Thursday, November 01, 2007
Winning the Nobel Prize for Literature (in 2004, to be exact) DOES make your work stand out a little on bookshelves. Thus it was with great trepidation that I yanked this novel out of its snug little spot in the university library, and promptly made good work of it.
Kenzaburo Ue, for those of you who are Murakami addicts, alludes less to Western culture; unfortunately, this means you are staring at a rather oblique series of references all the way. He writes with a hint of Dostoyevsky; mystical people drift in and out of incongruous events, reminding you that the fixity of life is not as it seems.
The plot involves two brothers, and one's lecherous wife; the wife openly has consensual relations with the brother, but in the end, her legitimate husband takes her back without a whimper. Interspersed between are a series of Nobukoro protests and other events that keep the personal calamities that occur firmly within context.
The novel still has American references galore; frequent allusions to American pop culture abound, and the eagle-eyed will spot the song lyrics and English puns that are spouted regularly.
I give this a 9 out of 10.
at 8:37 PM