A fellow book blogger had reviewed a ‘Bob the Cat’ book a few weeks ago (sorry I can’t find the post again!), and it prompted me to track down The World According to Bob, The Further Adventures of One Man and His Street-Wise Cat by James Bowen. This memoir is the sequel to Bowen’s first book A Street Cat Named Bob, which details the beginnings of his friendship with the special cat. This most recent book includes more tales of the famous duo, plus the development of Bowen’s book deal which changed his life forever.
For the record, you don’t have to read the first book to understand this second one. I didn’t, I just watched the movie on Netflix (yes, it’s available on Canadian Netflix!). Honestly though I didn’t even have to watch the movie to catch on to what happened in the first book. Basically Bowen struggled with drugs, he was homeless, and came across this stray cat “Bob” who became a his unflappable companion. Having a pet helped him get clean and make more money busking because apparently having an animal that’s as clever and sociable as Bob really makes people more generous.
If you follow this blog regularly, it will be pretty obvious to you why this book appeals to me. If you’re new, I’ll give you a clue: its got four legs, and is super cute and furry. Bob is, not surprisingly, the real gem of this work of non-fiction, which is why he’s featured so prominently on the cover. And, in every picture of him he’s wearing a cute miniature scarf, because apparently his fans knit them for him (can you hardly stand it?). His owner is not so picture perfect: bad teeth from a life lived on the street, and obvious twitches and discomfort from years of heroin use. But this is why the story was a bestseller, because they are such an unlikely pair. And although Bowen has his faults, he seems like a very generous and forgiving person, despite his difficult past.
I also enjoyed this book because of the fairy-tale like story of Bowen’s book(s) being published. Although EXTREMELY RARE (I capitalize this for all those people with high hopes of becoming bestselling authors overnight), it was still fun to read about, especially because videos of Bowen and Bob are easily found all over the internet so you can see their success in action.
I will mention that for book snobs like myself, the writing was a bit disappointing. There are lots of obvious repetition between chapters, which makes it seem like the editors simply smashed a few stories together and called it book. But even if that is how this came about, I nevertheless enjoyed it, and any cat-lover will definitely feel the same.
This pair are the cutest <3 I adored 'A Street Cat Named Bob' so I really need to read this <3 Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
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This looks like a children’s book for very old (I didn’t say “senile,” but I was thinking it) adults.
because of the picture of the cat on the front?
Hmmm. A cat book I might actually read – because it looks happy? It is happy, right? No dying cats? (I generally refuse to read books about animals.)
Yes! Very happy 🙂
Although I would agree that the writing is not the most inspired I loved this book and the first Bob book as well. Also I loved “A Gift From Bob” which has Bob in a cute little Santa Paws outfit on the cover of the edition I have. However the Gift book is not for the kiddies. Bowen’s Christmases as a child and young adult were ghastly. His mother put him into a psychiatric hospital for one of them. And the remembrances of the Christmases spent on the streets as an addict are harrowing. But…. Bob came to the rescue. And the gift he gets from Bob? Well ,I’m sure you know. I will be reading that book every Christmas. I have decided to make it a tradition.
such a nice idea! I love that tradition. And I personally wouldn’t call any of these bob books kids material, I’m not sure they would get into it the way adults can.
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Do you ever watch My Cat From You Hell with Jackson Galaxy? He, too, used to use drugs and moved into recovery with the help of a cat. He had a book that should be at your library!
Oh I’ve definitely heard of him, I’m reading other cat books where his name keeps coming up 🙂
I believe that cat lived to be almost twenty, too. It was a long relationship. In the show, if someone is sad that one of their cats died, he cries too, which makes me all sad-panda.
oh jeez, that makes me sad too. Although apparently he’s also a bit of a wacko, like he sells bottles of ‘essences’ on his website that’s supposed to alter cat behaviour and stuff
Yeah…I try to ignore that part. He’s against toilet training cats and putting animals in clothes so… Evens out? 😂
I love how Bob and his owner keep high-five-ing and holding paws. 🙂
Haha I know, it never gets old!