Walk around Tokyo with a cat next to you [RECENZJA]

Surprising and unusual game with the reader. I can briefly describe the book “Cat in Tokyo”. This is undoubtedly the key to a good reader for the days ahead.

According to this book, I reached for the cat. I have a great love for these four-legged feathers, and I like to absorb all the contents of the cat from the sponge, including the literary ones (although I don’t like “Master and Margarita”, although the cat Behemoth was one of them. is, that is, my cat love). I was waiting for an interesting story about the Japanese capital through the eyes of a cat. Meanwhile, “The Cat in Tokyo” is something completely different – but it must be admitted that it is a literary masterpiece.

Not a novel, not a collection of stories

Of course, in the pages of this book we often come across a cat. He appears in the stories of many heroes and in various events. However, this is not the dominant theme in this story. Rather, the cat keeps parts of the book together. It is such a rope that connects the following stories. Well, are you sure of the stories? After all, The Guardian used the word “novel” in its review: “What a novel! … It moves, surprises, and sometimes breaks the heart.” I would say that there is something between a novel and a collection of stories. It is a multi-genre literary hybrid, I will write about it soon. A cat that combines separate stories sometimes comes to the fore, and sometimes goes into the background. Again, the most important things in this book are people and the feelings they experience. In his literary debut, Nick Bradley was able to create very interesting, vague characters. Their destinies intersect at different times.

>>> Cat Monastery. Cats have ruled here for centuries

picture: unsplash

Hero – Tokyo

In a sense, this is an appreciation of Japanese culture. Nick Bradley is not Japanese, he grew up in Western European culture. And again, it tells a story about Japan, a country in love. From the outside, it makes it easy to see the elements that distinguish Japanese culture from European culture. We even see how different the daily life of the Japanese is. But today the world is a global village, so we see how many similarities there are between countries of different cultural origins. Bradley’s story not only introduces Polish readers to the extraordinary world of the Land of the Rising Sun. Japan is more than just manga, sushi, sumo and kimono. And a European writer is helping the deeper layers of this country. If the reader looks at the mentality of the Japanese, he will no doubt be surprised. Poles are probably not very influential – or at least not as much as the peoples of Southern Europe, for example. But after reading Kota w Tokyo, we must admit that we will still be a very open and influential nation. The Japanese are definitely farther away, you can even say “cold”. But this is the result of centuries of development of local culture – by the way, it is very interesting. And in the pages of this book there are many different flavors about Japan. Especially when it comes to Tokyo itself – the capital of the Land of the Rising Sun – is in fact the full-fledged protagonist of this story. Like a cat, but it is Tokyo itself that keeps all the stories together. In the beginning we read a story about a girl with a tattoo of a map of Tokyo on her body. And this is probably the best key to interpreting this story – we have to look at the city where the lives of the heroes are written. The city is an integral part of their lives – and thus the main protagonist of the story presented to us. The fate of the heroes is different. We do not have untidy stories or many tragedies. These stories are like life – with color, light and shadow.

Tokyo streets, photo opening

Even … in the picture version

Nick Bradley decided to invite readers to an unusual literary game. He does not write novels or short stories. Yes, each subsequent chapter is like a new story – a new story. At the same time, these stories penetrate each other, and in the other story, the wires and heroes of one story appear. This is definitely one and the same universe. The main thing is that each of these short stories – let’s take the name at the end – is completely different. And this is not a clear difference in content – it goes from other types. Bradley plays with literary conventions and genres. At one point he invites us to read a classic moral story, at other times he encourages us to take part in the investigation, and sometimes he turns our attention to a strange (and this time the word is worth accepting positively) science fiction story (I was even interested). – and was not a fan of the subject. However, there are more genre surprises, as one of the stories suddenly turns into a manga! Yes, the written history goes to its pictorial version (by the way, it is reflected in the plot of this story).). It’s amazing how lightly and skillfully Nick Bradley plays with literature. It was as if he had reached a master’s degree – and this was his literary debut. I must admit that I will read his next books with pleasure. Who knows, maybe he’ll still invite us to explore the city with the cat next to him?

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