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Een bijna volmaakte vriendschap

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4.07  ·  Rating details ·  1,386 ratings  ·  231 reviews
Talloze jongeren in Japan hebben zich volledig teruggetrokken, opgesloten in hun kamer en afgesloten van de wereld. In 'Een bijna volmaakte vriendschap' verlaat één van hen zijn ouderlijk huis na een isolement van twee jaar. Hij vindt zijn weg naar een bankje in het park, zijn toevlucht en nieuwe schuilplaats. Tegenover hem zit een salaryman, een gewone kantoormedewerker. ...more
Paperback, 157 pages
Published January 2015 by Cossee (first published 2012)
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Average rating 4.07  · 
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 ·  1,386 ratings  ·  231 reviews


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Reading_ Tam_ Ishly
*top 10 surprising reads of 2019*
*top 10 memorable reads of 2019*
***I just cannot get over this book***
*Where were you all this time*

'With this faint promise on their lips they are led back step by step into society, that great commonality.'

I would say this little book is so well-written. I would say it is phenomenal.

The story deals with grieve, loss, death, family issues, suicide/suicidal tendency, handicap, love and marriage.

A young man in his twenties cannot move on with his life after
...more
Eva
Jan 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
-English below-
Een boek dat niet zomaar in één categorie past, dat is 'Een bijna volmaakte vriendschap'. Gaat het over vriendschap? Misschien een klein beetje. Maar meer nog gaat het over hoe je als mens in de samenleving staat. Over hoe je overleeft, en hoe eenzaam iemand zich kan voelen, terwijl hij alleen maar probeert te overleven. Het gaat ook over de dood. Over hoe moeilijk het is om de zin van het even te zien als je eenmaal de dood in de ogen hebt gekeken. Want waar doe je het eigenlijk
...more
Aubrey
In that I was absent, I had violated the rule that says, you must be there, and if you are there, do something, achieve something.
If I know (of) a person other than myself who came to the crossroads of dropping out of college or jumping off a bridge during the course of a "normal" coming of age, I'm unaware of it. I'm sure I'd find some if I pursued things like therapy and "confidential" counselors, but then I'd be more marked than I already am in a world where crazy is both an insult and an
...more
Orsolya
May 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: other, library-2
The feeling of being ‘lost’ and ‘broken’ but then finally finding one’s way is not a new one. Yet, sometimes this journey has unexpected twists and turns. Milena Michiko Flasar takes a fresh look at this oft-traveled life route in, “I Called Him Necktie”.

Flasar’s novella “I Called Him Necktie” is a truly enchanting and compellingly-written work of art. Although the text is easy-to-understand and a quick undertaking; the format is more of a lyrical, prose poem with many depths of understanding.
...more
jeremy
Sep 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: translation, fiction
i didn't try to delude myself. now as before it was about me, it was about being by myself. i didn't want to meet anyone. meeting someone means getting involved. an invisible thread is tied. from person to person. real threads. back and forth. meeting someone means becoming part of a web, and i wanted to avoid that.
a rhythmic, melodically paced novel of sorrow and rumination, i called him necktie (ich nannte ihn krawatte) is an unassuming literary gem. written by milena michiko flašar, a young
...more
Kate
Feb 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
How can such a small book pack such a large punch? Beautifully written, it's a multi-layered story that touches the spirit and reveals much about being the frailties of being human. I cried at one point. A recommended read for everyone.
Melinda
Oct 05, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
"I reached out my hand towards you, and, that’s the answer to your question, perhaps it really is this reaching out, this reaching towards someone else, that’s needed most of all."

Flašar's writing is exquisite, her words flow with such fluidity, absolutely stunning as the two protagonists pensively share their anguish.

A young hikikomori bonds with a mature unemployed businessman, both shouldering heavy burdens, self-imposed alienation as well as questions on existentialism. A slow mutual
...more
Stacie
May 15, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully written, almost poetic. Slow, thoughtful, and melancholy. The only thing that was a tad off were the abrupt changes in character perspective. The transitions were confusing at times, as they weren't marked and all had a similar tone. Even most of the dialogue wasn't made especially clear as to who was speaking. You could be halfway through a passage without fully realizing who you were reading from. The prose was still pretty though and I thought it was an interesting commentary on ...more
Nora
Nov 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
The best book of 2018 !
Sherry
Oct 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-this-year
A sweet zen like book about a young man who has emerged after being a shut in for over two years. Hikikomori is the term for this societal phenomena which affects the young. After he renters the world, Hiro meets a man he calls Necktie with whom he exchanges life stories and secret guilts. A captivating story - 4 and a half stars
Joy Olivia
Aug 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
I've read this book twice now. This sad yet sparse story of loss and loneliness is told so poetically that it merits delicate and thoughtful reading.

The first time through I found myself marking phrase after phrase to come back to and reread (see below for samples that I saved).

It's easy to get lost in the quiet beauty of this layered story that tells of the relationship between two men, "invisible" in their own ways. Primarily set in a park in Japan, the story is a series of short chapters
...more
Laura
Aug 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received a free copy of this book through the Goodreads First Reads giveaway.

A review on the back describes it as "spare," and I feel that this is a good characterization of the writing. There is definitely a careful economy of words, but there is also a beautiful poetry in much of its expressions. It is a short book with short chapters, but like a rich dessert, it will be enjoyed best not in rushed, big gulps but in smaller spoonfuls you take the time to savor.

The story centers on a 20
...more
MaryJo
Jan 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a lovely short book about an older salary man who has lost his job and can't bring himself to tell his wife, and a 20 year old hikikomori (Japanese youths who shut themselves away from human contact. The two meet in a park and come to share their stories with each other. Beautifully written, surprising and tender.
Angela
Mar 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
The story of how two very different men had lost track of their lives and struggled not to throw it away, how they became friends and how one of them could find his way back out of his social isolation touched my heart. Beautifully written.
Cait Cole
Nov 17, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Milena Michiko Flašar writes I Called Him Necktie with truly poetic prose. It is minimal, "sparse" as other reviews suggest, and leaves much to the imagination. It is a melancholy tale about a young hikikimori in Japan who is beginning to venture back out into the world after two years of isolation. It is simultaneously the story of a 50-something-year-old man who has recently been let go from his job yet instead of telling his wife, pretends to go to work and sits on a park bench all day. This ...more
Leah
Jun 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a beautifully written book. It was like reading an entire novel written in prose. While I had never heard of hikikomori's I found myself feeling very connected to Hiro. As the story unfolds, you follow both the developing relationship and the pasts that have brought Hiro and Tetsu to find themselves on their adjoining park benches.

I wish I had the proper words to describe how this story affected me and why but I don't know how I would do it justice. The beautiful writing as well as the
...more
Rebecca Lawrence
Sep 20, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's a book about retreating when life gets to be too much. s someone who battles bipolar depression, it was like reading a summary of a relapse. You aren't sure how you built the wall, and aren't sure how to get out. Then someone or something unexpectedly break them down, and you begin to emerge and examine your life behind that wall. As a teenager, Taguchi experienced two tragedies, and struggled to meet societal expectations. Then he, essentially, called it quits. He spun a cocoon and did not ...more
Peony
Aug 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A beautiful, touching story about alienation and the pressure to adapt to social standards. I loved the style of the prose: short sentences with few words, but efficient and well fitted ones. This type of prose translated beautifully into Finnish. Highly enjoyed it.. from cover to cover! It would have been full five stars if there would not have been couple of short excerpts of text that went too far in drama in my taste and I feel bad for those few sentences because otherwise this book was so ...more
kirsten
Jan 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Things I am thankful for -
Not growing up in Japanese society.
Not being a male in Japanese society.
This book as a reminder that BEGINNING can come from anywhere and mean anything - the point is making the decision to begin again.

"There is nothing more depressing than the past conditional."

"What you don't do, what you omit, often has more painful consequences than what you do."
Laura
Dec 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Murakami fans will appreciate the Japanense sensibility of this tale, yet behind it lies universal truths. This would make a great book discussion book, or in a college lit classroom.

"We are skating on me.ting ice."
"I stood to the side and saw myself."
Katie
Dec 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. I don't really know what to say about this novel. Besides, I think this book will mean more to the reader if just read without to much opinion from others.
Imen Z
Sep 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I MUST re-read this book again, a really good one.
Carina
Jul 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: buchclub, rc-2017
what a lovely story, no more words needed. Two so well-described characters you can actually feel their pain. A must read, among the top books of 2017's reading challenge so far for me!
Karolina
May 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: japan
Great story written from the perspective of hikikomori. Social anxiety, loss, mourning. So sad, and yet, somehow hopeful at the very end.
Chelsea
Jun 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So much love for this book
Hollowspine
Apr 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very interesting story about two men, one young, one middle-aged, who see each other sitting on park benches in the afternoon. Soon they begin talking, telling each other their stories, and finding an understanding between them that leads to an understanding and acceptance of themselves.

Another interesting aspect of the novel was that when I first picked the book up, based on it's cover I assumed that it had been translated from Japanese, but instead it has been translated from German. The
...more
elise
4.7/5
this book feels very lyrical, very stream of consciousness, it’s short and sad and charming and emotive. beautiful writing. about loneliness. about “broken” brains. thoughtful. ruminating. about hiding. I was very emotionally impacted by this. only real complaint was that sometimes the character perspective shift was confusing, but the feelings cataloged in this little book are feelings i understand. makes me feel less lost. less lonely. there are so many beautiful passages that i cited in
...more
Sarah-Hope
May 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014, 2014-best
The promotional material I found online for I Called Him Necktie opens by claiming “This is the Japanese Catcher in the Rye for the 21st Century.” Audacious as this claim may seem, I think it’s accurate. I Called Him Necktie is a marvel of a book, brief but rich, written from the standpoint of a deeply alienated young man.

The narrator Taguchi Hiro is a hikikomori—one of the estimated 100,000 to 320,000 (data provided by the author) Japanese young people overwhelmed by this highly competitive
...more
Brooke Smith
Sep 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, arc
If you long for the sweet relationship dissections similar to the development of characters in the film Amelie, you need to read I Called Him Necktie. Centered on a twenty year-old shut-in who cautiously joins the outside world and meets a laid-off salaryman who is too afraid to reveal his jobless status to his wife. In this novel, every word is deliberately chosen and serves to paint the picture but to let the reader draw the conclusion. The chapters are short; used to draw a string of thoughts ...more
Gerda
Nov 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2015
A nice read. Interesting, because it's about a phenomenon I hadn't yet heard about. Apparently in Japan some youngsters are not able to cope with stress and the need to achieve something. They withdraw themselves from society, locking themselves indoors, shutting out friends, family and parents. The period of time differs very much. The 20 year old boy in this book has shut himself in his bedroom for over two years when all of a sudden he follows an urge to go outside and sit himself on a bench ...more
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Milena Michiko Flašar (St. Pölten, 1980) studied comparative literature, Germanic and Roman languages at the University of Vienna, and taught German to non-native speakers. After several successful publications in a variety of literary magazines, she made her debut in 2008 with the collection Ich bin (I am). This volume includes three short stories about love and parting. The short story Okaasan – ...more
“If there is anything for you to learn, it's only that you should not be ashamed. Don't be ashamed to be a person with feelings. No matter what it is, feel it tenderly and deeply. Feel it more tenderly, feel it more deeply. Feel it for yourself. Feel it for yourself. Feel it for others. And then: Let it go.” 10 likes
“Ich streckte die Hand nach dir aus, und vielleicht, das ist meine Antwort auf deine Frage, ist es gerade dieses Ausstrecken, dieses Sich-Hinstrecken zum anderen, welches am dringendsten gebraucht wird.” 5 likes
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