This book is actually two stories totally unrelated. The cover title and the write-up on the back is misleading.
'The Girl Who Leapt Through Time'is abThis book is actually two stories totally unrelated. The cover title and the write-up on the back is misleading.
'The Girl Who Leapt Through Time'is about a girl who leaps through time and it confuses the shit out of her until it's explained to her by a guy who leaps through time... not much more to say.
The second story, 'The Stuff That Nightmares Are Made Of' is about overcoming one's fears... a girl fears Prajna masks and heights and finally figures out why. Her little brother pisses the bed because he's afraid of going to the toilet at night... she figures out why... not much more to say.
It was fun reading but a bit of a let-down....more
There was something very soothing and tranquil about this book. It echoed a bit of Kawabata's writing. Two troubled souls (one more troubled than theThere was something very soothing and tranquil about this book. It echoed a bit of Kawabata's writing. Two troubled souls (one more troubled than the other) hook up. They learn about their lives and you are drawn into their world... and it is a sad but beautiful world. Dreamy... I loved it....more
Perverse. At times sickening. Erotic stories disguised as literature... I couldn't put it down!
Six short stories with characters that weave in and outPerverse. At times sickening. Erotic stories disguised as literature... I couldn't put it down!
Six short stories with characters that weave in and out of each story, portrays the seedier side of Tokyo and the lost souls of generations... from high school girls giving hand-hand jobs in Karaoke booths to middle-aged overweight housewives that have serious sexual issues.
I really enjoyed how one story connected with the other... and in the end a sort of orgy took place between each story (figuratively). Nice structure.
Do not read 'Light My Fire' while eating... I did. It was a mistake. No one told me. I'm now telling you.
As for the title... Lala Pipo... imagine a Japanese hearing an American speak really fast saying 'a lot of people'... There you go. A book with enough semen splashed on every conceivable object to get you through a couple of days wondering about Hideo Okuda....more
If Ryū Murakami and Hitoomi Kanehara copulated and as a result a child came forth into this world I would probably lock myself in a closet or grow gilIf Ryū Murakami and Hitoomi Kanehara copulated and as a result a child came forth into this world I would probably lock myself in a closet or grow gills and swim to the deepest depths of the ocean. Out of the two I'd say Ryū is the most twisted, but I believe Hitoomi writes from experience and that kind of scares me more.
Autofiction is the story of Rin in four parts. It's written in reverse order so we can see why she became, um, was always, screwed up. She has this fascination with liars. It really pisses her off. But she's pretty good at it too. She likes sex, drugs, and scarring herself. And when she was young she saw severed heads everywhere. Normal kind of upbringing and life.
Here's a sample of her thoughts...
"... I went to a friend's house to play mah-jong and found a pubic hair stuck between the mah-jong blocks. I wonder how many thousands of pubic hairs a human being would have to swallow to die? Or would someone survive no matter how many they swallowed? Or maybe the pubic hair would get tangled up with the vital organs and cause some sort of internal event. It'd be such a ridiculous way to die. One of the many ways to die that I admire. So from now on, maybe I'll collect all the pubic hair I find on my futon."
"The habit of thinking strange things on purpose is something I feel I should do something about one of these days. But the idea of consciously controlling subconscious thoughts is ridiculous. If I did that, I'd probably lose what was good about me, too. So my intention to do something about it someday is probably a lie. I like the way I think these strange things."
I do too... I hope that Hitomi Kanehara controls her subconscious thoughts.
A bit of interesting information about the author... she quit school at the age of 11... I think this book may be a taste of the author's life. If it is... she tastes strangely good. ...more
A collection of stories from who I believe to be one of the best Thai writers today. From the opening story (An Ordinary Story) about a girl dying ofA collection of stories from who I believe to be one of the best Thai writers today. From the opening story (An Ordinary Story) about a girl dying of cancer to a special wizard guy with a big head and big feet that walks on your face... Chart pretty much covers topics that range from the everyday Thai life to the absolutely bizarre (everyday Thai life)....more
Ryu Murakami does it again... This time he takes a bunch of loser kids and pits them against a bunch of divorced middle-aged loser women. The fight beRyu Murakami does it again... This time he takes a bunch of loser kids and pits them against a bunch of divorced middle-aged loser women. The fight begins and the killing takes place tit for tat. The strangeness never ends. Ryu scares me. I want to meet him one day....more
Pira Canning Sudham is from the Esarn area of Thailand, the large northeast area of Thailand comprised of mostly infertile agricultural land. Over thePira Canning Sudham is from the Esarn area of Thailand, the large northeast area of Thailand comprised of mostly infertile agricultural land. Over the years greedy politicians have 'stolen' this land from the Esarn people. Many live in extreme poverty. Pira Sudham is their voice to the world. He writes in English so most of the people he writes about cannot read his books.
It is a collection of sad, true stories of families struggling to get by each day. But in many of those shown to be suffering there is still a peace within them.
This book has been signed by the author and contains further hand written notes and newspaper clippings that discuss the last upheaval in Bangkok.
Though this is the only book I've read of Sudham's I'd probably recommend reading his book 'Shadowed Country'. I'll be getting that one soon. His voice is simple yet powerful. He has the ability to paint vivid and haunting scenes but still offer the reader a glimpse of hope not only for the people of Esarn, but for mankind.
Holy shit but this is a depressing read... half-way through the book (the entanglement). I don't have issues with the writing or translation. Find botHoly shit but this is a depressing read... half-way through the book (the entanglement). I don't have issues with the writing or translation. Find both interesting. But damn... the plot, the character... poor poor Fak. I wouldn't wish his misfortune on my worst enemy... well, yeah, I probably would. Maybe I need ordaining.
"We don't know where we come from. From the moment we are born, we have to struggle to survive, and when we die, it's all over. We never know where or when we die, and we don't know either where we go after we die. We go through life like blind men..."
Now on to the second part... the liberation. Even with a title like that I'm doubtful...
I was right to be doubtful. This book is a great example to see how a skillful writer can show a character change as a result of the people and environment that touches him. Fak, the main character and focus of the book, starts with a favorable status in his small village. But due to gossip his status and life plummets quickly to a conclusion that is just too sad to even contemplate. By far one of the saddest books I've ever read. People can sometimes really suck. ...more
Of all the books in my library and with me reading The Brothers Karamazov... I pick up this book... now... and start reading it. How ironic that it isOf all the books in my library and with me reading The Brothers Karamazov... I pick up this book... now... and start reading it. How ironic that it is about my life at this exact time and moment. Fate of the fingers at the bookshelf is a scary thing.
In 1929 Tanizaki looked into the future, put my life under his watchful eye, and wrote about me.
A beautiful book about a marriage that just faded and a couple coming to terms with that reality. Also a study of old customs and modern thinking.
I could have done without reading this now, but like I said, sometimes the fate of the fingers cannot be challenged when reaching to the bookshelf. ...more
This guy, Yu Li, he works in an elevator. He pushes buttons. He's like a NASA astronaut. Elevator's are technical things. He also protects an A-list aThis guy, Yu Li, he works in an elevator. He pushes buttons. He's like a NASA astronaut. Elevator's are technical things. He also protects an A-list actor (although he doesn't know who he is), a B-list actress (although he doesn't know who she is), and a director (although he doesn't know who he is). So he's like a NASA astronaut and James Bond. He's also young, single, horny and has acne.
This is a short story novel showcasing one of China's promising new writers. The book is funny... and sad in it's portrayal of the most populace country in the world....more
Civilization is transmission. When it comes to pass that things that should be expressed and transmitted get lost, civilization itself comes to an endCivilization is transmission. When it comes to pass that things that should be expressed and transmitted get lost, civilization itself comes to an end. Click... Off.
I believe that the word should in Murakami's quote above from his book Hear the Wind Sing aka Happy Birthday and White Christmas makes this statement obviously subjective. And with that I question whether this book should have been written. Civilization would certainly have continued without it and indeed it did in the western countries (I'm assuming here) because this, his first book, was never published outside of Japan (again assuming again).
Written in the first person, a person with no name, the story follows this no-name person during a couple of weeks or so of his summer vacation while back in his hometown from Tokyo university. He drinks beer with his friend Rat, reminisces about past girlfriends, and sparks up a relationship with a new girl with nine fingers. Then he goes back to school. And thus civilization is saved by this nameless person chronicling his two weeks in a small town near the coast. Thank you. I like civilization, just wish it could be more civil.
The book did have great moments as does most of Murakami's books (ummm... assuming again since I haven't read ALL of his books). And if I continue with this review it will be longer than the book itself. It's short. Only 130 pages. And those pages are only 4 inches by 6 inches.
Here's a short conversation from this short book with his new nine fingered girlfriend...
"Last year, I dissected a cow." "You what?" "I slit open the belly, but all I found was a handful of matted grass in one of the stomachs. I put the grass in a plastic bag and took it home with me. Put it on my desk. Then whenever something went wrong, I'd just stare at that lump of grass and think. Why do cows chew and chew and regurgitate and rechew this disgusting stuff over and over again?"
Fun read. A few good moments. Nothing spectacular. It is his first. Civilization is declining....more
"Go to the mountains and meditate! If you stay in the hurly-burly of this world, you'll run around in circles without ever finding your way. You'll be"Go to the mountains and meditate! If you stay in the hurly-burly of this world, you'll run around in circles without ever finding your way. You'll become the kind of person who just stamps and screams. But the blue mountains are immovable and the white clouds come and go."
This was Takashi Nagai's advice a few weeks after the atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. This book was non-fiction... unfortunately.
Takashi Nagai was a doctor, a nuclear physicist, and dean of the radiology department in the medical school of the University of Nagasaki and a devout Christian. On Thursday, August 9, 1945 at two minutes past eleven in the morning he was in his office about 700 meters from the epicenter of the blast. From first hand accounts he tells the story of life immediately before the blast, during the blast, and after the blast. That he survived is nothing short of miraculous.
The description of seeing up-close the results of colliding atoms is nightmarish. It starts with the sound of a plane and then... the blinding white light, darkness blacker than night caused by a cloud of debris covering the sun, the coming of a red tinted light, a drop in temperature, the invisible wind, the instant disappearance of a world known... and ends with the appearance of hell on earth.
"No. The sun must have exploded," said Choro. "Maybe so... the temperature has suddenly dropped." Shiro's voice was thoughtful. "If the sun explodes, what happens to the earth?" Now it was the anxious voice of Nurse Tsubakiyama. "It's the end of the world," said Choro with resignation. They remained silent and waited. No light returned. A minute passed. Someone's watch kept ticking in the darkness. Tick, tick, tick...
Takahi was a scholarly writer before the dropping of the bomb. Afterward, before his death in 1951, he became a poet, artist, humanist, and mystic and wrote over 20 books....more
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 couI'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 stories may at first seem absurd but when you stop and think about it, they could be the real thing. Isn't our reality absurd? Some of the stories though totally outlandish seemed familiar. Like any book of short stories some fall flat and some are just brilliant. The title story falls in between.
And now as my little fingers peck at this keyboard creating symbols that appear as insults to a tribe of people living in the remote jungles of Borneo I'm thinking I should have released that 4th sneeze....more
3 short stories though the titled story was a little long. A Japanese Beckett. That's what Kawabata felt like. An old man sleeps with drugged out slee3 short stories though the titled story was a little long. A Japanese Beckett. That's what Kawabata felt like. An old man sleeps with drugged out sleeping beauties and their smell, touch, beauty remind him of days past.
One story, 'The Arm', was twisted, surreal, and sad. A girl removes her arm and let's a man take it home. They have a pretty nice relationship until he removes his arm and attaches hers.
The other story.... birds die and a man frets. Unlike Beckett, no one shit their pants. That was disappointing. Thus 4 stars only....more
A book of short stories that offers a sampling of two great writers, Yasunari Kawabata and Yasushi Inoue.
The title story, The Izu Dancer is by KawabatA book of short stories that offers a sampling of two great writers, Yasunari Kawabata and Yasushi Inoue.
The title story, The Izu Dancer is by Kawabata and is about a small troupe of traveling performers and a student infatuated with their young drummer girl. A beautiful little piece.
Inoue's contributions include The Counterfeiter, Obasute, and The Full Moon. All three stories deal with separation, loneliness, and alienation. Inoue takes the isolation, the loneliness of the character... a minor chord... and strokes it into the beautiful riff of nature. If he were a musician, he'd be singing the blues... with a smile as he looked out in his mind's eye over the mountains in the early autumn.
Kawabata is no stranger to me and I love his work. Inoue is fast becoming my newest friend in reading....more