Busker James Bowen and Bob have had readers queuing for signed copies of their bestseller
Published: 2 November, 2012
by PETER GRUNER
THE heart-warming tale of how a stray cat turned around the life of a homeless busker began in the pages of the Islington Tribune.
Then it became a publishing phenomenon. And now A Streetcat Named Bob is set to become a major Hollywood film.
But it’s not just the story of how Bob adopted busker James Bowen, 32, who used to sell the Big Issue outside Angel Tube station, that has all the feelgood factors beloved by Hollywood scriptwriters – doubly so for being true.
The runaway success of his story also has a fairytale ending.
Bob and James’s story first appeared in the Tribune two years ago.
It was spotted by literary agent Mary Pachnos, who suggested that James write a book about his difficult life, which included drug addiction and homelessness, and how it changed for the better when he met Bob, a homeless stray.
The paperback version came out in March this year, and has been at the top of the Sunday Times bestseller list for the past six weeks, shifting more than 200,000 copies.
It will be published in America in the new year and now the literary agents behind the hit film Marley and Me are negotiating screen rights.
Marley and Me, starring Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston, was a similar story based on a memoir by John Grogan about his neurotic family dog, Marley.
A children’s version of A Streetcat Named Bob is due out next year – with photographs of Bob and James.
Bob the cat was remarkably demure, making himself comfortable on a table and posing for fans at Waterstones bookshop at the Angel last Thursday.
Beside him sat James, busily signing copies of the book.
The queue of eager readers stretched out of the store onto Islington Green.
James has indicated he could see Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe playing him in the screen project.
Bob, of course, famous for his Buddha-like personality, would probably have to play himself.