Friday, February 01, 2008

The Wind-Up What?



I just finished the book I've reading since the dawn of time Christmas, and I have to say: bzuh? I threatened to give up over and over, and every time I'd decide to go just a little longer and a little longer--I didn't not enjoy it, and I had this idea that everything would click into place in the end. Fast-forward 600 pages, and...no. Not really. You see, there's this guy in Tokyo, and he's unemployed, and his wife's cat runs away, and then his wife runs away, and he meets some people and he sits in the bottom of a dry well for awhile, and then his brother-in-law meets a distressing but much-deserved end (I won't say how). There are psychic sisters named after Mediterranean islands, and a mother-and-son team named after spices, and a man whose job it is to skin people alive. I can tell you that much. And that's about it. Something about emptiness, because of the dry well? Or maybe we're talking about gender roles, because everyone in this book is either female or might as well be? The New York Times Book Review blurb on the back cover says it's an attempt to cram all of modern Japan into a single work of literature, and maybe that's the problem--maybe the flood of cultural references is just over my head. I don't know.

Again, I didn't not like it. The writing was pleasant enough; the characters were fun (Malta and Creta Kano! Yay!); the climax was gripping. I'm just at a bit of a loss. What just happened?

5 comments:

HeHa said...

The plot for the man in Tokyo sounds like a country song :)

bilunabirotunda said...

"What just happened?" Yeah, I have to say Japanese things usually strike me this way. Most of the movies I've seen, all through I'm thinking "Why did s/he just do/say that? I don't understand this at all!" Kind of an interesting study in cultural differences. Though Erik and Mike don't usually have that problem. Hmm...

Xerxes said...

Okay I tripped across your blog and found it interesting. Your response to “The Wind –Up Bird” is similar to mine with Frankenstein. I finally read it for the first time recently and came away wondering what all the fuss was about and why was it still in print. I didn’t dis-like it but I didn’t like it either!

bilunabirotunda said...

Xerxes, that was exactly my reaction to Frankenstein too. I had to write a paper on it, and it was the hardest paper ever b/c I had *nothing* to say, not even "this book sucks!"

Liz said...

Man, I'm so with you guys on Frankenstein--I read it in college and was so disappointed! Try Dracula instead. It's way, way better.