As someone who has read just about everything Haruki Murakami has written, Genki Kawamura’s “If Cats Disappeared From The World” was on something of a loser from the start. As soon as I realised it was the kind of magic realism tale at which Murakami excels, then comparisons were inevitable – and were also never going to be favourable.
Perhaps some of my issue comes down to the translation, it’s impossible to say; but I confess to not being at all wowed by Kawamura’s book. Both plot and premise seemed a little thin, repetitive and lacking any true depth, and I think the book may have been trying to be profound, but didn’t quite manage to pull it off.
I may be being unfair – and if you’ve never read any Murakami then you might find ‘Cats” to be a diverting little tale.
But then again, if you haven’t read any Murakami, I suggest that’s where you start…