I've never read a Japanese mystery novel before and within the first few pages, I knew I will want to read more. I'm not sure this Inspector ImanishiI've never read a Japanese mystery novel before and within the first few pages, I knew I will want to read more. I'm not sure this Inspector Imanishi has a series, or if many books are translated, but I wish I could read more. I especially enjoy the insight of Imanishi's relationship with his wife and his sister, the little rituals of his eating, his smoking on his stomach, his going to the public baths. Etc. I think this is one two main reasons why I read any mystery series, to be invited to how a character thinks- his/ her logic and mental process when encountering a puzzle (the mystery) and the day to day habits that build up a character. There are many little Japanese characteristics revealed, I found it fascinating. ...more
I first read this book a few decades ago when I was in middle school. I had worked through most of Agatha Christie’s oeuvre as I graduated to adult myI first read this book a few decades ago when I was in middle school. I had worked through most of Agatha Christie’s oeuvre as I graduated to adult mysteries from reading Nancy Drew and her peers. This particular novel shocked me; I had not read anything like it. Looking back, I realized it was my first encounter with the unreliable narrator – an interest I continue to have.
After having read a ton of mystery novels in the years since reading this novel the first time, I thought I would see how it would stand up. I had remembered who committed the crime, but I did not remember the hows or whys, so I was able to pick up some of the little clues that Christie dropped throughout the plot. Overall, this novel is a pretty good example of the cozy English book of the golden age, however this is an unusually psychological story, which I don’t recall Christie delving into in her large repertoire. ...more
Better than three stars,but not quite four; however I may change my mind in the future if I find this book has rattled around in my mind for a while.Better than three stars,but not quite four; however I may change my mind in the future if I find this book has rattled around in my mind for a while.
The best way to read this book:
1. Get the Dyer book, put on shelf.
2. Scan the movie listing regularly to see when Tarkovsky's Stalker will be showing. You really need to see the movie in a theatre, mostly so you can be held hostage for nearly three hours to the movie's pacing. To watch it in your home, it would be too easy to pause it. You really need to be oppressed by this movie. Plus, you need a big sound system. The soundtrack is worth it.
3. After seeing the movie, wait at least two weeks, maybe even up to a month to read the Dyer book.
You will find much humor in the book, not so much in the movie. I don't know if the book will enlighten you to the meaning of the movie anymore than you may have been able to eek out on your own; but the book will draw all sorts of threads, including references to Stalker in other movies, music, etc.
I don't think reading this book without seeing the movie would be very enjoyable. Maybe if you are a huge Dyer fan; I've read a few of Dyer's books and articles, can't say if I am a huge fan. I have seen the Tarkovsky film though - this and a few others. I wish Dyer could've answered some of my questions re: the movie, like- what's up with the dog? He talks about the dog, who took commands in Estonian; but where did the dog come from, what does he mean? And why so much water in Tarkovsky's film, so much water.
The book is lot more fun and easier to read than watching the movie, but I really don't think you should take the shortcut. Watch the movie- then read the book....more