Popular Hits of the Showa Era

Ryu Murakami, Author, Ralph McCarthy, Translator
Ryu Murakami, trans. from the Japanese by Ralph McCarthy, Norton, $13.95 paper (192p) ISBN 978-0-393-33842-3
Reviewed on: 09/06/2010
Release date: 01/01/2011
Open Ebook - 978-0-393-34037-2
Hardcover - 1 pages - 978-1-908968-44-9
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Violence aficionado Murakami (Audition) drops a motley cast into a late 20th-century Japan that's all decadence and social ineptitude. Though six young men have nothing in common except for having "given up on committing positively to anything in life," and are incapable of sustaining meaningful conversations, they get together often to drink, peep on an unsuspecting neighbor, and put on extravagant karaoke shows at a deserted spot on the coast. But when one of them impulsively slits a woman's throat, he places his gang in opposition to the friends of his victim, a bevy of divorcées known as the Midori Society. The women exact revenge, the men respond with another blow, and the cycle of vengeance continues with ever-increasing gore and giddy nihilism. As it turns out, murderous revenge is just the thing to bring meaning back into life, and nothing nourishes friendship like a common cause. Murakami's crackling prose makes the sickest human instincts seem fun. (Jan.)
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