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A Street Cat Named Bob by James Bowen
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A Street Cat Named Bob (original 2012; edition 2012)

by James Bowen

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5694217,472 (3.82)34
Member:Soupdragon
Title:A Street Cat Named Bob
Authors:James Bowen
Info:Hodder Paperbacks (2012), Paperback, 288 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:memoir, cats, addiction, London, read with Joe, 2012 read

Work details

Street Cat Bob : how one man and a cat saved each other's lives; a true story by James Bowen (2012)

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English (36)  German (3)  Dutch (2)  Russian (1)  All languages (42)
Showing 1-5 of 36 (next | show all)
Another excellent, excellent book, and not because I love cats. I chose it for light reading, nothing that would keep me up, to cheer myself up after my cataract surgery. What an eyeopener! The author is British, in his 20s, had been on drugs & in & out of the music scene; lived in a 5th floor walkup & earned his living busking (which I had to look up :-), although unspoken apparently issues with his family. Picture that now. Now move your thoughts to England - London. Now the fellow is getting help through the government, is on methadone. He gets this cat, totally accidentally as cat lovers know can happen, takes it to a clinic, gets it treated at a cost he can afford. Later has it neutered, ditto. During the course of the story, he decides he wants to be Totally drug free, so talks to the folks where he gets the methadone and they help him. At no/very little cost.
What struck me the most was the acceptance for who & what he was, by officials. Not that his life was rosy, or that people couldn't be rude/cruel, but overall, he was just another chap & if he wanted to better himself, the help was there. When he wanted to stop busking, he signed up for selling a magazine the British government publishes; people in the program must buy them (no refunds for unsold issues) & are given a territory in which to sell.
The author's point is that Bob helped him to turn his life around. And he did. But so did his country. I heartily heartily recommend this one also, cat lover or no.
PS: Bob is super. And there are more books, which I plan to check out. I am very very interested to hear what happens to James.
PPS: Check out YouTube for several videos. ( )
  JeanetteSkwor | Feb 3, 2016 |
The author is trying to eke out a living as a busker, and the ginger tom Bob adopts him. Bob’s health isn’t great, and this is the motivation the author needs to start pulling himself out of the mires of drug addiction and depression.

As Bob is an Internet star, there were no surprises for me in the story: he responds well to treatment, and his new friend earns more money busking when accompanied by a cat. Bob vanishes a few times but is always found; the author James Bowen starts improving his lifestyle. It’s a feel-good kind of story, and was an easy read.

Unfortunately it’s not very well-written. The two opening paragraphs, for instance, add nothing at all to the story. I understand that the book was commissioned as a result of Bob’s Internet fame, and I assume ghost-written as if James Bowen were chatting to someone - it has that kind of rambling feel to it. But it wasn't a style that appealed to me and it took a while to get over the irritation of poor writing.

Still, this is evidently what the general public likes. It’s an immensely popular book, which became a surprise bestseller shortly after it was released. And it’s a good story, with some obvious messages about drug addition and the importance of friends. I was interested to learn about ‘The Big Issue’ magazine too.

As a cat-lover myself, I’m glad that Bob found such a good friend. I’m also pleased that James Bowen got out of his addictions, and became financially independent after the publication of this book. But as a writer, I am disappointed that such a good story was written in a mediocre way.

It made a pleasant enough light holiday read - but I wouldn’t recommend buying it.
( )
  SueinCyprus | Jan 26, 2016 |
Beautiful story about the redemptive power of caring for another. ( )
  andreasaria | Jan 24, 2016 |
This is such a gorgeous book. I loved Dewey, the library cat, but Bob, the street cat, is even better. Bob reminds me so much of the beautiful, ginger cat I grew up with in both looks and personality. I found myself with a continuous smile on my face as I read about Bob's antics. Written with humour and gentle simplicity this is an inspirational book about how a stray cat helped a recovering drug addict turn his life around. A must read for all cat lovers. ( )
  HeatherLINC | Jan 23, 2016 |
This is such a gorgeous book. I loved Dewey, the library cat, but Bob, the street cat, is even better. Bob reminds me so much of the beautiful, ginger cat I grew up with in both looks and personality. I found myself with a continuous smile on my face as I read about Bob's antics. Written with humour and gentle simplicity this is an inspirational book about how a stray cat helped a recovering drug addict turn his life around. A must read for all cat lovers. ( )
  HeatherLINC | Jan 23, 2016 |
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To Bryn Fox... and anyone who has lost a friend
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There's a famous quote I read somewhere.
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Street Cat Bob is an abridgement of A street cat named Bob commissioned for the Quick reads series.
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When London 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.

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