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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

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6524614,774 (3.81)39
Member:Carole888
Title:A Street Cat Named Bob
Authors:James Bowen
Info:Hodder & Stoughton (2012), Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:London, cat, street-life, memoir, drug addiction, friendship, bookcrossed

Work details

A Street Cat Named Bob: And How He Saved My Life by James Bowen (2012)

  1. 20
    The World According to Bob: The Further Adventures of One Man and His Streetwise Cat by James Bowen (akblanchard)
    akblanchard: Read the first book, A Street Cat Named Bob, first.
  2. 10
    Dewey, the library cat by Vicki Myron (bookel)
  3. 00
    The Cat Who Went to Paris by Peter Gethers (vwinsloe)
    vwinsloe: Another extremely personable cat who travels with his owner
  4. 00
    Stuart: A Life Backwards by Alexander Masters (akblanchard)
    akblanchard: Two tales of the modern British underclass. "Street Cat" is uplifting, while "Stuart" is not.
  5. 00
    Making Rounds with Oscar: The Extraordinary Gift of an Ordinary Cat by David Dosa (Girlsmiley)
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English (40)  German (3)  Dutch (2)  Russian (1)  English (46)
Showing 1-5 of 40 (next | show all)
"There’s a famous quote I read somewhere. It says we are all given second chances every day of our lives. They are there for the taking, it’s just that we don’t usually take them.” (Ch 1)

Failed musician and recovering drug addict, James Bowen, is living hand-to-mouth in sheltered accommodation in London when he finds and nurses back to health a beautiful ginger tomcat he names Bob. When Bob is well again, James expects that he will return to his life on the streets, but Bob has other ideas. When the cat follows James onto a bus one day, James begins to think that perhaps the two of them can make a life together. James, used to being invisible on London’s streets, finds that having the handsome feline reclined on his shoulders, or curled up in his guitar case as they busk in Covent Garden, has changed society’s perception of him:

“Seeing me with my cat softened me in their eyes. It humanized me. Especially after I’d been so dehumanized. In some ways it was giving me back my identity. I had been a non-person; I was becoming a person again.” (Ch 6)

A Street Cat Named Bob is not going to win any literary prizes for writing, but it is a quick study, and a charming, feel-good story. I understand Bob is coming to the big screen and wanted to acquaint myself with him before then. ( )
1 vote lit_chick | Nov 8, 2016 |
A charming and genuine story about the relationship between a recovering drug addict and his cat and how they saved each other's lives. A frank and honest look at life on the streets in London, the difficulties of busking for a living and the ins and outs of selling the "Big Issue" magazine. A lot of folk have complained about the quality of the writing but I don't have a problem with it. This isn't literary fiction or an academic work. This is a story about a man and his cat. I thought that it was a great read. ( )
  SarahEBear | Oct 2, 2016 |
James Bowen is a recovering heroin-addict when he takes in a homeless cat that will turn out to be his best friend and ally. Admittedly, Bowen is not a professional writer (this book is written with a ghost writer), but since he has an extremely optimistic and heartwarming story to tell, the simple style is not a problem. Bob the cat is a natural wonder and it is near impossible not to feel a lot of affection for him and his new owner. It's not high literature, but a short and very feel-good read. Bowen doesn't shy away from some of life's unpleasantnesses, so it's not cloying or all sunshine and daisies, but the overall lasting impression is one of hope. ( )
  -Eva- | Jun 5, 2016 |
Review: A Street Cat Named Bob by James Bowen.

This book is a wonderful story about James Bowen, who is also the author and a guitar player performing on the streets of London for money. James became involved with drugs, contacted hepatitis, was homeless, and suffered from loneliness. He is now a recovery drug addict who has been befriended by a stray cat (he named Bob) and their bond tightens as they struggle to survive.

Bob was a stray orange male cat with patches of fur missing, an abscess on one of his legs, hungry and needy. James himself was living in an old house with an elevator that didn’t work so he walked up five flights of stairs every day to his flat which only provided a microwave, and old miscellaneous pieces of furniture to call home. One day Bob just showed up sleeping in the hallway of the building. James started getting concerned when the cat was lying in the hallway day after day so he asks other neighbors if the cat was their’s and no one claimed him. So, James carried the cat home, treated his wound as best he could and fed him. James didn’t want to get attach to the cat because he was having a tough time trying to survive on his own but after a few days he took him to the vet, who recommended medication for the leg wound, plenty of cat food and some TLC. It depleted James of all the money he had but he didn’t want the cat to suffer.

After a short period of time Bob and James were inseparable. Bob would do amazing things that would surprise any animal lover. He wasn’t just any cat, he was smart, understanding, caring, and did things throughout this story that were mesmerizing. The events and adventure these two characters went through was so fulfilling and heartwarming to the very end….Everyday they went to work on the London streets together and Bob became a big hit. They spent their days working for what they needed to survive. James learned a lot from Bob and Bob taught him to think differently about life….
( )
  Juan-banjo | May 31, 2016 |
Such a heartwarming tale!! Definitely worth a read :) ( )
  GwenMcGinty | May 13, 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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Disambiguation notice
"Street Cat Bob" is an abridgment of "A Street Cat Named Bob." Please do not combine.
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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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