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Vibrator

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3.01 of 5 stars 3.01  ·  rating details  ·  241 ratings  ·  27 reviews
Rei Hayakawa, a lonely, bulimic freelance writer with a drinking problem, wanders into a convenience store. She's swaddled in her coat and scarf, while her thoughts – of alienation, of hunger, of the need for gin and white wine – drift in via stream-of-consciousness. A trucker named Okabe walks in, deliberately grazes her behind, and at the same time, Rei's cell phone, set...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published March 28th 2007 by Soft Skull Press (first published 1999)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 499)
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Art
A cold-burning trip in a giant truck through the Japanese winter, from Tokyo through the small towns and back - This is actually brilliant, and a lot better than I expected. Vibrator's writing style is very different to a lot of other Japanese literature I have read, as while there are some of the familiar Zen elements it's mostly very hyperactive and emotional, written in an absorbing, erratic style arguably more influenced by Kerouac and the Beats than anything local. The workings of Rei's min...more
Brittany
A very fast-paced, engrossing read.
Katja
I did pick it up, thinking it would kill the boring day at work. It did kill it..but not in a way I had hoped it would. I loved the character and the whole "I'm so bored with my life, so some mindless great sex will help me" search. Because like it or not, there's a point in every person's life when you're wondering whether you're something good, bad or just plain something in between. The language is beautiful and you can almost read it as poetry and it's a book that stays in the back of your m...more
David Jones
My review from http://dwjjones1.blogspot.co.uk/

Now first thing to say, this is much of what it looks like. It's not some sordid fifty shades of grey thing going on here... well maybe a wee bit but that's not what it is about. The name of the book doesn't even refer to the friendly lady appliance, but rather to the vibrations of a truck cab that is kept running day and night, in which much of the story is set.

The focus of the book is dark as it explores topics such as Alcoholism, Bulimia, Consume...more
Zim Dela Peña
A simple story yet filled with awesomeness! I love this book! =)

So, the story goes like this...
(view spoiler)...more
Gertrude & Victoria
Vibrator by Akasaka Mari is a book that may resonate more deeply with female readers than male. Much of the novel takes place in the cabin of a truck, which is juxtaposed against the backdrop of the wintery rural landscapes of Japan's north.

The main character is a young female journalist searching for meaning in a cold, hard world. She is lonely, confused and restless. She comes across a truck driver making his routine delivery runs between Kanto (the greater Tokyo area) and northern Japan. The...more
Tam
I would characterize Vibrator as a stream of consciousness novel told from the mind of a woman suffering from a fairly significant anxiety disorder.

It was uncomfortable to read in places, perhaps because the panic-attack feelings it invoked were a little too close to home sometimes.

How did I feel about the book? I read it all in one sitting, because it is short. It kept my attention. It didn't really go anywhere, but I suppose it ended up in a better place than it started, somehow.
Alison Elizabeth
Sep 12, 2007 Alison Elizabeth rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like contemporary Japanese fiction
I'm not going to lie...I judge books by their covers, and in the library where most books are covered with grey cloth, this one stood out. This book is the junk food of contemporary Japanese fiction. Deeper books exist. A free-lance Japanese journalist takes a chance for once in her life and joins a young trucker (that she found attractive at first sight) for a few days as he travels around Japans. Some racy stuff happens. I did not feel particularly enlightened by this book, but I did succeed i...more
Jully Zhu
The book surprised me in many ways. The narrator reminded me of "The Perks of Being a Wallflower". She was always fighting with herself and who she wanted to be, who she thought she needed to be. And I feel like the author could've developed the book in a way that could actually be meaningful but the ending just left me wanting and empty. When I first started reading the book, the cover lead me to believe it was going to be a book about love or a one night stand kind of thing.. but the book was...more
Sae-chan
I really thought this would be about THAT vibrator....:-) Wrong, wrong. Maybe not completely, as different things rattle different girls' chain. Funny thing that I'm also in the middle of reading Stephen Harrod Buhner's Sacrd Plant Teaching, which talks about another kind of vibrators as well...

I really like the premise of this book, as I could identify very well with Hayakawa Rei's feeling and disillusionment. But maaaan, this girl had it much much worse than Dostoevsky's Raskolnikov. It is rea...more
Amy
Jun 12, 2008 Amy rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: bulimics
This book is not as sexy as the title may imply. It certainly has more focus on the bulimia that the main character suffers from then the sexual attraction she feels for the anonymous trucker that she meets. I personally had a difficult time empathizing for a character that obsesses over the joys of vomiting.
The book is short and I found that the most interesting psychological motivations of the characters were just coming out when it ended. Badly. I don't know if this was a translation issue or...more
Donna Guerrero
this book was just too dark I had to stop reading it. sorry, not sorry.
Laura
Aug 27, 2014 Laura marked it as did-not-finish
From reading the reviews of others, I am pretty sure this book is not about that kind of vibrator, but the vibration of a cell phone (?). In any case, I couldn't get into this book - the stream of consciousness threw me off and I stopped reading early on. I might try it again later, but my To-Read pile is too long as it is.
Nadinedebussy
L'ennuyeux avec les livres sans histoire c'est qu'il n'y a pas de fil pour vous emmener à bon port. Quelques passages font voguer et repenser l'espace, pour ces passages là peut-être ne faut-il pas dormir par intermittences quand l'envie vous prend. Enjamber les mots pour savourer l'évaporation de sa pensée.
Mary
A Japanese pulp story that probably should have been called Vibration instead of Vibrator, this book is a glimpse into the pressures facing women in modern Japan. It is also told by a possibly mentally ill protagonist. Fascinating but vulgar, the book was interesting to me but made me feel ill too.
Samra Muslim
Had picked up this book thinking i'd get to read some interesting literature from Japan ... but this was a really trashy probe into the mind of a disturbed, bulimic addicted - who just decided to go on a truck ride with a ex-gangster ...!! Weird pointless read !!
Bria
The stream of consciousness writing didn’t really appeal to me so I gave up on this one but it may have been more to do with my mood than the book itself.
Ruby  Tombstone [Uncensored or Else]
You try reading this cover with a migraine.... ouch. It was easier just to buy it for $2 and decide whether I wanted to read it later!
Kit
Begins kind of like a Less Than Zero only about a smart woman with an eating disorder. Not as good as it lets on in the first 50pp.
Jonas Wiklund
Female Japanese Bukowski expound on booze and bulimia nervosa.
Lavinia Ludlow
I like the style of narration.
Aaron
Fascinating pulp novel. Quick read.
Tipsuda
Beautiful and haunting.
Katie
Japanese Author, well written
Marija S.
Infantilno i bez struktutre.
Chesspalomino
Chesspalomino marked it as to-read
Sep 27, 2014
Sicura
Sicura marked it as to-read
Sep 26, 2014
Ami
Ami marked it as to-read
Sep 22, 2014
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Mari Akasaka was born in Suginami, Tokyo, and studied Politics in the Law Department at Keio University. In 1999 her novel Vibrator was nominated for the Akutagawa Prize. She was again nominated for the Akutagawa prize in 2000 for her novel, Muse, and won the Noma Literary Prize for New Writers for the same novel. Vibrator was adapted into a 2003 film starring Shinobu Terajima and Nao Ōmori.
More about Mari Akasaka...
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