October wrap up: only two books read

October has been a busy month, and I have only read two books, including the Kogoro Akechi of my reading challenge.

少年探偵団|黒蜥蜴 by Edogawa Rampo (江戸川乱歩)

This is part of my reading challenge for 2021, which is to read one book of the Kogoro Akechi collection per month. This book actually contains two novels: 少年探偵団 which, as the title indicates, belongs to the Boy Detectives Club series, and the famous Black Lizard 黒蜥蜴, which belongs to the regular series.

Even though they are written for children, I am really enjoying the few novels of the Boy Detectives Club that I have read so far. First, the stories are engaging and exciting, and even though most of the tricks and revelations are easy to guess, it is fun to see our young detectives in action. But most of all, the novels of the Boy Detectives Club are much easier to read than the ones from the Kogoro Akechi collection, and I must admit that this is most welcomed. To give you an idea of the difference in level difficulty, these are the opening paragraphs of each novel:

This is the beginning of 少年探偵団:

そいつは全身、墨を塗ったような、おそろしくまっ黒なやつだということでした。

「黒い魔物」のうわさは、もう、東京中にひろがっていましたけれど、ふしぎにも、はっきり、そいつの正体を見きわめた人は、だれもありませんでした。

 そいつは、暗やみの中へしか姿をあらわしませんので、何かしら、やみの中に、やみと同じ色のものが、もやもやと、うごめいていることはわかっても、それがどんな男であるか、あるいは女であるか、おとななのか子どもなのかさえ、はっきりとはわからないのだということです。

This is the beginning of 黒蜥蜴:

この国でも一夜に数千羽の七面鳥がしめられるという、あるクリスマス・イヴの出来事だ。

 帝都最大の殷賑地帯、ネオン・ライトの闇夜の虹が、幾万の通行者を五色にそめるG街、その表通りを一歩裏へ入ると、そこにこの都の暗黒街が横たわっている。

 G街の方は、午後十一時ともなれば、夜の人種にとってはまことにあっけなく、しかし帝都の代表街にふさわしい行儀よさで、ほとんど人通りがとだえてしまうのだが、それと引き違いに、背中合わせの暗黒街がにぎわい始め、午前二時三時頃までも、男女のあくなき享楽児どもが、窓をとざした建物の薄くらがりの中に、ウヨウヨとうごめきつづける。

I have spent the year reading Kogoro Akechi, and I never found the books particularly difficult to read, but the last couple of novels I read were from the Boy Detectives Club, which has made me quite lazy I fear.

走れ外科医 by Yujiro Nakayama (中山祐次郎)

I chose to read this book this month because I knew it would be an easy read. 走れ外科医 is the third book in the series 泣くな研修医 and all three books are on the easy side with a lot of dialogues and a limited amount of characters.

This book in particular, was very easy to read. It is the third book in the series, so we are used to the characters (most of them are recurring ones), the medical vocabulary employed is also familiar, and we know about the daily tasks of our protagonist at the hospital.

I will talk about it more in my book review, but I was disappointed in this third novel. I found that the first one really wanted to show something to the reader: we learned some interesting medical procedures while witnessing the awkward position of new interns who are doctors in front of the patients, but who have close to zero experience and easily feel discouraged and helpless. This third novel felt like it was written to please a larger audience rather than readers interested in medical fiction. There were not a lot of medical elements and several scenes happen outside the hospital, including the last 100 pages which I found quite boring to be honest.

Still, the book was pleasant to read overall, and it is perfect for these times when you want to read something easy that won’t take you too much effort or too much time 🙂

That’s it, only two books read in October! Both 少年探偵団 and 走れ外科医 have been very easy reads, and that is exactly what I needed this month 🙂