Takeshi Hiraide’s The Guest Cat

The Guest Cat Review

the guest cattThe Guest Cat by Takashi Hiraide
Published by Picador
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
Buy the Book

It has been awfully long time since I last managed to write in this blog. Although I was able to finish quite a number of books within the last two months thanks to my amazingly long commuting hours to go to the university, somehow I could not write about any of them. It is not because I was extremely busy. I was as busy as I had been before. Yet, with the new semester starting in April, the amount of miscellaneous things I had to do made me feel exhausted at the end of the day and I found myself a bit reluctant to do any sort of writing so long as I did not have to. And on top of petty stuff I had to take care of, there was the nicest sort of distraction at the beginning of May, that is, Golden Week. Golden Week is one of these rare holidays you can have in Japan. Now wanting to miss the chance, I went to Okinawa, yes that famous beautiful tropical island. After spending a week in Okinawa, it was not that easy to go back to reality as you might imagine 🙂

Talking about going back to reality, which can be also regarded as some sort of change of pace and re-adjusting the self to the former conditions, today I want to introduce a less known Japanese poet and writer called Takashi Hiraide. I particularly chose this writer because Hiraide’s novel titled The Guest Cat is also about change or transition the Japanese went through triggered by the new economic conditions while the bubble economy was coming to an end in 1990s. When I came across Takashi Hiraide’s The Guest Cat in Maruzen (a well-known bookstore in Japan) back in early April, in all honesty I first thought it must be one of the cliché cat-craze products. Still intrigued by the cat figure with sparkling green eyes on the cover, I found myself reaching out to the shelf. As soon as I managed to take my eyes off the bewitching eyes, I learned, to my surprise, novel became a The New York Times bestseller. In addition to its fame abroad, I also figured that Takashi Hirade won the Kiyama Shohei Literary award with this very short novel in Japan, so I decided to give it a try and bought the book.  Continue reading