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If Cats Disappeared from the World

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3.76  ·  Rating details ·  32,160 ratings  ·  4,911 reviews
The international phenomenon that has sold over a million copies in Japan, If Cats Disappeared from the World is a funny, heartwarming, and profound meditation on the meaning of life.

The postman’s days are numbered. Estranged from his family, living alone with only his cat Cabbage to keep him company, he was unprepared for the doctor’s diagnosis that he has only months to
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Hardcover, 168 pages
Published March 12th 2019 by Flatiron Books (first published August 30th 2012)
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Diana Literally anything from Haruki Murakami, especially Norvegian Wood or Kafka on the Shore, or After Dark. Keigo Higashino is also an excellent author. …moreLiterally anything from Haruki Murakami, especially Norvegian Wood or Kafka on the Shore, or After Dark. Keigo Higashino is also an excellent author. Miracles of the Namiya General Store is highly recomended, and his detective novels are also great. And I really enjoyed Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi too.(less)
Meghan
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

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Average rating 3.76  · 
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Reading_ Tamishly
This is my kind of book. This is my kind of story. This is my kind of favourite.
This book gave me everything I wanted from a good book.
It's fun yet it makes me think about a lot of things which actually matter in reality.
I love how the author wrote such big things about life in such a simple way. It's simply amazing.
I laughed and cried while reading this one. It's endearing and will remain as one of the most memorable reads.

*What made this read different:
The main characters are nothing sort of u
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Joel Rochester
this book honestly made me cry.

it really puts things into perspective about human connection, and the way we've constructed life as a whole. it emphasises the importance of living and doing the things that we want to do. i also appreciated the subtle nod of a characteristic of toxic masculinity, where our mc and his father were unable to talk about their feelings to one another, it really highlighted how important it is to be open with our feelings.

overall, i highly recommend this tale :3
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Ruth
Jul 19, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I wonder if the translation let this novella down? It was clunky, American English, and made me feel like an American teen had written it. Japanese literature that I've read is often quirky and a little odd (see Murakami!) but usually odd in a good way. This just left me a feeling a bit cold.

The part I liked was the part with the cat, but much of the rest left me unmoved. The storyteller has been given days to live, but then the devil appears & tells him that if he gets rid of 'something' from t
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emma
This is an absolute stunner of a book.

I'm a sucker for any story that makes us think about what makes life worth living, about the beauty in the mundane. So this book, which explores how the aspects of the everyday that we may consider the "little things" - clocks, movies, music, chocolate, cats - make existence what it is, not because they're delicious or fun or even meaningful, but because they connect us with the people and world around us...well, that's right up my alley.

The point, always, i
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Dr. Appu Sasidharan
What is the relation between Japanese novels and talking cats?


This is one of the first things that came to my mind when I finished reading this book. I think that the Japanese novels, including almost all of Haruki Murakami's books, have portrayed cats in the best way possible and showed the beautiful relationship between cats and humans.

What will you do if the devil comes to you making an offer when you are busy preparing a list of things to do before you die after you come to know about yo
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John Mauro
Jan 05, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If Cats Disappeared from the World warmed my heart while simultaneously breaking it. This is such a poignantly and elegantly told story.

The narrator of the story is a young, single postman from Japan who has been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. After receiving this crushing diagnosis from his doctor, he arrives home at his apartment to find the devil. The devil makes a deal with him: he will grant one additional day of life to the narrator for each item that he chooses to eliminate from th
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K.J. Charles
This is the story of a very dull and staggeringly self-centred man who makes a deal with the devil to deprive other people of things they love in order to extend his pointless empty life. In the course of this he indulges in much trite and repetitive musing on things like time (clocks are a human construct!) and mobile phones (we let them limit us but on the other hand they're quite useful!) and cats (people like them!).

It's like being stuck in a room with a stoned teenager who's just started a
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Tim
Mar 14, 2021 rated it it was ok
Plot: An unnamed narrator discovers he's going to die. The devil makes a deal with him to give him more days to live, but in return something has to disappear from the world each day as a trade.

"In order to gain something, you have to lose something."

"You don't know what you've got till it's gone."

Repeat these two phrases over and over for 168 pages and you've essentially got this book. Perhaps the story would have been more moving with a better translation (it's awkward and honestly feels like
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Liong
Aug 31, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I agree that "To gain something you have to lose something." in this book.

"For all we know, there may be all kinds that have already disappeared without our having noticed it, things that we'd assumed would always be around."

I love these words abovementioned. They are meaningful.

The word "emptiness" is hard to describe in Buddha's terms. Emptiness is something that we cannot see but it exists through a combination of many things by serendipity. For example, a Limited Company is something we can
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Ian
Jun 20, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, japan
It was only last year that I first came across the word “ailurophile” which when I looked it up turned out to mean “cat lover”. I’ve never been lucky enough to visit Japan, but the literature and film coming from there suggest the country has a good claim to be the most ailurophilic in the world. I understand this book has been a bestseller in Japan. Doubtless the theme helped the author hit the right note with readers.

I read the English language translation, which I imagine will be a bit diffe
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capture stories
A man only got a few months left, in his final stage of cancer, he was not ready to die. And then this strange phenomenon happened. A look-alike devil comes to offer him an exchange. Man has to forfeit one thing to live another day. With this, the week begins with flashbacks of past events, incidences, and people he'd once loved, lost connections and reliving those moments for a second chance. There were cute and funny dialogues between the man and his pet cat, Cabbage, who spoke as a charming g ...more
Kim
May 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh gosh my fellow readers. I found this lovely little gem in my local bookstore about a month ago. A bit quirky, a bit sad, but so good. Please read it!
Emma
Feb 05, 2019 rated it it was ok
I adore cats but I didn’t really get on with this book. Although it’s not always the case, sometimes translations can be pretty clunky. This was a large part of the problem here. It reminded me a bit of a Japanese Mitch Albom!
STEPH
Jul 02, 2022 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
What if Cats disappeared from the world? Such a scary thought. I can’t imagine a life without cats. Being the cat lady that I am, I just feel like the world would be a much cruel place to live in without these creatures.

This was an OK book. I kinda liked how the character of “Aloha” was written. Fresh, raw and over the top, with his love for hawaian shirts and sunglasses (maybe it’s always summer in hell.) I mean, I couldn’t really hate the guy even though he is the devil.

As for the narrator. I
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Brittany McCann
When the postman is diagnosed with terminal cancer, he is told that he has a maximum of 6 months to live, but the reality may be more like a week. He returns home, where he is greeted by the devil that offers him a deal. He can make one thing disappear from the world for one extra day of life.

What's the catch? The devil gets to choose what thing disappears. The first day starts with phones than movies, then clocks, and then the devil proposes that cats should be next. Can the postman trade his
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Kate
Dec 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.75/5stars

I really did like this BUT I found it to be a little too spelled out? I love books that explore grief and exploring ones self but this one was just a bit too obvious/a bit too much telling rather than showing. I feel like this could have been a full 350-400 paged novel and it could have done the idea more justice because it really was a beautiful and very interesting twist on this type of story!
Gaby
Oct 07, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not being a fan of overly sentimental stories, I'm not sure that this was the book for me. I liked the concept, but it read very simply - too straight-forward for my liking. I felt that it didn't explore any theme in great detail; the visit from the devil seemed to end abruptly. The 'light-hearted' inclusion of the devil gave way to a very sentimental ending which continued to introduce new 'insights' into the character which felt too convenient. It felt as though the story had two parts: the de ...more
Kusaimamekirai
Jan 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction-japan
“In order to gain something you have to lose something. Mom said it was just obvious. People are always trying to get something for nothing. But that’s just theft. If you’ve gained something it means that someone, somewhere, has lost something. Even happiness is built on someone else’s misfortune.”

How often do we think about the things in our life we take for granted? How many of these things do we really need? What would happen if we woke up one day and they were gone forever?:

“It’s as if wit
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Antonomasia
Even before I started reading this book, I'd changed my mind about it a few times. It looked like it might be cheesy. But I have a weakness for stories about magic wishing schemes, and its premise is kind of like a Japanese Bedazzled. And the cover illustration is lovely, managing to be cute, very real and evocative of Japanese painting. The book is very short (in the paper edition, those 208 pages must have big print and a lot of white space) and it's eligible for the Booker International (albe ...more
Alice-Elizabeth (Prolific Reader Alice)
I'm a cat lover, so don't take away the cats including my own XD

To the serious business that is this book review: I found this story to be a little underwhelming. After picking up a copy on a whim from the library, I did find myself quickly transported into the world of a man who is dying from a terminal illness but is given the chance to try and live longer thanks to the Devil showing up and advising him that each day, the dying man must get rid of one thing in the world. I loved his pet cat Ca
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Loredana (Bookinista08)
Dec 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: magical-realism
OK, so I finished this book bawling my eyes out! It's a short and simple book about life and its many joys and tragedies, and after finishing it I feel like I'm both sad and satisfied. There is also a magical element to it, since the Devil himself makes an appearance (or does he?), but the book is very much anchored in reality. It's profound in that very clean-cut and simple way that Japanese authors manage to accomplish perfectly. I loved it to bits and I recommend it to everyone, not just cat ...more
Caro the Helmet Lady
This felt more like an anime series script than a book. You know, kind of slice of life with a bit of fantastical element and reflection on relationships between human beings, families, friends, cats and so on. Of course the fact that the main character is going to die and he knows that puts everything in a specific light. Less philosophical bla-bla would make this book a favor, I think, more of "show don't tell" would be great. Also I feel like translation sucked a bit...
Nonetheless this was a
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Tripfiction
Oct 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sad, poignant, amusing, thought-provoking.... JAPAN

If Cats Disappeared From The World by Genki Kawamura (excellently translated by Eric Selland) – amusing, sad and thought-provoking novel set in Japan.



If Cats Disappeared From The World is the story of the last week in the life of the narrator, an unnamed 30 year old Japanese postman diagnosed with a brain tumour and told by his doctor he is going to die.

He goes back in shock to his tiny apartment and to his cat Cabbage, with whom he shares his l
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Lorelei
Jan 22, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
~~~5 Stars~~~

I remember the exact moment that I picked up this book. I was in a bookstore in Paris and I was instantly drawn to it. The moment I started this book I could not put it down. It is a beautifully crafted story of change and grief and loss. It deals with a lot of dark topics while managing to keep a philosophical outlook. It raises so many interesting points that make you sit and think for hours on end. I loved this book and I really should put it on my favorites shelf.

Also if you wa
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Fiona
Over 1 million copies sold in Japan, the blurb says. Hmmmmm......... Imagine you’ve been told you’re terminally ill. The devil comes to visit and says that you can make something in the world disappear each day in exchange for an extra day of life. You go along with this for a couple of days. Personally, I would be choosing broad beans, barley and chewing gum as my first three trades, rather than telephones, clocks and movies, but each to their own.

I enjoyed this story up to a point as it was q
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Alex
Jun 28, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
What if you had only few hours to live? What if you see your doppelganger in your room, but dressed and acting so different from you, proclaiming that he is the Devil? What if the Devil named Aloha in this book offers you a chance to live one more day? Yes there's a caveat: you need to remove something from this world inorder to increse your life span. Would you do it?

That's the outline of this tiny Japanese novel. I liked the writing style and the narrator's love for his cat Cabbage. I also lov
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Samuel
“Like love, life is beautiful because it has to end.”

☆゜・。。・゜゜・。。・゜★

[5]

☆゜・。。・゜゜・。。・゜★

The Bottle Imp meets Charlie Chaplin’s Last Dance to create an outstanding masterpiece.

INTRODUCTION:
Wow. I discovered this book while I was really bored scrolling through Scribd and both the cover and the title captured my attention. Next thing I knew, I was in my bed in fetal position crying while listening to this book.
If Cats Disappeared From The World left me emotionally wrecked and astonished. I did
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Sarah Samir
Aug 20, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Humans tend to regret the life they never lived and the choices they never made."

A very heartwarming story of a young man who works as a postman after discovering that he is facing an inevitable death of cancer.
"So there's really no such a thing as too late or too soon. Things happen when they're meant to happen."

مواجهة حتمية مع الحياة بين شاب في الثلاثين من العمر ليجد نفسه في مواجهة مع شيطانه الذي يعرض عليه فقدان شئ من العالم مقابل يوم واحد يضاف الى عمره

يوافق على فقدان الكثير لكن يج
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Sahar
Aug 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
cheers luv crying
Sheena
3.5 - i really liked it at first but then my attention wavered at one point, still liked it overall though
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Genki Kawamura (川村元気) is a Japanese film producer, writer, screenwriter.

中文 >> 川村元氣.

Genki Kawamura is an internationally bestselling author. If Cats Disappeared from the World was his first novel and has sold over two million copies in Japan and has been translated into over fourteen different languages. His other novels are Million Dollar Man and April Come She Will. He has also written children's
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“Cats and humans have been partners for over ten thousand years. And what you realize when you've lived with a cat for a long time is that we may think we own them, but that's not the way it is. They simply allow us the pleasure of their company.” 51 likes
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