A Gift from Bob by James Bowen

A Gift from Bob: How a Street Cat Helped One Man Learn the Meaning of Christmas - James   Bowen

This little novella was exactly as good as I hoped it would be. Running at just 192 pages, it was a quick read and my only complaint is that it wasn’t long enough.


This is the third book about the relationship that’s formed between James and his cat, Bob, who he met one night on the stairs in his block of flats. There’s a fourth book, but it’s a children’s book that depicts James and Bob’s friendship through pictures, but I’m not such an ardent fan that I’ve gone as far as picking that up!


When James met Bob, he was at a difficult point in his life due to drugs and homelessness, but Bob the cat helped him learn what’s important in life through his unique viewpoint. I know it probably sounds like a bit of an exaggeration that a cat can turn someone’s life around, but it’s a really heart-warming story that’s about so much more than just a man and his cat. James used to live rough on the streets of London, so the reader gets a glimpse into that life as he recounts the time. He’s also trying to establish his business of selling the Big Issue, which is a magazine made specifically for struggling members of the community to sell on the streets.The hope is that, vendors who sell the Big Issue, will learn how to make a living and get on a better track in life. If you want to pick the first book in the series up, which I’d strongly suggest, you can find it here A Street Cat Named Bob (Amazon US). You don’t need to read the series from the start though; that’s not important at all, although it will add to your understanding.


The second book in the series is a continuation of James and Bob’s time together and lets us know a bit more about their relationship and how the sale of their first book impacted their lives. An excellent book, but the top spot still goes to the first one in the series, mainly because it described the part of James’s life that held the most interest for me.


This novella is about the last Christmas that James and Bob spent together before their lives changed due to the first book being published. Obviously, it’s really timely, so it’s a great time of year to pick it up. And like I said, no need to read the other two. You can start with this book and you won’t feel lost at all.


It was another story that made me feel the same way as the first two. Of course it’s filled with clique lines and observations, but who cares!? It’s not the best written book either, but James was so honest and frank about his life that I couldn’t help but love him. And of course Bob the cat too! James is the star in these books though and a great one. He let me into his life wholeheartedly and ended up feeling like my friend.


Some might say that James and Bob have had long enough in the spotlight and should probably step back and to an extent that’s right, but if people buy the books and love them, I fail to see where the harm is.