Six Degrees of Separation: from Fight Club to I Am A Cat


It’s the first Saturday in February which means that it’s time for the Six Degrees meme. I’m on time, too. This month we’re starting with Fight Club by Chuck Pahlaniuk.


Fight Club is one of the books by Chuck Pahlaniuk that I haven’t read yet. I’ve seen the film and I have a habit of misappropriating its famous “The first rule of Fight Club” line for my own amusement.


Fight Club the film has Brad Pitt as one of its stars, and I read a book that has Brad Pitt in the title because, for work purposes, I was going to the gallery of the man who wrote the book. Brad Pitt’s Dog is a collection of essays about counter culture. I can’t for the life of me remember why Brad Pitt’s dog appears in the title.


Maybe it was left behind by the prostitutes who name the stray dogs they collect after famous writers in Lina Wolff’s Bret Easton Ellis and the Other Dogs. I haven’t read this book yet, because I only bought it today at the Manchester Indie Book Fair. I will be reading it soon, though, because it sounds like a cracker.


Kugelberg and Wolff are both Swedish, and so was Henning Mankell who wrote The Dogs of Riga, in which Inspector Kurt Wallander gets caught up in all manner of dodgy goings on in Latvia while trying to solve the case of two dead bodies washed up on the shore near Ystad in a life raft.


I tried to find another book I’d read by a Swedish author that mentioned a dog in its title, but I drew a blank. I did think about Timbuktu, however, which is about a dying man and his relationship with his dog, Mr Bones. Paul Auster isn’t Swedish and the book doesn’t have dog in its title.


That made me think about The Guest Cat which, as well as not being by a Swedish writer and not having dog in the title, isn’t even about a dog. It’s about a cat who already has a home but decides it wants a second home as well with the neighbours. It’s also about how animals wriggle their way into our lives until we feel we can’t do without them.


That brings me to my last book in the chain. It’s another book by a Japanese writer that is about a cat from the perspective of a cat. Sōseki’s I Am A Cat is a classic. The first time I read it, I didn’t like it. Someone bought me a paperback copy as a thank you gift, though, so I might read it again, in case it was the Kindle that put me off. It’s inspired by another book that I didn’t like at first but eventually re-read and enjoyed. Anyway. It starts with the cat being very cat like and then changes to an anthropomorphised cat with a human viewpoint. Even though it’s the same cat. Which is sort of like Fight Club, in a way.

If my list of books has made you curious about this meme, why not pop over to Books Are My Favourite and Best and follow the links to other people’s lists. Better still, why not put together one of your own?

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