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Innocent World

2.72  ·  Rating details ·  302 ratings  ·  32 reviews
Enter a world of nihilism and self destruction. Enter a world of rape, incest, and trauma. Enter a world of violence, drugs, and prostitution. Enter an Innocent World.
Ami believes in nothing, hopes for nothing, and turns tricks because it's something to do. Her journey from the pit of despair to the precarious edge of something else captures the part of being seventeen th
Paperback, 124 pages
Published October 1st 2004 by Vertical (first published March 1996)
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Average rating 2.72  · 
Rating details
 ·  302 ratings  ·  32 reviews

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I'm baring my soul on one level here, and admitting to my complete hypocrisy of criticizing others for gravitating to a book because of its cover when, in this case, I did that very same thing. I mean, look at it! This is not on my "dat cover" shelf for nothing. The publishing industry could rob me blind if it churned out novels with covers showing dainties dangling around the ankles or knees. They're such damned teases, those publishers.

So, why lie? I read this completely for the prurient inter
Booklover Butterfly
Dec 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: asian-literature
Austere, violent, and bleak, Innocent World explores a very dark side to one girl’s life and her self-destructive behaviour in a sickeningly mesmerizing way. Ami, a teenage girl, engages in prostitution in order to fund her incestuous relationship with her mentally handicapped older brother, Takuya. She becomes joyless and detached from life except for the fleeting pleasure and comfort she finds in her brother.

The characters were desolate and difficult to relate to, but there were moments when
Hazel Benson
Aug 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: japanese
I know I'm in the minority when I say I liked this book, but I did. It was a disturbing and uncomfortable story, and I understand that something may have been lost in translation, but the characters' indifference to an emotionally involved life was delivered perfectly. That cold candid narrative is the right voice for an exploration into the modern world of disillusionment in Japan right now, and I was left feeling the atmosphere of the tale for a long time after I finished reading it. Yes, it i ...more
May 25, 2007 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Monica Granado
Jun 19, 2007 rated it liked it
A quick read filled with sex, violence, and incest. It's probably supposed to hit a person with shock value, but the whole thing blows by too fast to ever really develop. Maybe it lost something in translation? ...more
Eveline Chao
Jun 24, 2007 rated it did not like it
This book was gross. I'm going to be charitable and assume a lot was lost in the translation. ...more
Feb 22, 2020 rated it liked it
I can only really rate 3 stars as I really felt like this book was going on shock value. The author and the 17 year old protagonist are both called Ami. Is it a true story? I seriously doubt it. (I did try to research online, but there's not much in English about her and my Japanese reading is far from being able to read Japanese articles).
Either way, without doing major spoilers, there is incest, teen prostitution and a few other trigger topics jammed into this brief 120 page novella.
I am pers
May 30, 2012 rated it did not like it
What’s A Retard to Do?

I really had no expectations with Sakurai’s book except that I expected it to be on the same level as Baise Moi (which is a contradiction in itself, since I expected this to be grim). The synopsis of Innocent World reads as follows:

Enter a world of nihilism and self destruction. Enter a world of rape, incest, and trauma. Enter a world of violence, drugs, and prostitution. Enter an Innocent World.

Ami believes in nothing, hopes for nothing, and turns tricks because it’s some
M. P.
Nov 07, 2014 rated it it was ok
I'm a little torn by this book. Depending on what it's intentions are, in terms of the emotions delivered, it might actually be worth more stars than two.

Is the purpose of the story to throw so many shocking occurrences in your face as humanly possible, at such a frequency that you immediately become numb and indifferent to it? Is the purpose to suck the reader's mind into a state of nihilism, where nothing happening in the book really seems that shocking, touching, or significant in the first p
Sean O'Hara
Apr 04, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: j-lit, feminism
Ami's a teenage entrepreneur. With a couple high school classmates, she's started a business to earn money after school. That business being a prostitution ring. With the help of a computer savvy friend (this is 1996, back when being computer savvy was still a thing) they post messages to BBSes seeking salarymen willing to spend a hundred thousand yen to bang a schoolgirl. It's a good gig for the most part, and Ami earns plenty of money which she's planning to use so she and her mentally-disable ...more
Brian James
Sep 02, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ru
This is one of those books that never feels fully developed. There are a lot of concepts at work, and I think I understand the intent of showing the main character's taboo sexual displays as a means of transforming the notions of what is appropriate, and in a feminist sense, allowing her to own all of these acts, even her rape. In that way, the book reminded me of the amazing books by Kathy Acker, however this book didn't quite achieve its end. I know what it was trying to say, but I don't think ...more
Mar 01, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: own
Ne znam gdje zaista nađem ove knjige ili kako one nađu svoj put do mene. Polovičan odgovor je sigurno u tome što je u pitanju japanska književnost.

Elem, o prvencu Ami Sakuri, šta reći? Vrlo brutalna, ogoljena i na momente gadljiva priča. Ali ne zbog same radnje, koja se uglavnom vrti oko maloljetničke prostitucije, veze sa autističnim bratom, silovanja, koliko zbog samog načina pisanja. Manjka stila tj. kohezije između stila i atmosfere te se dobije neki mučni osjećaj.
Najveća falinka jeste građ
Paola Girina 142
Sep 03, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
se sono così tutti gli autori giapponesi,è sicuramente l'ultimo che leggerò è davvero autobiografico, servirebbe un periodo di analisi,perchè non è normale per nulla. Si può tranquillamente evitare , senza sensi di colpa ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Damien Zehnder
Nov 22, 2016 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Gertrude & Victoria
This novella Innocent World by Ami Sakurai is glimpse into the world of a confused and bitter teenage girl - also called Ami - looking for answers. It seems commonplace enough, but what takes place within these pages is anything but common, and much more lurid than one would assume, just judging by the front and back covers. Yet, told by a young woman through the pangs of her disillusionment, who hungers for something more, our sympathies (and sensualities) are immediately aroused. It is a gripp ...more
Aug 13, 2014 rated it liked it
Bad translation seems to ruin the plot. Or, the awkward phrasing and cringe-worthy endeavors to poetry are living out thoughts indicative of a 17-year-old girl's mind.

Nothing is fully developed, and you don't care about anyone at the end. I think I was driven by a morbid sense of curiosity, than anyone real concern for anyone in this book. Without knowing the, at times, suffocating nature of Japanese culture, conformity and the quest for harmony, I think readers may miss out in the how and why o
Andrea Amadio
Sep 12, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Perché definire "erotico" un libro dove non vi è traccia né di passione né di uno stile che solletichi l'immaginazione? Voglio ricordare una cosa: la pornografia da tutto e subito senza tralasciare nulla, l'erotismo è stimolazione dei cinque sensi lasciando tutto all'immaginazione, vi è una ENORME differenza.
Detto ciò, questo romanzo lo ho trovato per caso nella mia libreria di quando ero cccciovane e lo ho letto in due orette scarse: un libro senza arte né parte che mi è scivolato addosso senz
Oct 03, 2016 rated it it was ok
I feel like this author threw in every taboo possible to make this "shocking." Underage prostitution ring? Check. Sleeping pills and gang rape? Check. Incest? Ha! Try two different incestuous couplings! One of them with a mentally retarded person! Double check.

I read this because I'm always interested in stories with teenage female protagonists that aren't your typical YA novels. Something dark and honest, not some sugar-coated moral tale written by a middle-aged woman. This felt like it was tr
Apr 01, 2011 rated it did not like it
Well, what do I have to say about this book? I guess I read it only because I don't usually start reading a book, and then left it aside. And sad enough, that's pretty much the only reason why I finished this one.
I perfectly do understand what reality is, and the reality of life as a substance. But this was just gross. Not sincere in the meaning of "telling the truth, and nothing but the truth", but absolutely and completely gross. Without any actual plot, just sickness, and whole more of it th
Ta książka jest mocna, brutalna. Z opisu na okładce: "W finalnych scenach tragedii współczesnej Japonii często spotyka się kruche, lecz przeczyste istoty, takie jak Ami". Ja nie widzę tu żadnej "przeczystości" i to wcale nie dlatego, że Ami jest nieletnią prostytutką. Ami ma wyjątkowo zwichrowaną psychikę. Cała jej rodzina wydaje się wyprana z głębszych uczuć. Ami szuka miłości, nie otrzymuje jej od najbliższych, więc znajduje zamiennik - sex. Kazirodztwo, przemoc, prostytucja. Książka jest krót ...more
Nov 04, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who likes pop-culture, fucked up shit
Even though this book is more like a novella than a novel, it has a lot of substance. The main character is a girl who gets through life as a prostitute, though she's still in high school, which would be interesting enough, but then she discovers that the only thing that sexually satisfies her is her incestuous relationship with her mentally disabled brother. ...more
Michael (Mai)
Feb 05, 2009 rated it did not like it I didn't actually read the back of the book when I bought it. I just grabbed it and left.

I can't believe I actually read the whole thing. It was short but definatly not sweet. It's been a while since I read it but I remember at least one brutal rape and incest...gross.
Mi Witkowski
Mar 03, 2010 rated it liked it
Not a great literary masterpiece here...but entertaining enough where i made it all the way through and it killed an hour.
i left feeling like i should have been shocked...but I was more shocked by how not shocked i was. if that makes sense?
Jan 02, 2014 rated it did not like it
Probably the ugliest book in the world.
Miodrag Mitic
Sep 15, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: japan-asia
Disturbing... incest, prostitution, drugs, rape, underage pregnancy and the list goes on. Despite its short length, it is definitely not light reading material...
Jelena Hiblović
Dec 23, 2016 rated it liked it
Veoma sirovo i nasilno. Za nekog cak i bolesno.
Deborah Santarelli
Mi è piaciuto, ma a tratti notavo una caduta di stile, un volersi spingere in là, forse troppo per i miei gusti.
rated it it was ok
Nov 29, 2020
rated it really liked it
Jan 22, 2013
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