Lee's Reviews > A Personal Matter

A Personal Matter by Kenzaburō Ōe
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Oct 09, 07

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If you've never read this one and you're looking for a shortish novel that rocked hard enough to win the dude the Nobel Prize, something you can read before the weekend ends, something with serious existential, historical, and cultural HEFT, but also relatively easy reading, here ya go. I taught this in a lit class last fall and several students said it was the best book they'd ever read. Easily in the top ten for me. When people talk about "perfect" novels, an idea I totally glower at, I think of this as an example . . . gets better and better with rereading, too. Bird is not a very good dude for 99% of the novel, but that's the point for the other 1%. Anyway, I find it sort of disheartening that only one of my "friends," some dude I don't even really know, has rated it. Maybe what's wrong with American Letters today is that not enough people have read this late-20th century Japanese masterpiece?!
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