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Salmonella Men on Planet Porno: Stories
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Salmonella Men on Planet Porno: Stories

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3.6 of 5 stars 3.60  ·  rating details  ·  628 ratings  ·  106 reviews
This collection of marvelously off-kilter short stories – the American debut of acclaimed Japanese writer Yasutaka Tsutsui – portrays the consequences of a world where the fantastic and the mundane collide and throw the lives of ordinary men and women into disarray.

In “The Dabba Dabba Tree” Tsutsui describes the hilarious side effects of a small conical tree that, when pla
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Hardcover, 272 pages
Published November 4th 2008 by Pantheon (first published 2005)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,522)
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Tfitoby
I got this beautiful looking book from the library. The received stamp is dated 2008 and five years later it looks immaculate. I'm not sure there's much demand for fantastical allegories of 70s Japanese society in Western Australia. However highly regarded the author is in his native country and however rare it is to find his work translated to English.

I hate the idea of mentioning him but there really is similarity to Haruki Murakami in this collection of short stories from Tsutsui. It feels li
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Trin
Well, this was weird. I really liked some of the stories in this collection—and I deeply loathed others. “The Very Edge of Happiness,” for example, is a brilliant and chilling piece of social commentary; “The World Is Tilting,” however, is one of the most misogynistic pieces of crap I’ve suffered through all year. What am I supposed to do with that?

You know, I really hate that I’m even in the position to have to review half of what I read from the perspective of my angry ovaries; I start to feel
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Tosh
Barely hearing of Mr. Yasutaka Tsutsui, I picked this book up in Tokyo for the plane ride back to Los Angeles - basically because it was a collection of short stories and it's easier for me to put down once in awhile - but alas I had a hard time leaving my hands off this book. A really remarkable read!

In many ways his short stories remind me of Boris Vian's short fiction, and almost all of them are rather absurd. Yet the main character is always the everyman going through some frustrating extrao
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Alan
Dec 24, 2008 Alan rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans of the curious and wry
Recommended to Alan by: Judged by its cover
Occasionally gruesome and sometimes (though not as often as you might expect from the title) sexually graphic, this is not a book for kids. It is a beautiful package, though. As called out by BoingBoing, this book has one of the best covers of 2008, with photographic collages front and back designed by Jonathan Sainsbury.

Translator Andrew Driver also deserves recognition for his deft work in general, and for particular choices which must have been difficult - Tsutsui's characters and locations a
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Brian
Aug 25, 2009 Brian rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Ben
Shelves: asian, read-2009
I've often thought that if I placed my left foot forward first instead of my right or sneezed 3 times in a row and held in the 4th or hiccuped and coughed just right, reality would probably shift a little to the side revealing a parallel reality, a reality that would at first appear slightly screwed and skewed but then would feel just like any another humdrum reality. I often think of such silly things. I often get the hiccups.

Tsutsui evidently hiccuped and coughed just right. This book of stori
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Rose
This time of year, the weather in Tokyo, Japan is about ten degrees warmer than here in New York City. But for all its coolness and class—the art, the food, that sexy language—the cultural climate in Tokyo can be as kooky as anywhere in the Unites States if looking through the eyes of Japanese writer Yasutaka Tsutsui’s collection Salmonella Men on Planet Porno. This surprising group of odd short stories is Tsutsui’s multi-angled example of a world in which our smallest, most taken for granted ac ...more
Caroline
a collection of short stories. I not even sure how I ended up with this book. I can't remember if someone recommended this to me, or if I picked it up because the title was just so wild. What this book is, is a collection of short stories. I'm on the fence with this book.

A few of the stories are funny and tongue-in-cheek, such as the Dabba Dabba Tree, a story about a conical bonsai tree which, if placed at the foot of the bed, gave the occupants erotic dreams somehow spliced with reality, or Rum
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Israel
Dec 06, 2008 Israel rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Israel by: Ritz
El papá de la Metaficción al fin en español.

"Hombres salmonela en el planeta porno" está conformada por 6 relatos excéntricos, bizarros e hilarantes.

Tsutsui es la mejor prueba de que en el mundo literario la ficción y la realidad no se diferencian.

- El bonsái Daba Daba (5/5): Original y erótico, Fucking hilarious!

- Rumores sobre mi (5/5): Excelente metáfora sobre la banalidad de los medios de comunicación.

- El límite de la felicidad (5/5): Seguramente el mejor relato del libro; desenmascara la f
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Tyson
I saw this book in the new books seciton of the library and was intrigued. I am immediately drawn to make comparisons (and contrasts) with Haruki Murakami, though Tsutsui is not on Murakmai's level. The collection of stories arefun, and does make me exicted to read anything new by him. Appearently, he is a prolific author in Japan. Not much has been translated however. he also appreently dabbles in Manga. Neat.

The translation is good, but I sense that the book would carry more resonance in Japan
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Kyle Muntz
The title novella is the real attraction here--it was a funny, strange, inventive look at a planet where everything essentially survives by fucking everything else, with some in-depth looks at its genetics, ecosystems, evolution (which, of course, turns into a great meditation on obscenity and science as well). Other than that, I skipped through the stories, but all of the ones I read were just okay. Tsutsui has been called "the guru of Japanese metafiction", but all of them felt bland in compar ...more
Fernando Fuentes
Humor negro al estilo japones. Yasutaka Tsutsui no es un nombre que se conozca mucho en este lado del mundo, pero es un autor de culto en Japón, ya que es un crítico feroz de la sociedad actual pero a base de humor.

Realmente recomendable este libro que es una recopilación de seis cuentos de dicho autor, en donde a pesar del título, no se versa sobre erotismo o pornografia, sino sobre discusiones filosóficas en son de situaciones inverosimiles.

Para que se hayan una idea de los cuentos, van desd
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Bookaholic
Am redescoperit vara asta realismul magic cu nume noi, pe care nu le asociam curentului. Unul dintre acestea este japonezul Yasutaka Tsutsui, scriitor japonez de SF și metaficțiune, din care rezultă un hibrid literar tare bizar.

Se întâmplă rar să intru în contact cu vreo expresie artistică japoneză (film, artă plastică ori literatură sau chiar muzică) fără să exclam în sinea mea – ori admirativ, ori cu oareșce aversiune – wtf, Japan, seriously?

La fel mi s-a întâmplat și citind colecția de nuvele
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Geoff Wooldridge
Salmonella Men on Planet Porno is a collection of short stories, of which the title story is the last, longest and probably the best.

I didn't enjoy many of the stories, as I found them to be just a little bit weird and quite pointless. They seem to be reflective of Japanese culture, which I know little about, and they were generally quite misogynistic in their portrayal of relationships and family situations. Very few of the characters were likeable and the female characters were portrayed as ve
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Maria
Lo leí completo hoy, de un tirón. Divertidísimo. Fantasía de aguas profundas.
Cody Jo
A gallery of fascinating obscenity and reality-bending tales that I am sure to reread. Kafkaesque in execution, there is much of the truly strange observable in the mundane, serving as obvious metaphors for humanity's borderline-insanity. While the narrators are all of a similar waylaid or powerless and cuckolded variety, the stories are surprisingly different in content with many strong and distinguishing moments. This was very unlike anything I've ever read, and explores themes of sexuality, c ...more
Penelope
I really enjoyed this book, but I feel somewhat torn about trying to give it a rating (I'd say 2.5 ish?). There's a decidedly male voice throughout the stories; I think I might go so far as to say that "maleness"/masculinity is a characteristic of nearly every story. Tsutsui's characters cannot be called heroes--so I can't just say that this book is full of pumped up male characters. That's not the case. It's quite the opposite, really...most of the characters are depraved, desperate, or transfo ...more
Vince Darcangelo
http://www.rockymountainnews.com/news...

This review originally appeared in the ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS

Salmonella Men on Planet Porno
By Vince Darcangelo, Special to the Rocky

Published November 27, 2008 at 7 p.m.

Salmonella Men on Planet Porno

* Fiction. By Yasutaka Tsutsui. Pantheon, $21.95. Grade: B+

Book in a nutshell: In a career that has spanned more than four decades, science-fiction writer Yasutaka Tsutsui has become one of Japan's most esteemed authors, winning the Tanizki and Kawabata prizes
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Marshall
This is a very interesting collection of short stories -- and, after the leaden, unreadable novel Paprika, a welcome change. I had a feeling Tsutsui could write and would be enjoyable in a better translation. Ironically, the same translator worked on this one too. Perhaps the novel was just taxing. In any event, I enjoyed most of the work in this book very much, although I think some of the stories work better than others, often mixing surrealism, humor, and lacerating satire. My favorite by far ...more
Rosalie
I love this book of short stories, here is a link for more detail to my review of the books The Girl Who Leapt Through Time & Salmonella Men on Planet Porno by Yasutaka Tsutsui: http://japanesefiction.hubpages.com/h...

In one story, a bank advisor travels from apartment to apartment in a building, convincing everyone they should be saving their money to buy homes and increase their assets. The residents go along with his suggestions by buying tea instead of going out for tea or coffee, and by
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Ritz
Se llama en castellano Hombres salmonela en el planeta Porno. Publica la editorial Atlanta, si alguien lo consigue que avise porque lo quiero. Cumplo pronto, el 5 de junio.

“La imaginación de Yasutaka Tsutsui fabrica historias fantásticas tan retorcidas y satíricas que la ciencia ficción nipona no se entiende sin su concurso: los autores de manga y el cine (suya es la semilla de “El show de Truman”) lo vampirizan, y acapara los mayores galardones patrios”.
Antonio Lozano. Qué leer

Una planta produc
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Sophia
Salmonella Men on Planet Porno is a collection of varied tales which all have a bizarre or surreal angle (some more than others). I actually hadn’t planned to read it yet, but couldn’t resist just trying the first story about a strange plant – the dibba-dabba plant - which, if placed at the foot of the bed, causes its owners to have erotic dreams. The dreams are so life-like the dreamers aren’t sure any more what’s a dream and what’s real, and even meet other dibba-dabba owners having dreams of ...more
S.
☆☆☆☆★ -- SALMONELLA MEN starts strong and then weakens, as the surrealist Beaudrillard social critique and psychological-mind games give way to simple narratological hooks. it almost seems as if the translator acquired the foreign rights story by story, as there's almost a precise diminution of quality. what starts off with stories that could be effortless critiques of Japanese and/or Western society / the world slowly gives way to apparently more careless material, until by the end you're plodd ...more
Kiera Healy
This book is weird. There's really no other word for it. I was drawn to it because of its title, and it proved even more outlandish than I anticipated.

It's a collection of short stories, all of which contain some bizarre or fantastical elements. It's very much a mixed bag. Some of the stories are great. Some are dire. Most are somewhere in between. I particularly enjoyed 'Bad for the Heart', which features a neurotic narrator whose obsession with medicine for his psychosomatic heart condition ta
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Matt
A weird book that I had really varied reactions to: some of the stories I thought were real garbage, weird ideas stretched out in uninteresting directions-- these are primarily the meta stories, I guess, and they didn't work for me because they were too interested at winking at their own cleverness.

Other stories, which were more about characters in weird situations, were better, though many of these, too, suffered from some really regressive anti-femininst misogyny. I mean, I found some of the a
...more
Bookmarks Magazine

Salmonella Men on Planet Porno introduces American readers to Yasutaka Tsutsui's entertaining approach to social criticism. Tsutsui is more concerned with concepts and cultural analysis than plotlines and characterization; his satirical stories camouflage a scathing condemnation of modern-day society. Despite the gravity of Tsutsui's arguments, his work remains engaging and often hilarious. Critics noted some uneven stories, clumsy language in the translation to English, and disconcerting underc

...more
Mason Jones
This is a fun little book -- the stories remind me of a combination of Robert Sheckley absurdity and JG Ballard. They're not as great as that comparison might lead you to hope, but the stories are fun, light reading with some underlying political implications. The Kafka-esque story about the floating city that begins to tip, while the government denies that it's happening; the story about the father who, hating "normal people" while suspecting he's one of them, ends up taking his family on vacat ...more
Joe Noteboom
A few of the stories were pretty interesting (Rumors About Me; The Very Edge of Happiness; Hello, Hello, Hello!; the title track), but many of them weren't at all. The writing/translation (esp. dialogue) was pretty weak overall and a lot of the political commentary seemed pretty outdated (I haven't been able to find exactly when each story came out in Japanese, but I think they're mostly from the 70s).
Matt
Perhaps unsurprisingly, this book is a bit weird.

It's a collection of short stories, and I liked some of them. But others went beyond the realm of weird and vaulted into stupid. I also got the impression that Tsutsui has some issues with women. 'Salmonella Men..' was first published in 1979, so maybe that explains it. Or maybe there is some sort of Japanese cultural thing I don't understand. I don't know what the reason is, it just seemed like there were a lot of "She's stupid because she's a wo
...more
Ines
This book is a compilation of several short stories by Yasutaka Tsutsui who wrote "The Girl that Leapt Through Time" and "Paprika". I was very surprised to find out that most of these stories could have been written today and don't "sound" like the 70s at all. I was particularly surprised by "Rumours about me", which is exactly the sort of thing happening today with reality shows. I also enjoyed "Farmer Airlines" and "The Very Edge of Happiness", the last one is particularly poignant at the time ...more
Richard
I went into this collection with a real head full of steam. For the first half of the book, Tsutsui showed a real forwarding style, imagery that is both solid and surprising. From the very first story, about a tree that makes one have erotic dreams, Tsutsui pursued the imaginative elements and tended to find revelatory yet logical directions. But even the first story ends with a tad letdown, and that was my reaction to the last half or so. Perhaps there was a push to get this guy into the Americ ...more
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Yasutaka Tsutsui (筒井 康隆) is a Japanese novelist, science fiction author, and actor. Along with Shinichi Hoshi and Sakyo Komatsu, he is one of the most famous science fiction writers in Japan. His Yumenokizaka bunkiten won the Tanizaki Prize in 1987. He has also won the 1981 Izumi Kyoka award, the 1989 Kawabata Yasunari award, and the 1992 Nihon SF Taisho Award. In 1997, he was decorated as a Cheva ...more
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Paprika The Girl Who Leapt Through Time The Girl Who Leapt Through Time Hell The Maid

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“You see, our hard-earned saving are always going to be taken away from us by someone - whether we have any or not.” 4 likes
“Even then, she still held a secret passion for Mozart. When he died in 1791, her grief made her provoke the people into starting the French Revolution. Stepping up to the guillotine herself, she ordered the executioner to behead her, thereby committing assisted suicide.” 1 likes
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