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

James Bowen
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3,838 customer reviews)
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Book Description

13 Sep 2012

When James Bowen found an injured, ginger street cat curled up in the hallway of his sheltered accommodation, he had no idea just how much his life was about to change. James was living hand to mouth on the streets of London and the last thing he needed was a pet.

Yet James couldn't resist helping the strikingly intelligent tom cat, whom he quickly christened Bob. He slowly nursed Bob back to health and then sent the cat on his way, imagining he would never see him again. But Bob had other ideas.

Soon the two were inseparable and their diverse, comic and occasionally dangerous adventures would transform both their lives, slowly healing the scars of each other's troubled pasts.

A Street Cat Named Bob is a moving and uplifting story that will touch the heart of anyone who reads it.

Frequently Bought Together

A Street Cat Named Bob: How One Man and His Cat Found Hope on the Streets + The World According to Bob: The Further Adventures of One Man and His Street-wise Cat + Bob: No Ordinary Cat
Price For All Three: £13.85

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks (13 Sep 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444737112
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444737110
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 18.6 x 24.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3,838 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 366 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


[Bob] has entranced London like no feline since the days of Dick Whittington. (Evening Standard)

heartwarming tale (Islington Tribune)

It was only a matter of time before a rubber stamp was used to autograph a book - but in Bob's case, we'll let him off. For Bob is the famous ginger moggy belonging to one-homeless busking Big Issue seller James Bowen, whose A STREET CAT NAMED BOB hit bookshop shelves last week. Fans, some bearing feline treats, queued around the block at James and Bob's first signing at the Islington branch of Waterstones last week. The purrfectly behaved Bob signed an impressive 180 books in just two hours. You gotta be kitten me. (Bookseller)

a heartwarming tale with a message of hope (Daily Mail)

an instantly bestselling memoir that, beside its heart-warming tale of their friendship, offers an insight into the injustice of life on the streets that's by turns frustrating and life-affirming. (The Times)

This is a revealing glimpse of London's underbelly and the resourcefulness needed to survive it. But mostly it's a love story that will make your heart purr (Daily Mail)

I recently read a book that reminded me how amazing having a cat can be. A Street Cat Named Bob is the story of a homeless guy and his cat, Bob... It's a true story and ideal for anyone like me who's a bit mad when it comes to felines (Glamour)

The story of how Bob, the ginger cat, and James, the Covent Garden busker, transformed each other's lives has become a phenomenon: a feline urban fable. Throughout James' tale - their shared need for emotional and physical warmth; the hairy highs and lows on the streets; the growing global love for this one man and his super-loyal cat - his deep, grateful fondness for Bob shines out. (Sainsbury's Magazine)

Book Description

The moving, uplifiting 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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
622 of 636 people found the following review helpful
In its own way this is Orwell for the 21st century. Yes, the cat is cute, yes the story is a simple one. But it's genuinely revealing about the kind of life led by people who live at the bottom of society's net - if not underneath it. It's plainly but surprisingly well written, and very readable; and if you live in London some of the details of how such things as busking and Big Issue selling work are riveting. Most of all though, it's a window on motivation - on how and why people who've apparently given up on themselves might finally be spurred to get their life together. Everyone who works in the benefits and charity industry ought to read this book because the answer probably isn't the one they get given in their seminars. Oddly enough it's an answer human beings have been giving each other since time began - it's love, giving as much as getting, that can make the difference, even if the love object in question has fur. Being responsible for another creature's health and happiness can give even the most hopeless drug addict a reason to change. And services which help those who are down and out need to recognise that truth and make their facilities pet friendly wherever possible. Too often homeless people can't access housing, medical care, and the rest simply because their dog or cat is banned - treated as an optional extra rather than a member of their family and a possible motivation to a better life.
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282 of 290 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Star is Born 18 Mar 2012
By Queenie
This is a great story and very moving. James, a street musician, rescued Bob a sick, street-battered cat, when he found him sheltering in his block of flats five years ago. This is the tale of two people, a man and a cat, who found each other and gave each other hope and a future.

James writes honestly about the life he led when he was a recovering heroin addict, about the battles he's had to fight, about the loneliness of life on the streets and about how meeting Bob helped him turn his life around. I have nothing but admiration for him - it takes guts to beat an addiction. It takes a special sort of bravery and determination to pull yourself back up when you are alone and down. When one dreary follows another, when it's hard to see any future.

James wasn't looking for any reward when he took Bob in, he couldn't possibly have known what the future would bring. Now, because of his own act of kindness, James has hope and a new life. It's a lovely heartwarming book, full of humour as well as courage and determination. I really hope it will help a lot of people be more understanding.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
This is a beautiful, moving and extremely uplifting story about both James and Bob's lives and how they came together. The author dovetails a revealing and surprisingly frank account of his troubled past with his emerging responsibility as parent and guardian of Bob, his gorgeous ginger Tom.

James' recovery from drug addiction and his difficulties with both the Police and authorities, other buskers, Big Issue vendors, and especially unkind and cruel members of the public, gave me an eye-opening insight into the challenges faced by those who don't quite fit into the mould society demands and crash out onto its margins. It challenged my own prejudices actually, which surprised me because I've always considered myself to be both compassionate and liberal. And yet it's true, I often treat those such as James without the acknowledgement or respect that they are entitled to and deserve, looking upon them as a nuisance or as little more than drugged-up beggars, when often they are doing nothing more than trying to make an honest living selling magazines to turn their lives around.

Most amazingly, I had the totally unexpected good fortune to bump into James and Bob in Covent Garden just two days ago, and was delighted to get my book signed personally by the author, for a generous donation of course! And I can absolutely attest to the fact - in person - that Bob is both incredibly friendly and unbelievably calm and cute in the face of crowds of fascinated passers-by. I wish James and Bob the greatest of success for the future and hope this turns into something much greater for them both.
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104 of 108 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely story... everyone should have a Bob... 19 Mar 2012
If the book was fiction i would think it was a bit far-fetched and the fact it's true makes it the ultimate feel-good story. I absolutely loved the tale of how they found each other and then became inseparable - such kindred spirits are rare even amongst members of the same species. It's well written, touching and funny and if you don't feel that little bit better after reading it you must be made of stone.
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48 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing! Read in few hours! 19 Mar 2012
By Giulia
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I work in Covent Garden and as soon as I knew that the book was coming out I pre-ordered it! I wanted to go to Islington Green on the 13th but unfortunately I couldn't :( hope Bob and James will write a dedication for me in the next days!

Btw, amazing book!

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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Totally Entertaining 27 Mar 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase

I haved not enjoyed a book as much as this for a long, long time.
It is primarily a happy book, so refreshing in these days of ever depressing doom and gloom.
Simply obtain, sit down, and read.
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183 of 193 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lovely uplifting and heartwarming read 15 Mar 2012
Seeing Bob and James together on the street puts a smile on my face every time I see them and the book does the same.
Reading their story not only gave insight to their background but was very uplifting and heart warming as well.
Good luck to them both.
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