Know what a forked tongue is?, begins the novel by Kanehara Hitomi, Snakes and Earrings. This short novel is a striking depiction of teen life in Tokyo, most of the story taking place in and around Shibuya, the main entertainment mecca for the young.
The most interesting aspect of this book is its rare glimpse into Tokyo's eccentric subculture - uninhibited youths experimenting with tongue-rings and body tattoos - not as an outsider but from within the clique. Kanehara's descriptions are keen and realistic as she pushes you, ring by ring, through the painful and absurd process of forking your tongue.
This book may not be for everyone, but Japan's fanatical youths seem to be salivating.