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    Bizarre and interesting

    “If you read a novel to the end, then it’s over. I would never want to do something as wasteful as that. I’d much rather keep it here with me, safe and sound, forever.” The above is an excerpt from this book. I find it very interesting. It’s a different point of view. Now, about this book. I was delighted by it’s “gentleness”. I didn’t want to stop reading it. The story is bizarre and very slow (some readers may consider it boring) but the translator, Stephen Snyder, did an amazing job and I was grabbed from the beginning. The writing/translation is superb. This book was originally published in 1994, in Japan, and only now translated into English. It is compared to “1984”, by English novelist George Orwell, a book that I really enjoyed when I was younger. This book received a nod for the “National Book Award for Translated Literature” (from Wikipedia: “the award recognises one book published by a U.S. publisher located in the United States from December 1 to November 30. The original text need not have been published in the year of the award submission, only the translated work. For the Translated Literature award neither author nor translator are required to be U.S. citizens”). This is a kind of a dystopian fiction book. Yes, it is grim, no doubt about it. There is a lot of oppression. Things and people just disappear, even parts of your body, but everyone moves on. What you have today may not be there next second. There is no explanation. You don’t know why it’s happening or how or when or exactly where (a small island somewhere in Japan). But it does not matter. The story works as it is. Take nothing for granted. Hold on to your memories.

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