs to Social Commentary—I love and listen to it all!
If you love animals, buy this book. If you love cats, definitely buy this book. If you love a story that's gritty but has plenty of hope and joy, oh, please! Buy this book! You'll be so happy you did. This was a straight through, "cover-to-cover" listen for me (which is quite life-disrupting, but oh, well...!)
This is in the vein of all feel-good animal books. You'll love this if you're read the books about Dewey the Library Cat. And though they're not quite in the same vein or up to the same standards of "literature," "All Creatures, Great and Small," is just as delightful. But "A Streetcat Named Bob" also brings out elements of how people survive on the streets, what it's like to be at rockbottom, and what it's like to be invisible to society. This is a book about dignity, survival, and hope. And learning to live after making, perhaps, self-destructive choices.
Kristopher Milnes so captured James that I was startled to hear the "actual" James when I was doing YouTube searches. (Yes, you can find James and Bob on YouTube if you'd like to see the duo in action). He really conveys hopelessness, conveys joy well. He made this book as authentic as it gets. Mind you, there's a just a sprinkling of profanity in this, and Mr. Milnes delivers it with the anger and frustration with the situation that it deserves. I hope James Bowen was satisfied with the performance because it really, really works well with this audiobook and with the tone of the story.
There were so many moments that moved me, and some would feel like spoilers to write down. But suffice it to say that the bond between Bob and James will move you. My cats adore me, this I know. But walk with me in a harness? Sit by my feet among a crowd, trusting me to protect them? Bob is truly special. But James pretty much rocks too!One scene, when Bob, in absolute terror in an extreme situation, runs off shows the complete breakdown of James, leaving all behind in order to find his beloved cat. This from a man who has as close to nothing as it gets: he's absolutely willing to lose it all to find his buddy, the extraordinary Bob.
Unlike the feel-good animal books mentioned, there's plenty of social commentary here that makes this book unique. You will see what the streets are like. You will see what it's like to be someone struggling to make the right choices when there are few resources. Bravo to James! And hugs to Bob!
I *hope* to listen to it again sometime. Bob is an awesome cat and I really liked James, too. It was a very engaging audiobook, for me.
The narration was great; very believable, as if the author himself was the one telling the story...
It has been several weeks since I listened to this book, and I still find myself thinking about it. As a cat lover, I was interested in Bob from first mention of him, and it didn't take long to see that Bob is one very special cat. I also liked James quite a lot. The bond between James and Bob is wonderful and amazing.
Knowing it is a true story! It restored my faith in the kindness of humans and willingness to sacrifice for our animal companions. Seeing how they reward our kindness with their love.
The way it proves "what goes around comes around." James used his last bit of money to help Bob and was rewarded by Bob helping him in more ways than one.
I did not realize he wasn't James Bowen. He sounds just like you would expect James to sound.
Yes even though I've never done that with any book.
I thought this was probably some little-known book! I did not find out until I finished listening to it that it had become a bestseller and a movie, videos were on You Tube, and it had a Facebook fan page. I was very happy to hear that it had brought fame and fortune to James and Bob. I feel it is well deserved.
I have always loved to read, and now I really enjoy listening to my books as well!!
This is a tug-at-your-heart, feel-good story if there ever was one!
Bob the cat enters James' life as he is trying to recover from several bad years, including drug addiction and homelessness. Bob essentially gives James a reason to live and move forward, and not slide back into his old life. That is the power of the animals in our lives--
You root for this pair throughout the book, and hope they continue to thrive. And I see there is a second book out in which their story continues--I will definitely listen to that one soon!!
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