If Cats Disappeared from the World – 25.03.23

This book has lots of very positive reviews, and it’s supposed to be very deep and philosophical, but I’m afraid I thought it was a load of old rubbish!

I have been reading some books written by Japanese artists, or set in Japan prior to my Trip in May to visit my son in Tokyo, so that is what drew me to this book.

The premise is that a man is told that he has an inoperable brain tumour and only days to live. Reeling from this news, he meets a person who looks exactly like himself, but is in fact The Devil, who offers him one extra day of life for every (meaningful) thing he agrees to have removed from the whole world from that point on.

So, he starts with mobile phones, and as you can imagine, the world is on the whole (at least on a superficial level) better off without them since everyone starts noticing things and people around them again. He moves on to music, films and clocks, and then is offered the choice of dying or removing cats from the world.

To me, the book felt like it was written by a twelve year old. The ‘philosophy’ was just really obvious observations that have been made many times before (probably by twelve year olds), and the premise was dumb. One extra day in return for removing important things from the world seems stupid, and incredibly selfish – why should the whole of humanity sacrifice stuff for one man to have one more day?

Well, it’s possible that there is depth that I’m too set in my ways to see, but I’m inclined to think that it’s an ’emperor’s new clothes’ situation and actually the book is not more worthy of praise than a naked man who thinks he is dressed to the nines.

Published by sarahrwray

I'm an erstwhile writer and forever reader and book reviewer.

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