Saturday, 14 November 2009

Sunday Salon: A Japanese Pairing

I woke up this morning to sunshine :D although the weather forecast says we will be back to torrential rain and wind by late afternoon :(
I spent a good 10 hours reading yesterday, finishing 2 books and I'm halfway through The Knife of Never Letting Go. When I opened the first page and saw a lack of punctuation and misspelt words I thought I would be abadoning it quickly, but after a page I was gripped. Eye strain was all that made me give in and send myself to bed.
Today I'm being creative Peanut Butter Cookies to bake for work tomorrow, ATC's to be made and then snuggling back down with A Suitable Boy and then The Knife of Never Letting Go!!! Can't wait.

Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami
I read this book really early in the week and for some reason didn't write anything about it - I always write about books as soon as I finish them.
Sumrie has given up college and work to become a writer, she almost lives in a parallel world to everyone else, she gets up in the afternoon and writes all night. Her only real point of contact in the world is her best friend, our narrator. He is secretly in love with her but knows that she has no feelings for him.
When Sumrie meets Miu at a wedding her life quickly changes. She falls in love with the older woman, who offers her work and thus transforms her life into that of a normal young woman. Things turn strange when Sumrie and Miu travel to Europe together on a business trip.
I read The Wind Up Bird Chronicle and a collection of Murakami's short stories, I was expecting this book to be stranger, more magic realsim. What I did love was the smoothness with which it could be read.

Piercing by Ryu Murakami
This book I polished off last night in about 90 minutes. Kawashima is overcome at night by a fierce sweat and the smell of burning, and then the intense desire to stab someone with an ice pick. At this point his desire is to stab his 4 month old baby daughter. Desperate to rid himself of this desire he creates a plan to stab a prostitute, believing that he will then be able to return to a normal life.
What Kawashima doesn't expect is to pick a prostitute who was also abused as a child and who is also suffering the everlasting effects of such abuse.
The tale is a very strange one, violence threatens to spill over on every page, and I often found found myself wincing not knowing if I really wanted to read the next line in case he finally managed to stab her. Despite this, this book was strangely engrossing and I found that I couldn't stop reading because I had a desire to discover what happened next.

Japanese literature reading challenge.


rhapsodyinbooks said...

Oh I hate that everyone is talking about how good The Knife of Never Letting Go is. I've got to get a copy before I am (once again) The Last Person In The Universe to read it!

Pour of Tor said...

10 hours of reading sounds like *paradise*. Sigh....

Meanwhile, I too am intrigued to find out more about the Knife of Never Letting Go. I keep hearing murmurs about it - I may have to get my hands on a copy.