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A Street Cat Named Bob: How One Man and His Cat Found Hope on the Streets

(Bob The Cat #1)

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  49,124 ratings  ·  4,993 reviews
The moving, uplifting true story of an unlikely friendship between a man on the streets and the ginger cat who adopts him and helps him heal his life.
Hardcover, 279 pages
Published March 1st 2012 by Hodder & Stoughton
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Anu Vuokko It's not very eloquently written as the author isn't a professional writer. But I think it would be weird if the author used long, eloquent sentence s…moreIt's not very eloquently written as the author isn't a professional writer. But I think it would be weird if the author used long, eloquent sentence structures since it is written from the view of an ex-homeless, recovering drug-addict. It's all about the story.(less)
Rosanne Hawke I just read The Travelling Cat by Hiro Arikawa, translated from Japanese by Philip Gabriel. Delightful. It is narrated by the cat, Nano, and cleverly …moreI just read The Travelling Cat by Hiro Arikawa, translated from Japanese by Philip Gabriel. Delightful. It is narrated by the cat, Nano, and cleverly done.(less)
Dewey by Vicki MyronThe Cat in the Hat by Dr. SeussOld Possum's Book of Practical Cats by T.S. EliotAlice's Adventures in Wonderland / Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis CarrollA Street Cat Named Bob by James Bowen
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Dewey by Vicki MyronHomer's Odyssey by Gwen CooperThe Cat in the Hat by Dr. SeussInto the Wild by Erin HunterOld Possum's Book of Practical Cats by T.S. Eliot
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Average rating 3.94  · 
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 ·  49,124 ratings  ·  4,993 reviews

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Apr 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
Please don't think me churlish, but I will kick off by saying that this book is not terribly well crafted - it's repetitive and poorly copy edited. So, if you're snobby about writing, I suggest you give it a miss. That said, it'll be your loss, as it is a heartwarming book with an important message, for reasons other than its prose.

Bowen describes how he was `invisible' when he was homeless, and the difference it made when he found Bob and took him busking with him. Suddenly people - the public
May 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Looking through the reviews for this book there is a lot of hype against the writing so I won't bother writing anything about it, you'll see for yourself!
I loved this book for so many reasons!
Living in Britain (Probably anywhere, in fact) There is a lot of irritation and even anger towards homeless people, it's very close-minded and I think ANYONE could benefit from reading this book. You see it from a whole new perspective and I do believe Bob makes that easier. Humans seem to find it easier t
Sean Barrs
Apr 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: cat lovers
Shelves: 4-star-reads
The right friend, at the right time, really can change your life. - RIP Bob.

“There's a famous quote I read somewhere. It says we are all given second chances every day of our lives. They are there for the taking, it's just that we don't usually take them.”


And friends aren’t limited to other humans. Anyone who has had a beloved pet will know exactly what I mean. The thing about other people is that they can eventually turn on you and then vanish out of your life. Ghosting, the millennials cal
Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Me and Sir Pelzi (a British Shorthair gentle cat) absolutely loved this book. The way Bob entered the life of James is fantastic and especially the episode with the Rottweiler made us both laugh. Cats are the finest fellows and friends. A clear recommendation to everyone!
Corey Dutson
Jul 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
I actually met James and Bob a couple years ago around Covent Garden. Both of them are wonderfully brilliant characters in their own right. Back then, I recall him telling me and Theresa about a book that he was putting out, but I didn't really give it much thought.

Fast-forward to a month ago, and what do I find in a bookstore but a stack of this book! I'm so happy he actually managed to get it out there for everyone to read.

This is an warming, enjoyable book that is both heart-felt as well as e
Mar 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book is everything. Meet James, a heroin addict who then meets Bob, both are homeless and the most wonderful friendship grows. I never got to see James and Bob in London but they were quite the duo selling The Big Issue. I've since watched the film which is equally as good. As true stories go, this one is the cats whiskers!

2020 update - this book has sprung back into my mind having heard about the death of Bob. RIP Bob, you literally are the most famous cat in the world! Sleep well little o
Feb 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-read
James Bowden was a homeless man living on the streets of London struggling with a drug addiction. During the day he would do busking to make a bit of money to support himself. Having spent time in hostels for the homeless, he was finally given his own flat.

On returning back home one day James finds a ginger Tom cat outside his flat. It is from this day on that the pair forms a special attachment to one another. James decides to name the cat Bob, and on most days when James started out busking B
Leo .
Sep 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Well I think that James and Bob are kindred spirits. I also think that they saved each others lives. I have an affinity with cats; well all life actually especially animals; I have had cats all my life. Archimedes is at home now waiting for me to come home. I watched the film about Bob and James and although it was a good film as always the book is better. What a lovely story. The stars were lined up for James when the book publisher approached him that fateful day. The rest is history. Well don ...more
Feb 01, 2013 rated it liked it
This is a wonderful feel good true story about a street Cat named Bob and his owner a recovering heroin addict and the streets of London.

I don’t read books about animals but this sure pulled at my heart strings and made me realise everybody should experience the love of a pet at least once in their lives.

This is a story of love and devotion and how sometimes we are sent little signs of help and encouragement we just have to learn how to recognise them and I am sure that James was so happy that
Aug 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
One of the good things about this book is that the cat doesn't die. All the best stories about beloved animals end w/ the inevitable, and, while I know all sweet pets die, I'd just rather they didn't do it in their own book. Another really good thing is that Bob is a real cat. I know that because I liked his Facebook page, which is totally current, and watched some videos of him on YouTube, and even saw him and James on the Today Show. Yes, I know, if some people believe the moon landing was fak ...more
Apr 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
James Bowen is a recovering drug addict living in accommodate housing in London. One day he sees a male, ginger cat in the hallway near his flat. Last thing he needs is a pet when he is living hand-to-mouth, but the two take a shine to each other. James notices the ginger tom cat is injured. He takes it to the local RSPCA for treatment. Soon the street cat, who he names Bob, is on the road to recovery.

Many adventures -- both good and bad -- await this inseparable duo. This intelligent cat, who
Claire Martin
Nov 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Firstly, as many people have mentioned, this book is not exactly well written, but it is a true and honest account of James & Bobs life - it isn't romanticised, or dramatised, it is what it is. I hear they are making a movie, and I hope they keep this natural account without making it too Hollywood.

I have however given it a 4* just for the happy story that it is. A story about true companionship, and not only that, but how unique Bob is himself. I have had cats all my life, and I am pretty sure
Aug 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sweet tale, not too exciting but a nice read. And a true story which makes things more interesting. And I love cats so...... Ha!
Jenny Lyon
I must admit I was torn before I read this book. I mean, I'm moggy obsessed, but also word mad, and had read a few reviews commenting on how poorly written this book is. Now I've finished it, I can quite safely say: some people are stupid.
This isn't meant to be a challenging read or a work of great literature. its a true, from-the-heart story about one man and his mog. I actually thought the simple narrative made it really easy to see what James thought of Bob - his excitable use of language wh
Nov 17, 2012 rated it did not like it
I thought this book would be a heartwarming story of an interesting cat living through some tough times on the street, that would probably make me cry and probably end in the cat's death. In fact, the cat does not die by the end (which is a good thing!) and the cat is kind of incidental to the story, not the star. What we have here is a self-pitying tale of woe by a semi-homeless junkie who happens upon Bob the Cat outside his flat and they start hanging out together as he goes about his day to ...more
Aug 12, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"I've come to believe in the power of animals. I believe they can heal, teach, and push us to be better people"
- Neil Abramson from his book unsaid

I'd say this quote sums up this book pretty well.

James Bowen writes with absolute honesty and describes the life on the streets really well and I learned a lot from this book; about animals, humans, and even London! His story really touched me and I felt a great connection to him that by the end of the book I felt genuinely PROUD of him for getting
Martin Belcher
Jan 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2013
James Bowen was a homeless man living on the streets of London, addicted to drugs and in a bad way, eventually after spending time in homeless hostels he was given his own flat in sheltered accommodation block in North London. One day in 2007 a chance meeting with a ginger Tom cat that James decided to call "Bob" would change and turnaround his life. This is a charming, lovely, heart-warming true story of young man busking in central London along with his new companion the street cat Bob. They s ...more
 Li'l Owl
If you're a cat lover, dog lover, or animal lover, this story brings home how much an animal baby can make life sweeter and more fulfilling. It takes a non negotiable, selfless commitment to care for an animal, and it's not for everyone. In James's case, it took something special for him to bring Bob into his life and to take full responsibility for him. In the end, he got more unconditional love in return
then he could ever have possibly imagined.
This book is a true to life, wonderfully heartwa
Sheila Beaumont
I loved this heartwarming, uplifting, sometimes very funny, true story about James, a recovering drug addict, and the ailing ginger tomcat he finds, nurses back to health, and adopts as his own. In return, this cat named Bob gives James his total devotion and even saves his life. This is a delightful, feel-good read that any cat lover or animal lover will enjoy. I saw an iPhone video of James and Bob on YouTube, and you can tell that Bob is not only very handsome, but also an unusually intellige ...more
Apr 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
As a huge cat lover, it will come as no surprise that the most inspirational and affecting book I have read so far this year is A Street Cat Named Bob by James Bowen. I first heard of James and Bob via their Twitter feed and couldn't wait to read their story, although I did have to wait as my local Waterstones had sold out within a few days of it being released!

James was living hand to mouth on the streets of London when he first met the injured ginger cat. He nursed him back to health and when
Sep 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is an amazing book about a man and his cat. It is also a book about hope, friendship and getting another chance. It is a very uplifting book that takes you from the rough streets to the inconditional love of an animal, the true love of a friend.
Here Bob and James met and the bonds of a life long friendship forms. You also learn of James fight to become a better person and get over his [SPOILER] previous drug addiction that put him on the streets.
Kelly Furniss
Apr 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
As a cat lover and owner of exactly the same breed of cat as Bob when my friend in my Book club told me about this book I had to read it!.
This story is about James Bowen a recovering drug addict living in sheltered accommodation in London and making small amounts of money to survive the best way he can eg.busking and selling the Big Issue.
James one day returns home to find a ginger tom cat curled up in the hallway of his sheltered accommodation. James could not resist helping the cat he named Bo
Oct 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I have to admit I am totally late to the Bob party. The first I knew about him and James was whilst doing my weekly shop when I came across this book which just jumped out at me and straight away I knew I had to read it, especially after reading the description.

The friendship between James and Bob is just the most heart warming relationship I think I’ve ever come across. Even though it’s James that finds Bob and takes him in, I think it’s more the other way round. It’s like Bob is James’ guardia
Oh my. This is a book that deserves every one of its five stars.

The title basically says it all. It's about a former drug user whose life is on the rebound and is adopted by a stray sickly ginger kitten. After many attempts to locate the cat's owner, James adopts "Bob" and they become inseparable; first as a feline sidekick while James 'busked' for spare change and later to his selling "the Big Issue" (a magazine published to help people get back on their feet and into the working world again wh
Megan Graff
Oct 15, 2012 rated it liked it
A year 6 student mentioned this book when I asked what he had read recently and enjoyed. A couple days later he brought it in for me to read. I picked it up last night expecting to read for 30 minutes or so before bed but I ended up staying up until I finished it. It isn't very well written but it is extremely heart warming to read about the relationship that develops between James (a recovering heroin junkie) and Bob the street cat who befriends him.

Today when I told the student that I finishe
Nov 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A lovely book. It's an emotional and touching personal story of a recovering drug addict getting his life back together, but there are also moments of humour, and I learned a lot too from the interesting insights into life on the streets and how the Big Issue works. This is a well told story with some beautifully painted moments that made me feel like I was there - the description was so vivid that my heart pounded in the dramatic passages and I cried in the emotional bits. Some other reviewers ...more
The book touched me deeply. I laughed, cried and again laughed. They do not believe in fate, if she appears before you in the guise of a mind-blowing red cat? When you have ceased to believe in a bright future, hand themselves down suddenly in the darkness, like a beam of light, you see a pair of cunning eyes.
Few people indifferent story about the life of Bob the cat and his master. Thanks to him I became more attentive to everything around him, especially to the "invisible" on the streets of t
Apr 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This was a lovely read. Bob is such a character, reminds me of my Floof. 💛
Lisa Fagg
Jan 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

This is a fabulous book; uplifting, fresh, thoughtful and honest. Not every writer has a story to tell worth reading and not every book worth reading is written by a 'writer'. James' story makes for good reading and his style of writing invites the reader to sit down beside him and Bob and listen to what he has to say. There is a lot of living depicted in these pages - a life that is at times perhaps, like yours or mine. At other times James' life is almost unfathomable, almost unrecognisable
I enjoyed this book very much. It's basically a love story about a man and the cat who he credits with saving his life. James had been living on the streets of London trying to get his life together after being an addict for many years. After he met a stray cat, he became close to him and named him Bob. Jame's life improved when he had the responsibility of taking care of Bob.

This memoir has now become a film and I'm looking forward to seeing it! It also strengthened my resolve to adopt a pet, b
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Read-along: Jul/Ago - C: A Minha História com Bob 12 15 Oct 06, 2020 02:00AM  
Love this book 1 9 May 13, 2019 05:53AM  
Linda Howard Book...: * December '18 Everything Else BOTM - A Street Cat Named Bob 1 4 Nov 30, 2018 09:33AM  
italki English: "A street cat named Bob" by James Bowen 11 16 Apr 03, 2017 12:28AM  
Screen & Page: A Street Cat Named Bob 1 4 Sep 25, 2016 06:13AM  

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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

James Bowen is an author and musician currently based in London. He is author of A Street Cat Named Bob, which tells his life story.

James Bowen was born in Surrey in 1979. Following his parents’ divorce, he moved to Australia with his mother and stepfather. Home life was tense and, because the family moved frequ

Other books in the series

Bob The Cat (3 books)
  • The World According to Bob: The Further Adventures of One Man and His Street-wise Cat
  • A Gift from Bob: How a Street Cat Helped One Man Learn the Meaning of Christmas

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