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Audition

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3.46  ·  Rating details ·  7,351 ratings  ·  630 reviews
Documentary-maker Aoyama hasn't dated anyone in the seven years since the death of his beloved wife, Ryoko. Now even his teenage son Shige has suggested he think about remarrying. So when his best friend Yoshikawa comes up with a plan to hold fake film auditions so that Aoyama can choose a new bride, he decides to go along with the idea
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published January 5th 2009 by Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (first published December 1997)
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schneeland I think it's because he's got love in him for someone else - his son. She demanded being the only person loved by Aoyama, to which he agreed. That's…moreI think it's because he's got love in him for someone else - his son. She demanded being the only person loved by Aoyama, to which he agreed. That's why she felt cheated.(less)

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Average rating 3.46  · 
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Carol
Murakami doesn't believe in boundaries, so if you expect an author to pull his punches, keep on moving past Audition. From maybe the tenth page forward, it's clear that no good will come of the obsession Aoyama, a Tokyo-based, widowed documentary film-maker and father to Shige, his teen son, develops for Yamasaki, the lovely, elegant and single former-ballet dancer with a troubled childhood. The elaborate set-up of fake auditions Aoyama and his best friend, Yoshikawa devise seems to forecast ...more
Arthur Graham
Jul 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ya know, just the the other day I was walking down the street, thinking to myself, why is it so dang hard to meet nice women these days? Wouldn't it be cool to meet a decent girl for a change? One who isn't a total narcissist or a ditz, just someone to cuddle and read books with, a girl who's sweet and kind and doesn't insist on (view spoiler) That's when I got the idea to hold an audition for the role of my perfect mate, figuring this would be the surest way ...more
Jenn(ifer)
When I was in my teens and twenties, you could put me in a room of 1000 men and I would undoubtedly gravitate toward the most damaged ones. I guess Aoyama and I have that in common.

The gist of the story is this: Aoyama is a widower who has decided it is time to remarry. Enlisting the help of a filmmaker friend, he holds an audition to find his future wife by duping women into thinking they are auditioning for a film. Out of over a thousand applicants, Aoyama narrows the pool down to a small
...more
Stephen M
Mar 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who like a good scare
Recommended to Stephen M by: Sean Lennon even though I still hate him for trashing Haruki
No forgiveness for lies

This book is gruesome, haunting, disturbing and all of the rest of those adjectives you can throw at a perfectly executed horror story. There is nothing out of place in the novel. Each event works itself perfectly into the next and the cumulative effect of it all is powerful. The book is short and the prose is simple; chances are that you'll be able to read it all in one sitting. That is recommended because the full feeling of the novel carries itself perfectly to the last
...more
Emm the Bookmunculus - Half Human, Half Library
This review and other dark melodrama on my blog.

"No forgiveness for lies."

Is it the needle-sharp sting of malice, or unchecked madness grown poisonous?
Or, in the end, is it just a small misunderstanding twisted beyond repair? Too beautiful, too wrong, too strange to be real.

Aoyama himself is flawed, being a bit shallow and impatient - he focuses on women's looks and history more than their personality, and resorts to dating via a lazy scam of an audition. These things are somewhat small
...more
Maciek
Ryū Murakami's Audition is a short novel which you can easily read in one or two sittings - and unfortunately probably forget just as quickly; ultimately, the book consists of a long and relatelively uneventful buildup to a sudden and quick climax, which is over almost as soon as it started.

Audition is the story of Aoyama, a middle-aged widower of seven years, urged by his teenage son to remarry; the idea is shared by his best friend, Yoshikawa, with whom Aoyama produced documentaries for Tokyo
...more
Tim
Feb 06, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A brief warning, I will not be discussing the actual events of the novel (at least without a spoiler tag) other than a general plot description, but it is impossible to discuss this book without some spoilers in terms of tone. If you want to know nothing going in, consider yourself warned.

Dear reader, please while reading the following paragraph, imagine it in the cheesiest movie trailer voice you can. Thank you.

You’ve laughed at Sleepless in Seattle, you were charmed by When Harry Met Sally
...more
Kimberly
AUDITION, by Ryu Murakami, is a book that I honestly can't even begin to write a proper review for. I will say that I never saw the movie based on this, and genuinely went into it without any idea of what the story was going to fully be about.

I honestly couldn't stop reading it, and by the time you even realize that you are going to be traumatized, it's already too late.

Good? Yes.

Would I read it again? No.
Rebecca McNutt
Audition had an intriguing premise, but it turned out to be more overdramatic than thrilling or suspenseful. I liked the plot but it was also an easily predictable story.
11811 (Eleven)
Apr 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This does for dating what Jaws did for swimming. I don’t recommend anyone read this book. As much as I enjoyed the 1999 film, it didn’t punch me in the face the way the book did. I had no intention of reading it in one sitting, but that’s what happened. I believe it technically qualifies as a novella but it reads faster that most short stories. I’m not so much traumatized by the horror aspect as I am by the pacing. This guy’s writing sucks me in and gets under my skin. Everything was going fine ...more
Marvin
Jun 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read a lot of horror but Ryu Murakami is one of the few writers that actually scare the hell out of me...not just his books but the actual person. His gift is in writing characters you care about and then exposes them as a horrifying nightmare. In fact they rarely appear evil until the last part of the book when Murakami breaks all the rules and grosses you out. Audition builds slowly, is actually kind of sweet, but he lets off little hints that something is not right. In this short novel, the ...more
Paquita Maria Sanchez
Yup, turns out the book is creepy as shit, too.
Zak
Sep 20, 2017 rated it liked it
I watched Takashi Miike's "Audition" more than a decade ago and it instantly became one of my favourite movies. It was dark, spine-tinglingly chilling and full of suspense. So when I came across this book, on which the movie is based, I was really excited to relive the story again from its source.

Unfortunately, the book itself did not live up to the expectations generated by the movie. There was no build-up of suspense, characters lacked development and the "action", when it came was rather
...more
Saleem Khashan
Mar 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
I walked past a bright picture of some 'cartoon imaged lady' holding a syringe. My eyes caught the brutality in cartoon depicting death, does the blood matter or is it just paint?.
Didn't buy it the first day. "have to check the writer" I thought even with a Name like Murakami. but serious thoughts of buying the book even if I never get to read it seeped into my soul. To own it as a colorful beautiful (written maybe literal)entity would probably be a valuable act. After all I have been
...more
Bill
May 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
SPOILER ALERT!

Well…what appeared to be a good idea to Aoyama at the time, turned out to be his worst nightmare instead.

I had an idea of what was going to go down in this one and was buckled down for much trauma. I wasn’t prepared for Gansta, however. Should have buckled down a wee harder, I guess. That entire scene was horrifying.

Damn. I should have listened to my friend Eleven.
Brian
Mar 22, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Rob Zombie and one enraged woman
Shelves: read-2009, asian
I saw the movie first so this little book held few surprises for me. The pace was perfect... a steady climb to near vertical. The movie actually contained more story content with additional scenes. The book had more explicit sex, a good thing, and the rough stuff was more intense than the screen version, another good thing. No kiri kiri kiri kiri in the book, a bad thing... for that I have to revisit the film.

As expected the book was deeply disturbing and graphic so made for a nice, light read.
...more
Supreeth
Jun 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Audition is probably the most popular work of Ryu Murakami, perhaps one can argue with Miso soup or piercing or Coin Locker Babies, but they either don't have the movie adaptations, or the movies suck. But audition has a movie which doesn't suck and seems to be real popular in the west too. So if one knows Ryu Murakami, chances are it's mostly because of Audition. Miso soup had me benumbed to violence and gore, so this wouldn't really be something I'd call disturbing. It was predictable, but the ...more
Srividya
A very small yet brilliant thriller that really sucker punches you in the end.

The story begins in a very benign manner, where we are introduced to Aayoma, a documentary film maker, who is mourning the loss of his wife and hasn't dated anyone for over 7 years since her death. When his son also comments on this predicament, he reluctantly agrees to remarry. In an attempt to find a bride, he teams up with his friend Yoshikawa and they put together an audition for a fake film, where he meets
...more
David
Jun 08, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Aoyama is a widower whose teenage son suggests that it might be time for him to remarry. When Aoyama mentions this possibility to a friend who works in in the film industry, the friend hatches a scheme to find Aoyama an attractive young wife quickly: They will launch a phony film production and will interview aspiring actresses for the nonexistent lead role. Despite his initial reservations, Ayoama goes along with this plan, succumbing to the fantasy of "himself surrounded by ten or twelve ...more
Lisa
Oct 04, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: japan
This is more like a three and a half. I thought the prose was like butter. I read it in one sitting. It was so smooth. I find that with a lot of the translated Japanese literature I read, there seems to be this juxtaposition between innocence and hard-core disturbing. The story was so innocent, but there was this underlying something that you just knew was going to explode eventually. I appreciate the length of this novel. Stuff like this is best when you just get right down to the business. No ...more
Quirky Omega
Mar 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: thriller, horror
It has to be one of the most haunting and disturbing books I've ever come across. The fact that it was a terribly gripping read didn't help me at all. Loved it, plain and simple.
 Дарья
Apr 27, 2015 rated it liked it
Slow start and ended fairly quickly.
John
Sep 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-books
Great but fast read that goes from curious to brutal in one fell swoop!
David Brown
Very disappointing. The narrative runs along at a quick pace, so it's easy to complete this novel in one or two sittings.

It's an interesting book, and perhaps a lot of my problem with this book has to do with the poor, uneven translation. The dialogue is stiff and unrealistic, especially in the first half of the book, but gets slightly better toward the end. The narrative isn't much better. It seems that most Japanese novels are written by the same bad writer. The few I've read, Ringu, Out, and
...more
Tze-Wen
Having read quite a lot of horror fiction and thrillers by writers such as Stephen King and Dean Koontz, I am not the kind of person that shies away from spine-chilling suspense and blood-curdling gore. I had my eye on this Ryu Murakami novel for a while and subsequently, I was expecting quite a lot from it. Unfortunately, from the very start the story failed to pull me in. First of all, I was irritated by the slow pace of the novel, which continues for no less than three-thirds of the book. I ...more
Arun Divakar
Mar 09, 2012 rated it it was ok
Imagine this : During the commute to your work or at your office, you happen to meet up with a relative stranger and it sends a lot of bells ringing in your head. You think up of all possible scenarios with the person and enact quite a lot of day dreams. Finally when you get to know the person more intimately you realise the stench of the sewage dump in that relationship which you had chosen to ignore until then. An exclamation keeps popping up in your head 'Why the hell did I have to do this ? ...more
Terri
I was a bit disappointed with the level of suspense (I wanted more) and felt like the character development was lopsided. Aoyama was fairly well developed and his background and motivations understandable, but Asami seemed simply a character with a role to fill in a book. The past that made her into a monster is revealed, but I never got the impression of a wounded soul. Asami is simply a monster, end of story. Perhaps this was Murakami's way of making a point that just didn't resonate with me. ...more
Vanessa
#JapaneseJune Book #2.

Having seen the film a few years back, none of this book surprised me. I may have been a little hazy on the particulars but I generally remembered the premise and ending quite well. After all, it's a famous movie scene! That being said, it didn't take away from my enjoyment of the book at all. It was an easy read and I could have read it in one sitting, let alone the one day I completed it in, if I'd had more spare time.

I wasn't too impressed with Murakami's writing style
...more
Emily
Jan 29, 2018 rated it did not like it
"What was this all about?" Aoyama shook his head weakly. "I don't know," he said. "Nothing really."

This is the perfect description of this book. It is about nothing. For a book that is supposedly a horror novel, there is no suspense whatsoever - I don't know if that's because I read a translation, or if it's because it was really written this way. I hope it's the translation because I don't understand why this book has high ratings. Something finally happens on page 170, but there are only 190
...more
Styler Ribarovic
I haven't seen the movie but have heard all about it. I don't do well with watching movies with torture, so I decided to read the book instead.

Eh. That was how I felt once I finished it. I skipped the dog scene completely, stuff like that just annoys me, and disgusts me. Half the novel is the same things over and over again - him talking about how perfect she is, their dates, and people warning him. For such a slim novel, it sure is repetitive. Perhaps it would have been better as just a short
...more
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what about the dream? (spoiler) 1 38 Feb 08, 2013 07:24AM  

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2,215 followers
Ryū Murakami (村上 龍) is a Japanese novelist and filmmaker. He is not related to Haruki Murakami or Takashi Murakami.

Murakami's first work, the short novel Almost Transparent Blue, written while he was still a student, deals with promiscuity and drug use among disaffected Japanese youth. Critically acclaimed as a new style of literature, it won the newcomer's literature prize in 1976 despite some
...more
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“The young people
nowadays – men and women, amateurs and pros – generally fall
into one of two categories: either they don’t know what it is
that’s most important to them, or they know but don’t have the
power to go after it. But this girl’s different. She knows what’s
most important to her and she knows how to get it, but she
doesn’t let on what it is. I’m pretty sure it’s not money, or
success, or a normal happy life, or a strong man, or some weird
religion, but that’s about all I can tell you. She’s like smoke: you
think you’re seeing her clearly enough, but when you reach for
her there’s nothing there. That’s a sort of strength, I suppose.
But it makes her hard to figure out.”
24 likes
“People were infected with the concept that happiness was something outside themselves, and a new and powerful form of loneliness was born.” 23 likes
More quotes…