April 2008 Archives

After Dark (Haruki Murakami 2007)

After Dark [Afutā Dāku]

アフターダーク

Genre: Zen-Like Contemplative Japanese Fiction
Author: Haruki Murakami (2007)

review in one breath

In the darkest hours of night, between midnight and the break of dawn, when humanity succumbs to its natural, evolutionary escape from life and work in the form of dreams, a potentially unnatural and dream-like Reality emerges, revealing a transient depth which most waking souls know nothing of. This is the latest national best-selling novel by ethereal Japanese author Haruki Murakami whose unique obsession and compelling explorations deftly capture the often blurred boundary between the conscious and the subconscious, the natural and the supernatural.


Kafka On The Shore (Haruki Murakami 2005)

Kafka on the Shore [Umibe no Kafuka]

海辺のカフカ

Genre: Exemplar Contemporary Japanese Fiction
Author: Haruki Murakami (2005)

review in one breath

Just in case you are not amongst the cutting-edge literati, I'm here to tell you that Japanese author Haruki Murakami has trumped the (U.S.) 'National Bestseller' list with two novels which are WELL worth your consideration as fans of Japanese Supernaturalism, hints of traditional folk lore, and downright strange goings-on. If you're looking for a good summer read, this is definitely one to put on your list.


Birthday - Baasudei (Koji Suzuki 1999)

Birthday [Baasudei]

バースデイ

Genre: Horror
Author: Kôji Suzuki (1998)

review in one breath

This is the final of Suzuki's four books dedicated to the Ring saga. It is a collection of three stories, each involving an exploration into the situations and plights of three female characters mentioned elsewhere in the other novels. One of the three tales was the basis for the film Ring 0: Birthday, and as a whole, the collection provides a satisfactory and reflective conclusion to the very detailed and complex world of Suzuki's Ring narrative.


Loop - Ruupu (Koji Suzuki 1998)

Loop [Ruupu]

ループ

Genre: Sci-Fi Apocalypse
Author: Kôji Suzuki (1998)

review in one breath

Loop is the third novel in author Koji Suzuki's Ring Trilogy and presents a wholly unexpected and mind-boggling conclusion to the horror tale's trajectory. It is set in a Post-Sadako era where a newly identified genetic virus which is decimating the world's population. We follow Kaoru Futami, a young medical student, as he follows a confusing set of clues which may hold the key to understanding and perhaps defeating the deadly viral pandemic. In consistent form, author Suzuki combines the intricacies of biological evolution with visionary science fiction to explore the origin and implications of the original Sadako's cursed video tape.


Spiral - Rasen (Koji Suzuki 1995)

Spiral [Rasen]

らせん

Genre: Japanese Horror, Dark Science
Author: Kôji Suzuki (1995)

review in one breath

Spiral is the second of author Koji Suzuki's four Ring-related books. It follows a relatively brief period in the life of medical examiner Mitsuo Ando, from the day he performs the autopsy on Ryuji Takayama (from the first novel) to the full-blown unleashing of the Ring Virus into the world. This is another page turner in Suzuki's highly readable and engaging storytelling. It offers a complex and riveting unveiling of the darker powers and intent behind Sadako Yamamura's video tape curse of the original novel.