“It had never occurred to me that human actions could have a limit, not even when it was mom’s turn.”
We’ve discovered a new book to put on your must-read-before-you-die list. When we bought it we didn’t think that it would enter every single cell of our body, to then make us shine with life. Friendship, love, moral values, guilt, memory pride, regrets, and more, dosed with a delicacy that moves the reader.
The protagonist is a young man in his thirties, a postman by profession, with his normal load of daily problems to solve. Following some necessary medical checks after a few weeks spent dealing with a severe cold and excruciating headaches, he was suddenly diagnosed with an incurable brain disease, with a life expectancy of up to a few months if he were lucky.
Destroyed in his spirit and body, one morning he receives a visit from the Devil who announces his death for the next day. To gain days of life, he offers him a particular pact, namely to make an object, or a living being, with attached memories and emotions linked to it, disappear forever from the world. One item one day more.
The subterfuge of the tempting devil, however, is that it will not be our protagonist who chooses what to make disappear, but the devil himself, at his unquestionable will.
After the initial acceptance, in order to remain attached to life, our protagonist finds himself confronted with all that would have been the imprint of his passage on the world. Thus he finds himself going to visit his first girlfriend, thinking about his mother who has been missing for four years now (from whom he will receive a letter), about the cat Cabbage who kept his mother company especially during the last period of her illness, about father with whom he cut all ties, until you get to the greatest truth of life.
We don’t want to tell you anything else because the book must be read up to the last twist, but we leave you with two questions: Who is really the devil who tempts our lives? What are its true features?
Kawamura Genki, Se i gatti scomparissero dal mondo, Einaudi, Torino, 2019
Original edition: 世界から猫が消えたなら, Sekai kara neko ga kietanara, 2012