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69 by Ryū Murakami
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's review
Jan 15, 2016

really liked it
Read in January, 2010

I imagine that if Ryū and Haruki were classmates in high school, silly Haruki will be the sidekick of smartass Ryū. Ryū will be the bully who will initiate Haruki to Rimbaud and rock music and Camus. And the disciple Haruki will suck it all in and intellectually surpass the impulsive Ryū. But Ryū will not care so much. He already had a streak of enfant terribleness in him. I’m kind of describing the plot here.

The similarities between the two Murakamis are obvious, at least with Haruki’s early books and this one of Ryū’s. They both have written angsty novels. That is to say, silly coming-of-age stories. They both mention a lot of songs in their texts. As if by mere mention of the songs' title, you hear the soundtrack playing. I like 69 very much. Its humor is loud funny, constantly bluffing, un-literary. It’s not overdone. Haruki’s humor, for his part, is serious and delivered with a straight face. Haruki is deadpan. The kind of joke that's not spontaneous but can also be rewarding if you're into it. I'll read more of both.

This book is published by Kodansha. Kodansha books have nice covers and are so prettily bound they resemble yummy candies with chewy covers. The jacket over paperbacks: a good waste of trees.
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03/28 marked as: read

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