Book Review: Genki Kawamura's "If Cats disappeared from the world"
Updated: Dec 20, 2021
People are fickle that way. Something they once valued becomes meaningless to them almost overnight. Even the most treasured presents, letters, and beautiful memories are forgotten about, becoming useless odds and ends.
This book's hero is a postman who does not have much time left on Earth. He is diagnosed with a tumour, and the news shakes him, of course. He lives in the city with his cat, Cabbage. Now that his days are numbered, he resolves to make a bucket list of stuff to do before he dies. But out of nowhere, the Devil appears in front of him with an offer - In exchange for making one thing in the world disappear, he can have one extra day of life. Who doesn’t want to live longer? So our hero accepts the offer, and that commences the saga that adds days to the narrator’s life, and things disappear from the world, one by one. The catch is that the devil gets to decide what will disappear every day. Phones, clocks, movies, cats...etc! But how long will this last?
"What do you want the meaning for? Life is a desire, not meaning. Life is a beautiful magnificent thing, even to a jellyfish."
Genki Kawamura’s “If Cats Disappeared from the World” is a fascinating and eye-opening book that revolves around the ideas of loss, gratitude, memory, and self-discovery. It is like a sign and a reminder we all need - To sit and think about the people/things we love and the people who love and care for us. This book has successfully put a new perspective on my relationships with my parents, friends, our conversations & small things in my life. It gets heartfelt and sad at some points and makes you want to cry and regret. At least, it did that to me. I love books that move me to the core. The characters are fun and as real as us, which makes this book even more relatable. Throughout the book, we see how all the things that disappear are significant for our hero, and in our lives too. My personal favourite is when phones disappear from the world. That chapter was so incredible for many reasons.
I would like to bring focus to one topic that peeks through this story. The book subtly addresses how men do not express their emotions, how they bottle feelings and later regret. Though it isn't the main theme, good to see the book addressing this.
Having said all the good things, the book is a little repetitive in some parts. But considering the overall impact of this book on me, I highly recommend this book to everyone.