Casper The Commuting Cat: Book Review
Reviewed by tvnz.co.nz's Darren Bevan
When I requested this for review, it has to be said a couple of my colleagues were somewhat surprised, but this tale of the cat who made the UK south-west buses his home for his wandering adventures has always intrigued me on a few levels.
Firstly, it was the region I used to live in in the UK and so I had a connection; and, secondly, I never quite understand the occasional British mentality of pets achieving almost deity-like status because of their quirky ways.
However, Casper The Commuting Cat is also the tale of his owner, Susan Finden, who, to be fair, was always a cat-lover and always had feline friends around in some form or other.
That said, this book doesn't exactly start out on a joyous note, dealing with the somewhat callous way the pussy was dispatched. It's a shocking start to what's really a tale of love, public transport and affection.
While the book's easy to read and flits along simply enough, the author's decision to write a few chapters under the guise of Casper may seem a little odd and off-putting to any non-animal lover. It's a little bit quaint and quirky, although, to be honest, I wasn't bowled over by this narrative choice.
That said, the story is quite a sweet one and seems to be endemic of a nation of animal lovers. In fact, even the blurb on the back of the book talks of the "glimmer of light offered at a time when the country was going through recession." It sounds a bit pompous, but as Casper's tale unfolds and he manages to charm all and sundry on and off the buses and you begin to understand why he had such an effect on the country.
Perhaps if you're not an animal lover, this book will leave you slightly cold but everyone else who's ever let a bundle of fluff of any variety into their life, it will seem a charming and heart-warming tale.
Casper the Commuting Cat, by Susan Finden