Kevin's Reviews > In the Miso Soup

In the Miso Soup by Ryū Murakami
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's review
Jul 11, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: 2012-reading
Read from July 11 to 26, 2012

In the Miso Soup is a gruesome and biting social commentary of the Japanese sex trade; and the men and women who buy and sell sex. It’s a nasty tale of a 20-year old guide whose chosen occupation is to show tourists around this seemingly disgusting, but socially acceptable underworld. Where high school girls sell it and businessmen pay to drive the loneliness of modern society away. Kenji, the tourist guide, is not particular proud of his line of work, seeing as an end to means, but remains non-judgmental of the people and the business of sex for sale, until he meets an American with a deadly streak.

The book itself is divided to three parts. The first part serves as an introduction to the sex underworld and this scary, enigmatic American, who is also a pathological liar. The second part deals with confirmation of Kenji’s worst fears and shows the true character of the foreigner. It also shows growing disgust with the sex industry and the people who support the industry. The third and final part of the story is more of a physiological analysis of behavior, full of strained metaphors.

A very good, very disturbing little book. By no means is it for everyone.

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