Plot summary[ edit ] Twenty-year-old Kenji is a Japanese "nightlife" guide for foreigners—he navigates gaijin men around the sex clubs and hostess bars of Tokyo. On December 29 he receives a phone call from an American named Frank, who seeks three nights of his services. While Kenji has promised to spend more time with his girlfriend, sixteen-year-old Jun, the money is too good to pass up. He finds himself closing out the end of the year accompanying Frank around Shinjuku , wondering if his strange, plastic-skinned patron could be responsible for the gruesome events recently reported in the news.
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Shelves: my-reviews Recommendation: Read this in one sitting. I had the misfortune of taking a break just before a certain, uuhm, "highlight", I guess you could call it, hurting the immersion a bit.
What is this book about? Mostly fear, and how people respond to it. Japan, and Tokyo in particular, has always been an inspiring setting to me, ever since seeing the movie "Lost in Translation" and visiting the country myself. I recently came across a series of pictures that perfectly show the setting that has been painted by Ryu Murakami in words. Of course, everyone is entitled to visualizing it in their own way, but for the curious: check out the spoiler below. I try to avoid spoilers but if you want to make really sure it might be best to not read my thoughts on the "after".
Before The "before" is the best part of the story for me. Kenji, a sex tourist guide, offers the main perspective in this book. Just to say that this is a very immersive narrative.
The atmosphere surrounding Frank, the American tourist who has hired Kenji, is supremely well done. Is he dangerous? Or is Kenji jumping to conclusions and overreacting? The line between those two feelings is very delicately made and I found myself crossing it in either direction plenty of times. Maybe a warm, loving hug? But maybe not. Dangerous or not, Frank IS scary.
A sidenote: The "before" starts off with some politically incorrect statements, on homosexuals and Americans in particular. I hate the concept too much for that. On to The Event No comment here, apart from the fact that the capitalized "E" in Event is supposed to be there. It just got harder for me to relate to one of the main characters. Here I have to come back to the recommendation I started this review with: Read it in one go.
This made this last part more difficult to be affected by. I think. But something went wrong there. Aside from that, this story is well rounded-off. Neither whether his story of running away in fear is. The blank pages at the end seem to indicate that as well.
This book definitely has way more to offer than that violence, but malignity is an integral part of the story, which is something you probably need to be aware of before reading this very entertaining novel.
In the Miso Soup by Ryu Murakami PDF Download
In the Miso Soup