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A Street Cat Named Bob by James Bowen

A Street Cat Named Bob (original 2012; edition 2012)

by James Bowen

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6064216,110 (3.82)34
Title:A Street Cat Named Bob
Authors:James Bowen
Info:Hodder & Stoughton (2012), Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:London, cat, street-life, memoir, drug addiction, friendship, bookcrossed

Work details

Street Cat Bob : how one man and a cat saved each other's lives; a true story 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. 00
    The Cat Who Went to Paris by Peter Gethers (vwinsloe)
    vwinsloe: Another extremely personable cat who travels with his owner
  3. 00
    Dewey, the library cat by Vicki Myron (bookel)
  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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Showing 1-5 of 36 (next | show all)
Such a heartwarming tale!! Definitely worth a read :) ( )
  GwenMcGinty | May 13, 2016 |
James Bowen’s recent bestseller is a sweet “animal and their human” tale, that should appeal to anybody who loved the books about Dewey the Library Cat. Bowen was a recovering drug addict barely making a living at busking in the high-traffic areas of London, when he crosses paths with an injured male ginger cat in the hall of his flophouse. Despite attempting to avoid making the connection, Bowen feels drawn to the cat, and takes the stay in, nursing it back to health and finding a new purpose in his own life. In describing his rewarding new relationship with this extraordinary feline, Bowen reconnects with life — leaving behind the life of a starving street musician and taking on the challenges of a licensed vendor of news magazines. He also reconnects with friends and family from his past and gets completely off of drugs. In his own works, Bob, the street cat, saves Bowen’s life. Bob has become something of an internet celebrity, following the posting of some YouTube clips of James and Bob during their street musician days. You can now follow Bob’s adventures on Twitter and Facebook, too!

Originally reviewed for my local library's website in September 2013: http://lincolnlibraries.org/bookguide/staff-recommendations/staff-recommendation... ( )
  cannellfan | Feb 27, 2016 |
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 |
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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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Book description
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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Average: (3.82)
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