Almost Transparent Blue
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Almost Transparent Blue

3.34 of 5 stars 3.34  ·  rating details  ·  3,210 ratings  ·  205 reviews
Almost Transparent Blue is a brutal tale of lost youth in a Japanese port town close to an American military base. Murakami's image-intensive narrative paints a portrait of a group of friends locked in a destructive cycle of sex, drugs and rock'n'roll. The novel is all but plotless, but the raw and often violent prose takes us on a rollercoaster ride through reality and ha...more
Paperback, 126 pages
Published December 12th 1978 by Kodansha (first published 1976)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jeffrey Keeten
I put the thin fragment of glass, dripping blood, in my pocket, and ran out into the misty road. The doors and windows of the houses were shut, nothing was moving. I thought I'd been swallowed by a huge living thing, that I was turning around and around in its stomach like the hero of some fairy tale.

Almost Transparent Blue

A warning to any potential readers of this book. There is explicit, graphic sex in the first half of this novel. If you are prudish about group sex, alternative sex, or say s...more
(Soundtrack for this review)

Do you want to know what I don't give a shit about? This book.

I made it a little more than a quarter through it (35 pages to be exact). I found the writing to be blah (to be fair, I think it is the translation), the type to be a bit too small and the font to be faintly illegible. I dreaded having to go on break and read more of this book, and did internal backflips when I noticed the a new Harpers just went on sale before I went on break and saw there was a new DFW...more
Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
Time to get stoned! This novel can put you in a catatonic torpor, a drug-induced haze near the point where you are about to overdose and die.

First person narrative, here is someone named Ryu, not yet twenty, with his equally-young male and female buddies. Ryu is telling a story. You hear him, but do not really understand the story being told. The images will distract you and catch your full attention.

First there's this cockroach on some unwashed dishes. Then it is squashed. See the jelly-like su...more
Ben Loory
i liked Piercing and i loved In the Miso Soup, but i found this book (his first) just mind-numbingly boring. there's one point where the guy (it took me about 80 pages to decide that the narrator was a guy; even the talk of his penis never really convinced me) talks about the movie he'd like to make, which is simply a huge mirror that reflects back the audience... that was about the only moment in the book that seemed to show a little imagination (though let's be honest, not that much). i'm all...more
Jun 24, 2009 Chloe rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Junkies, Losers and Burnouts
Recommended to Chloe by: Matt Darnell
Those who know me are well aware that I have an almost visceral love of twisted literature. Books that are the literary equivalent of a car crash; hedonistic revels that fade into subterranean nightmares. In other words, such extreme excess that you can't help but approach them with a mixture of sick curiosity and nearly overwhelming trepidation. For the longest time that has meant the blasted imaginations of my trifecta of favorite authors (Palahniuk, Irvine Welsh and Bret Easton Ellis) and occ...more
John and Seth should not read this book.

right this book is about sex and drugs and it doesn't really have a plot. But I mean if you like books about drugs and really graphic descriptions of violent psedorape are your thing I say go for it. There is also a fun lsd feel to the book if you can get over the other stuff.
Female News Host #1: On a personal note, that shit was fucked up!
News Co-Host #1: Yeah it was. I literally pissed myself.

Those words may well be from an entirely different medium but they essentially capture the blasé attitude of the characters in Ryu Murakami's debut novel. And on a personal note, that shit really was fucked up!

A plotless look at the lives of a group of friends who have partied way too hard for way too long and are now living a destructive lifestyle but don't really seem to car...more
Nov 11, 2012 Mike rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
As soon as I had read the first page, I knew that I had read “Almost Transparent Blue” at least once many years ago. Even though the weighty & lengthy TBR shelf chides me, I read it through on a long train ride. And I am glad I did. I know like and appreciate this more more than I did before.

This is Murakami-san’s first novel written in his youth about even younger youths. Is it autobiographical? I don’t know and don’t recall anyone ever saying so definitively. The main character shares his...more
It will take a bit of digestion to form a coherent response to this book. The first half was a drag. Violent sex and drug use depicted with skilled, lovely prose, a special focus on body fluids. The only factors that kept me reading were the shortness of the book and the author's skill, because these first sixty pages were deathly boring.

In the second half, something like a story of a dark personal transformation begins to emerge. Free of the blizzard of pills and orgies, the writing focuses on...more
I don’t have much to say about this brief and rather shallow debut, which details the squalid sex-and-drug-fueled existences of a group of young Japanese lowlifes/layabouts in the 1970s, except that it’s lurid, grotesque, delirious, disturbing, and oddly compelling. (I say “compelling,” but my readerly propulsion through the book may simply have been my desire to escape from these sordid characters and their dead-end lives as soon as possible). I wouldn’t recommend this book to anyone or ever re...more
Suerte que me dejé de las drogas, la decadencia de los personajes de Azul casi Transparente es perturbadora. El nihilismo rampante de Ryu y sus amigos, sumada a las descripciones de su alucinaciones bajo el efecto de todo tipo de drogas puede ser chocante para algunos. Pero la lectura a pesar de su crudeza es genial, que se ve favorecida por la brevedad del relato. Vamos por Sopa de Miso.
Published in Japan in 1976, this book turned into a Naked Lunch sort of drug-lit phenom. At times, I felt like the violent sex was a bit overdone and I leaned toward a 3-star rating, but there are enough great sentences and amazing imagery to push it to a 4. Ryu takes a lot of chances here--no sturdy plot, odd moments of melancholy, some repugnant scenes, too many characters--but it comes together more often than not, and I was so intrigued by the end, I went and read all the amazon reviews just...more
Patrick McCoy
Almost Transparent Blue by Ryu Murakami is a short novel, only 128 pages. But it was also quite a strange novel; the beginning was full of raunchy sex, massive drug taking, and the expulsion of all types of bodily fluids. It doesn't settle down much as a group of Japanese friends take drugs, fight, and deal with existential dread. I guess it caused quite a stir when it was written more than 30 years ago. I think it follows from the tradition of Osamu Dazai, who was another self-destructive writi...more
Romanul de debut al lui Ryu Murakami descrie fotografic, prin prisma personajului Ryu, un grup de tineri japonezi dependenți de stupefiante de-a lungul unei săptămâni. Romanul se încheie ca un apel, o scrisoare a naratorului către fosta iubită, pe care o roagă să îl caute dacă citește această carte.

Nu se face nici o incursiune profundă în emoții, se descriu exterioarele, oamenii, ploaia, narațiunea are un calm care transcende duritatea concretului lumesc prezentat (ah, concret până la sânge!).

Mar 31, 2007 Scott rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: the deranged
The Other Murakami's oeuvre really wavers in quality. Almost Transparent Blue is hopefully the lower limit.

There were tons of digusting sex and drug scenes, and I don't think I'm some stuck up old prune (ok, maybe I do), but lots of it was just uncalled for.

I don't mind if you want to paint a picture of your days in the gutter, that's fine... but if you're going to subject me to little Japanese girls getting dicked bloody by a group of huge (huge) guys, please move the story to a satisfying conc...more
Big WTF.
Sau, mai bine zis, un căcat.
Gertrude & Victoria
I was disappointed with Ryu Murakami's Almost Transparent Blue; even my modest expecations were betrayed.

I found much of the storyline too explict, gratuitous and repetitive, with little redeeming value. There were too many characters, doing too much romping and too many lines, which was all too hard to swallow - a jumble of flesh and powder without meaning or taste. But, if you have a penchant for "sex, drugs and rock n roll," you may want to give this a try.

Ryu Murakami was something of a cult...more
Truly an underground classic. Though it is set in Japan and is
in many ways heavily influenced by such, it is so far underground, the experimental literary qualities transcend the limits of any such regional style.
The usual trappings of underground themes are drugs, sex, and politics. ATB almost seems to lack for overt politics. Near the end however looms The Bomb as big as a building. It is brought up twice in very short setences. But other than that covert polical issue, we have an abscence o...more
Stephanie A. Higa
To relay the life lesson(s) I learned from this book, I must explain.

1. My Japan phase began birth. Haha, no, okay, that's not really funny. But I've been wanting to read books by nation since I read Natsuo Kirino's Out last summer. I already knew about Haruki Murakami, of course, but I didn't realize there was another famous Murakami (two more, if you count Takashi the artist)--the guy who wrote this book. He sounded intriguing, so I borrowed Almost Transparent Blue from Doe Library a...more
May 26, 2013 Joe rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2013
I was looking forward to reading this book for a long time. It's out of print in English, so tracking down a copy was a bit of a hassle, as I had a couple Amazon sellers say they were sending it, only to discover it was lost in their shelves. That's too bad, because it's a fascinating and important book, one that people should be able to get their hands on.

This book is about one thing, and one thing only: drug addiction. The characters live and die through heroin and its various cousins, and th...more
Hoàng Linh
Quay cuồng. Điên dại. Mất phương hướng. Chán nản. Bế tắc. Cô đơn.

Họ là những con người có lẽ cũng tầm tuổi như mình thôi, nhưng họ sống buồn quá.

Họ khiến mình vừa sợ vừa thương. Sợ vì họ sống buông thả, họ sống trái với luân thương đạo lý, họ là những kẻ đánh mất linh hồn. Thương vì đằng sau họ là những hoang mang, vô định, không biết mình là ai trong cái xã hội quay cuồng đó, họ cô đơn, họ đau.

Truyện ngắn, nhưng ám ảnh. Gấp sách rồi mình chỉ biết thở dài. Ngoài kia, biết bao nhiêu người như...more
Una historia sin principio y sin final de un grupo de jóvenes echados a perder por las drogas. Corrientillo y no pasa nada porque no se lea.
I admit haven't read this book since I was 18 years old. But I remember it well, and I remember the powerful impact it had on my young attitude. A great document about the search for any unapproved stimulation to cut through the meanness of becoming an adult. Now that I have so clearly left youth behind I think I'll read it again.
Sinh Bisen
Why do people have sex? A study recently yielded 237 reasons ranging from

I wanted to get closer to God.
I wanted to get revenge.

This brings me to my point; some of you might say, inadvertently, nevertheless here goes...
Ryu Murakami’s book Almost Transparent Blue delves into the meanderings of a circle of discomfited friends who fuck as often as not, take drugs and delve into rock & roll without really taking the trouble to ask the question: ‘Why?’ First published in 1976 (when the author w...more
Non mi lamenterò degli argomenti "spinosi" e delle scene spinte, davvero. Non me ne lamenterò perché sapevo sin da subito che libro era "Blu quasi trasparente", ed anzi l'ho scelto proprio per questo. Ma non mi aspettavo questa disposizione degli "ingredienti".
Di sesso ce n'è tanto, e me lo aspettavo.
Mi aspettavo anche la droga, ed é arrivata.
Mi aspettavo un po' di emozioni... che non ci sono state. Sembrava quasi di leggere un articolo di giornale affetto da gigantismo: stile freddo, asettico,...more
Razvan Zamfirescu
Trainspotting japonez.
Exact aṣa poate fi caracterizat acest roman în două cuvinte.
Personaje creioante scurt, aruncate într-o viaṭă nebună, plină de sex,
drog ṣi alcool.
Gaṣca din cartea lui Ryu este foarte diferită de cea din Trainspotting .
Diferenṭele dintre personaje sunt atât la nivel de comportament cât ṣi
psihologic. Ryu Murakami îṣi apropie gaṣca de gaṣca lui Welsh doar dacă îi comparăm pe Begbie & comp. din Porno deoarece orgiile, dramele ṣi discuṭiile din Albastru nemărginit sunt depart...more
Ioan Suhov
In the first place, the book itself might appear rather confusing or even boring because of not being able to understand the narrative plot.
"There are too many characters and too many actions described" is what I thought during the first 50 pages. However, after getting accustomed to the book, I realised that this is its essence.
Despite the fact that some might say that "Almost Transparent Blue" is only the presentation of the dramatic daily life of a group of young Japanese adults who are liv...more
Rahatsız edici bir konu, rahatsız edici olaylar, rahatsız edici anlatım... Bütünlüğün sağlanması gerçekçiliği güçlendirmiş. Ayrıca gözünü paylaştığımız karakterinin adının da yazarın adıyla aynı olması gerçekçiliğe ayrı bir destek noktası olumuş. Kısa bir roman için karakterin değişimi ayrıntılarda oldukça iyi verilmiş. Cesur bir okuyucu için iyi bir okuma. Eserin, Ryu Murakami'nin ilk romanı olduğuna inanmak oldukça zor.
"Era un albastru nemarginit, aproape transparent. M-am ridicat si, indreptandu-ma catre casa, mi-am zis ca vreau sa devin ca bucata de sticla. Ca vreau sa se reflecte in mine unduirea lina si alba. Ca vreau sa arat si celorlalti acea curba blanda."
Todo muy onírico.
Al principio seduce y atrapa, luego es sólo más de lo mismo y lo mismo. Supongo que está bien como opera prima.
Espero volver a leerla en un mejor momento de mi vida y apreciar cosas que no pude la primera vez.
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Ryū Murakami is a Japanese novelist and filmmaker. He is not related to Haruki Murakami or Takashi Murakami.

Murakami's first work, the short novel Almost Transparent Blue, written while he was still a student, deals with promiscuity and drug use among disaffected Japanese youth. Critically acclaimed as a new style of literature, it won the newcomer's literature prize in 1976 despite some observers...more
More about Ryū Murakami...
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“Yeah, he'd said, maybe it's just my idea, but really it always hurts, the times it don't hurt is when we just forget, we just forget it hurts, you know, it's not just because my belly's all rotten, everybody always hurts. So when it really starts stabbing me, somehow I feel sort of peaceful, like I'm myself again.” 11 likes
“And just because I've written this book, don't think I've changed. I'm like I was back then, really.” 11 likes
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