Kit Fox's Reviews > The Summer of the Ubume

The Summer of the Ubume by Natsuhiko Kyogoku
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's review
Feb 18, 2012

really liked it
Read from February 18 to 22, 2012

So what we have here is a very, very, very Japanese locked room mystery peppered with elements of traditional folklore and postmodern views towards the supernatural. And if you're all, "Hey, is this one of those Japanese books where people talk around a subject for pages and pages instead of directly addressing it?" the answer is, of course, "Yes." Which adds to the whole Japanese-ness of it all; definitely an acquired taste. To me, the most interesting thing about this book wasn't so much what went on in it as when it was set—early 1950s, post-WWII Japan—where the protagonist and most of his friends were veterans and Japanese society was still struggling with black markets and that whole "democracy" thing the U.S. told them they needed to get down with. Either way, a perfect setting for genre fiction if there ever was one. Maybe I wanted it to be more noir-ish and less Death Note, but that's all on me.

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