David's Reviews > Audition

Audition by Ryū Murakami
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's review
Jun 08, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: japanese-noirboiled
Read in April, 2016

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 lovely, intelligent, refined young ladies." As in a traditional American noir of the 1950s, in which an ordinary guy in dire financial straits cannot resist the temptation of easy money, Aoyama has cast his lot and will face unpleasant consequences. While these American noirs are sometimes read as commentaries on the American Dream (promised to all, attainable to some), Audition seems a commentary on the situation of young women in Japan and the willingness of a decent man such as Aoyama to treat them like fruit in a supermarket.

First reading: 30 May 2010
Second reading: 24 April 2011
Third reading: 21 April 2016
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04/21/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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message 1: by Mark (new)

Mark Nice review, David. I enjoyed the film (didn't realize it was based on a novel), which has some great cinematography and a few truly disturbing moments.

David Haven't seen the film yet . . . should arrive from Amazon today!

message 3: by Mark (new)

Mark Off-Topic for GoodReads, but I'd love to hear your review. (I'm blanking on the director's name right now, but I'd like to see some of his other stuff--didn't he do ICHI THE KILLER as well?)

David Saw the movie. The book is much more straightforward in terms of plot structure (no stream-of-consciousness montages as in the movie), and the movie tips its hand much earlier than does the book. Having said that, though, the movie is definitely true to the spirit of the book. Director is Takashi Miike, who did do ICHI THE KILLER.

message 5: by Mark (new)

Mark Good stuff--thanks--and I'll keep an eye out for the novel.

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