Kadokawa Shoten (Kadokawa Bunko), 2004. 256 pp. ¥476. ISBN 978-4-04-374001-7.
Also published in: Chinese (traditional characters) and Korean
It is common to portray love in modern Japanese literature as a metaphor for taboo-breaking, but in the contemporary era there are almost no obstacles left to overcome. Men and women meet, after which they form relationships or separate. How to write about love so as to give that kind of simple story any momentum is a major issue for contemporary writers.
Ōsaki Yoshio succeeds in this task by focusing on the loneliness of urban life. Weakness of will, sudden treachery, emotional vulnerability, and excessive pride are common traits for people today, but they can easily become obstacles to love. The tenuous nature of human relations and the sense of isolation behind the glamor of the city are effective means for expressing the difficulty of love.
The lucid style has the bracing beauty of a clear blue sky in early autumn.
Through natural scenery, people’s expressions, or casual gestures, Ōsaki creates an atmosphere as finely detailed as a miniature, skillfully inlaid with smart dialogue. This is a superb work, head and shoulders above other romantic fiction of recent years. (CK)
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