I've been suffering from writer's block lately. I just can't seem to write any reviews though I've got quite a number of books I've finished in the wings. Maybe it's because I'm suffering from horrible jet lag. Its been two weeks so this isn't funny anymore. I thought I'd drop two little mini reviews here for books I read last month. These books are part of my list for the Japanese Literature Challenge hosted by Dolce Bellezza.
Although I loved, loved many of Murakami's previous novels, I have to say that I was very disappointed in this one. Kafka on the Shore started out quite promisingly with two interesting and distinct story lines that eventually connect. The first thread involves a fifteen-year-old boy who runs away from home and hides out in a library in another town. The second story involves a man who is able to talk to cats. I enjoyed most of the first half but after that it started to go downhill and I found myself losing interest. Somehow the horrible scene with the cats being murdered plus the revelation that Kafka, the young boy, was in love with the person he believed was his long-lost mother, just turned me off. However, if this is your first Murakami, I can completely understand why you'd be very impressed. He is a fabulous and unique writer. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is still my favourite and I highly recommend that one if you have yet to read his books
Real World by Natsuo Kirino
This is a Japanese teenage angst novel that I just didn't get. A strange and aloof teenage boy murders his mother and a group of young teenage girls suddenly become completely fascinated with him. One girl eventually runs away from home and becomes a fugitive alongside him. I found the characters quite unlikeable but I guess that was intentional. I suppose Kirino was trying to portray the 'real world' and how some adolescents are today. It's a chilling premise that I didn't enjoy. I have to read her other novels for the Japanese Literature Challenge so here's hoping I'll like them more than this one.