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Shadow of a Blue Cat
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Shadow of a Blue Cat

3.23  ·  Rating details ·  31 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews

Businessman Yuki Yajima is fifty-one years old. He and his wife, Asako, are the parents of two daughters: Ryo, seventeen, and Yuka, an infant of only two months. Asking himself why he’s allowed himself to become a father again at his age, Yuki begins to remember his uncle, who died quite young—younger,
indeed, than Yuki is now. Thinking of this man, whom the young Yuki ido

Paperback, 272 pages
Published August 3rd 2011 by Dalkey Archive Press (first published July 12th 2011)
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Mar 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: japan
I will start by saying that I found the synopsis given on the back cover to be grossly misleading. It made me expect a slow tale of a middle aged man reminiscing about his past. This turned out to be a fast paced and an engaging novel about recent events in the life of an ordinary urban Japanese man in his early 50’s. This is an I novel where the main character reflects on relatively recent events that shaped his life. Early in the novel he talks about what appears to be three separate topics. O ...more
Oct 27, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, japan
It gets overly philosophical, which made me skim certain portions, because none of the philosophy is particularly interesting or deep. But the voice of the narrator is pretty well done, and the characters are compelling and believable, so I stuck with it to the end. It's not a great work of literature but still worth reading.
Sep 22, 2016 rated it it was ok
Middle age crisis in Japan.
One of worst annotations I saw: points on important parts for me, but those are almost not mentioned in the book.
Will E
Nov 17, 2011 rated it liked it
Maybe 2.5 stars. Especially towards the beginning and early middle I felt the pacing was really poor, as Ii was juggling like 5 different plot lines, some of them stories within stories. It felt a little too messy and disjointed, though it smoothed out better towards the end. You have to have a high tolerance for hearing about business-related developments that took up a big chunk of the story, which I found a little boring. And finally the narrator is kind of a putz. Very wishy-washy. It's not ...more
Nov 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
I really thought this was an interesting story line and fairly well written. I loved the telling of the mundane life with its every day problems contrasting with the more flamboyant life of the uncle. It was good .
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Naoyuki Ii (伊井 直行 Ii Naoyuki?, born September 1, 1953) is a noted Japanese author and professor of creative writing at Tokai University's Shonan campus.

A native of Nobeoka, Miyazaki, Ii graduated in 1978 from Keio University with a degree in history (archaeology and ethnology). His first novel, Kusa no kanmuri (The Grass Radical), was published in 1983, and received the Gunzo Prize for New Writers
More about Naoyuki Ii...