Month: March 2020

Book review: 『ボッコちゃん』by Shinichi Hoshi

Introduction Title: 『ボッコちゃん』Author: Shinichi Hoshi (星新一)Published by 新潮文庫 Shinichi Hoshi is well known for his short short stories and is considered to be the pioneer of Japanese SF. 『ボッコちゃん』is a collection of 50 short short stories chosen by the author himself. Review This is the first time that I read stories by Shinichi Hoshi, and I was very surprised by the author’s unique style and impressive creativity. These stories are unlike anything I have read before. It sometimes felt like reading stories for children, sometimes like listening to a friend telling a joke. The stories all belong to the speculative fiction, mostly science fiction but also fantasy or mystery. What surprised me the most is how the author managed to create an interesting outcome for each story. Even though they are very short (3 to 6 pages), many surprised me at the end. Sometimes, I even doubted whether I understood the Japanese well, because I felt that something did not make sense, but everything became clear at the end. (for example: 闇の目) I find that …

Book review: 『マチネの終わりに』by Keiichiro Hirano

Introduction Title: 『マチネの終わりに』Author: Keiichiro Hirano 平野啓一郎Published by 文春文庫 This novel is a best-seller in Japan and has been adapted into film in 2019. It tells the love story between Satoshi Makino and Yoko Komine. Satoshi, 38 years old, is a talented guitarist of classical music. After one of his concerts, he meets the reporter Yoko Komine, 40 years old, who lives in Paris and will be soon dispatched to Baghdad. We follow the long-distance relationship of these international lovers. This review is divided into: Book review I (spoiler-free) The audiobook The music (yes, the books has its soundtrack!) Book review II (spoilers) Review I could have loved this story very much, but I did not enjoy reading the book. There were too many things in the novel that bothered me, and while I could see that the story had a strong emotional potential, I just could not feel any sympathy for the characters nor care about them. This being said, I very much want to watch the film, I don’t know if I will like it, but …