The Cat and The City
A BBC Radio 2 Book Club Pick
‘A love letter to Japan and its literature’ Rowan Hisayo Buchanan
‘Ingenious… Touching, surprising and sometimes heartbreaking’ Guardian
‘An ideal tonic for anyone craving far-flung adventure’ Mail on Sunday
‘If you’re itching to read a new novel by David Mitchell…try this’ The Times
In Tokyo – one of the world’s largest megacities – a stray cat is wending her way through the back alleys. And, with each detour, she brushes up against the seemingly disparate lives of the city-dwellers, connecting them in unexpected ways.
But the city is changing. As it does, it pushes her to the margins where she chances upon a series of apparent strangers – from a homeless man squatting in an abandoned hotel, to a shut-in hermit afraid to leave his house, to a convenience store worker searching for love. The cat orbits Tokyo’s denizens, drawing them ever closer.
‘Masterfully weaves together seemingly disparate threads to conjure up a vivid tapestry of Tokyo; its glory, its shame, its characters, and a calico cat.’ David Peace, author of THE TOKYO TRILOGY
One of the Independent’s best debuts
Longlisted for the DUBLIN LITERARY AWARD, 2021
Nick Bradley's ingenious choreography of a constantly moving city, is touching, surprising and sometimes heartbreaking. * Guardian * The key pleasure of reading this book is its sprightly vigour - cool but not hipsterish, ambitious but not pretentious - that evokes a similar liveliness in the reader. It makes you feel young again. * John Self, The Times * Inventive, beguiling. * Sunday Times * An ideal tonic for anyone craving far-flung adventure. * Mail on Sunday * Intriguing...explores the dark underbelly of Japan. * Independent * I wolfed down these interlocking stories of cats, Tokyo, loneliness and redemption. Congratulations to Nick Bradley on this vibrant and accomplished debut. * David Mitchell, via Twitter * The Cat and The City is a love letter to Japan and its literature. Bradley's passion for everything from onigiri to Tanizaki's short stories is woven into this book. Bradley was for a time an ex-pat and his insight into their perching state is particularly intriguing. He is also very clearly a man with a great tenderness for cats. * Rowan Hisayo Buchanan, author of HARMLESS LIKE YOU * In a very impressive, finely observed debut, Nick Bradley masterfully weaves together seemingly disparate threads to conjure up a vivid tapestry of Tokyo; its glory, its shame, its characters, and a calico cat. * David Peace, author of THE TOKYO TRILOGY * An inventive, clever and beguiling read. With Tokyo as the backdrop, this is a beautifully written novel about belonging and loneliness, about escape and destruction, where the enmeshed narratives (and a magical cat) bind the city together. * Elizabeth Macneal, author of THE DOLL FACTORY * Like the street cat that slinks through this, Nick Bradley is endlessly resourceful, full of invention, full of surprises. * Andrew Cowan, author of PIG * Tender, delicate, and surprising, The Cat and The City is a lovely, rare progeny of a meeting between the English and the Japanese imagination. * Amit Chaudhuri, author of THE IMMORTALS * The Cat and The City is fiercely vivid, darkly comic and exquisitely mesmerising. Prepare to be transported across a sprawling metropolis; intercepting lives, as culture, history and identity interweave in a novel that will stay with you indelibly. Utterly brilliant writing. * Ashley Hickson-Lovence, author of THE 392 * Reading The Cat and The City is a rare experience of immersion in a world so complete that you will feel you know Tokyo like a character all its own, and feel homesick for it once you turn the final page. I loved the playfulness of form, the patience and skill of the storytelling and above all, the jolts of delighted and poignant recognition as narratives connected in subtle and powerful ways. * Eleanor Wasserberg, author of FOXLOWE * Bradley has produced a vivid urban map where "lifers" of all nationalities are trapped in a dark place. Hosts of readers will already be looking forward to what he serves up next in the fiction stakes. * Japan Today * Bradley's storytelling is artful and thickly allusive... For those who love tales of cats, cities or both, it makes for a charming wander. * Straits Times *
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