Finished it like a year go after only less than a month. For a brick containing 700-ish pages, less than a month is majestically fast in my standard,Finished it like a year go after only less than a month. For a brick containing 700-ish pages, less than a month is majestically fast in my standard, which means Hanya is able to engage her readers in such a way that it is pretty hard to put your book (or Kindle, in my case) down. However, I dislike how the story goes. Everything seems so tragically perfect and perfectly tragic that it becomes unreliable. It even has a slight touch of soap-opera perfection which I couldn't find myself liking.
This novel is good and not good. But kudos to Hanya Yanagihara for writing it!...more
Very very late review and I only have a very very few things to say: this book's first half deserves all the attentions (and the Man Booker), but theVery very late review and I only have a very very few things to say: this book's first half deserves all the attentions (and the Man Booker), but the last half also deserves attentions for all the wrong reasons. Sorry for the 3 stars, Richard, but that last half of the book really feels like some cheap soap opera. I don't know. Ughhhhh....more
Reading Julie Otsuka is like watching a flower blooms. You see the color, the movement, everything about it is not selfish or agressive. It is plain bReading Julie Otsuka is like watching a flower blooms. You see the color, the movement, everything about it is not selfish or agressive. It is plain but beuautiful....more
So I previously failed with "Midnight Children" but many months later I found this book at a very bargain price in a bazaar. I just thought it would bSo I previously failed with "Midnight Children" but many months later I found this book at a very bargain price in a bazaar. I just thought it would be stupid if I didn't buy it, so I grabbed it. So far, the book still sits calmly on my shelf, waiting to be read. Well. It's a long, long, to-read list anyway......more
I always have this little something for Northern European authors and Maria Peura is no exception. After Sofi Oksanen, she's my second modern FinnishI always have this little something for Northern European authors and Maria Peura is no exception. After Sofi Oksanen, she's my second modern Finnish author that I (will) read. To be honest I don't know her reputation in Finland, but her books seem fascinating to my taste. I was hunting for her books online before last night, Peura herself sent this book (pdf version) to my email. The entire book. I'm so happy.(By the way, I know her in person because my workplace is inviting her to participate in our literary festival)
I'm reading something else right now, but I already can't wait to lay my fingers on hers. Well, virtually.
Updated weeks later: Finished the book just hours ago via e-book reader. Amazing. Such a powerful voice with powerful language that isn't at all affected by translation. Actually, the story is about an anorexic girl obsessed with death (am I right?). But it isn't that simple. Reading this book is like being blind. I stretched my arms outwards and tried to find out where I was all the time. When the end was near, I didn't even realize it. I was lured by Kristina and her weird life and didn't care with other stuffs that much. When the end was near, I was still blind.
Now pretty sure I must apologize to Maria Peura for I have sent her fan girl kind of emails. Many.
Cannot wait to meet her in person in two months!...more
To my embarrassment, this is my first ever contact with Murakami. Okay lemme be honest here: I had avoided reading him because I kinda dislike the peoTo my embarrassment, this is my first ever contact with Murakami. Okay lemme be honest here: I had avoided reading him because I kinda dislike the people around me who read and are drop-dead fond of Murakami (of course, you're not included, Ash Wee), they are always a bit exaggerated about reading and loving Murakami. So to me, he was overrated.
Lately I decided to pick up "Norwegian Wood" simply because it's the most famous one. And I was bored with any other books displayed on the shelves (I was in Kinokuniya somewhere... or Books&Beyond). I picked "Norwegian Wood" and "After Dark" and read "Norwegian" first. I expected it to be an entirely odd book... well, of course IT IS by all means a very odd book, but it turned out to be a lot easier. It was way more "pop", a "hip" book. Ya know, the hippest you can be in the beginning of the year 1970s.
By the way, I was a manga-reader when I was younger, and I detect some manga-ish style in the way Murakami builds his characters. First of all, Toru Watanabe will remind you about Holden Caufield (whom I dislike a lot), and bunch of people in the book say so, but if you read manga often enough, you'll know there are many male main characters like him. Okay so you can guess I really, really don't like Toru at the beginning. Then the girls, Naoko and Midori. In my opinion, it's a really classic manga-ish style to put two entirely different female characters around the male main character: one is quite and sweet, and the other is cute and crazy. So at first it kinda bugged me. I don't like black-and-white. Then the men? Ohhh, the men. Not many men in this book, the most memorable one is Nagasawa but I hate him.
The more I read the book, the more I found many narratives from many different characters. You know, a really long narratives inserted in conversations, like a freaking talk show with Toru as the host. Like watching freaking Ellen DeGeneres show. In a way, the voices almost sounded the same, but I couldn't help but enjoying all of them. So dammit, right? Murakami really got me. And the stories he put within the story are very interesting. They are too weird, too unique, send me a chill through my backbones.
Okay let us continue: the sex scenes! Ah, don't make me start! What some sex scenes there! I love writers who can write sex scenes without making you feel disgusted. And for the sake of everything, the sex scenes are beautiful.
I think I'm starting to be pointless here, but it's okay, truthfully I don't have enough time now to wave this review into a point. It's me bursting out my amazement, it's me swallowing my own words about how I was so lazy to read Murakami like everybody else did because I didn't want to be like everybody else. Okay, in the end, I fell in love with Toru, that sad little creature. And I fell in love with Murakami.
To me, a good book is a book that makes you want to write. "Norwegian Wood" did that to me. When I was done with the last page, I put the book back onto my shelf and began to write a short story I had to finish within a week deadline. But better than that, this is a good book that makes you grow quite, you sit on your chair feeling stupefied and you feel like you were not going to read any other books in a short time because you just don't want to ruin the magic surrounding you.
To hell with it, now I become like everybody else. ...more
My Japanese friend Hiroyuki Imamura gave this comic book for me as a present. I managed to finish in 2 days full of tears and drama. Well, the depictiMy Japanese friend Hiroyuki Imamura gave this comic book for me as a present. I managed to finish in 2 days full of tears and drama. Well, the depiction of the Hiroshima bombing really frightened the life out of me, for Nakazawa really did not hide anything or polish any dreadful image. I found the honesty in it very haunting. I couldn't sleep after finishing it seriously.
Moreover, I have this other Japanese friend, whom I'm really close with, whose grandfather was a victim of Nagasaki bombing. I hate war. War is nasty. And I must mention, my country Indonesia was occupied by the Japanese during WW II...
Well, I don't have anything more to say. Nakazawa-san, God love you. Someone will need a lot of courage to create such comic book, especially if he/she experienced war him/herself.
Got a package from a friend in Finland--a book. This book, English version of it surely. I have been reading 2 chapters and it's so far beautiful. DarGot a package from a friend in Finland--a book. This book, English version of it surely. I have been reading 2 chapters and it's so far beautiful. Dark, but indeed alluring.
Updated many, many days later: Finally finished the book. A long journey worth all the crying....more