All posts tagged: Higashino Keigo

Book review: 「虚ろな十字架」by 東野圭吾

「虚ろな十字架」is both a typical Keigo HIGASHINO and a surprising one. Typical in its setting, its characters and the way the story unfolds. From the very beginning, I felt that I was on familiar grounds, reading an author that I appreciate and whose writing style seems to be unchanging throughout the years. The novelty of this novel was in the topic it chooses to handle: the capital punishment. The whole story, though absorbing in itself, can also be read as a debate over the death penalty. In this respect, the novel has a social dimension and an interest that reaches much farther than the pleasure of reading a mystery novel. As for the story in itself, it reminded me of some other novels by Higashino that I have read. It is not a traditional detective story with an investigation made by the police. Murder is to be solved, but instead of tracking down a murderer, the reader will start a journey into the characters’ past. Also, Higashino forces his characters to face difficult moral choices, a …

Book review and character list: パラドックス13 by 東野圭吾

Review 「パラドックス13」(read: サーティーン) is a novel by famous crime author Higashino Keigo. Contrary to what we may expect, 「パラドックス13」does not deal with crime and investigation, but with science-fiction. At least, an SF element gives the context in which the characters will evolve but we won’t know much about the scientifical phenomenon that stroke the Earth on March 13th. At 1:13 pm on this fatal day, people mysteriously disappear from the surface of the Earth. Only 13 persons remain. The whole novel will see these 13 persons meet and try to survive in an environment becoming more and more hostile. The novel gives his readers everything one may expect to find in this kind of survival adventure, making it a real page-turner. The most interesting part of the novel lays not in action, however, but in the interaction between the characters. How do 13 persons who don’t know each other get together and collaborate for the sake of the community? Will tensions lead to tragedy? Are sacrifices worth it? And do the values of right and wrong still …

Currently reading: パラドックス13 by 東野圭吾

One of my good resolutions for 2018 is to read more books by Higashino Keigo. This is not a very hard resolution to keep as I love this author. I have decided to take a break from the Kaga series that I am currently reading and chose a relatively recent and long novel: 「パラドックス13」(read: パラドックス サーティーン) This is the longest novel that I have ever read in Japanese, 562 pages. But it seems to be as easy as the other novels that I have read so far. Flipping through the book also allowed me to see that the most part of it consists of dialogues. As for the story, it seems to be very different from the other crime/mystery novels by Higashino Keigo. To sum up the beginning, on March 13th, at 1:13 p.m people mysteriously disappear from the surface of the earth. We learn from the cover that only 13 people remain. It does not really seem to be a science-fiction story, nor a crime or mystery novel. I still have no clue how …

Book review: 嘘をもうひとつだけ by 東野圭吾

「嘘をもうひとつだけ」is the 6th book of the Kaga series 加賀恭一郎シリーズ by Higashino Keigo. If you are not familiar with this series, it features detective 加賀恭一郎 Kaga Kyoichiro and is composed of 10 books. The first novel of the series was one of the first novels written by Higashino Keigo (「卒業」was published in 1989*) and the last one 「祈りの幕が下りる時」is very recent since it was published in 2016. Why I love this series I really like detective Kaga because he is very different from other contemporary detectives that all seem to share the same flaws: bad temper, tobacco or alcohol problem (if not worse), a haunting past, very disagreeable manners and tone, conflicting relation with hierarchy, impossible personality and so on. Kaga Kyoichiro is, on the contrary, described as a very polite person, always using the most beautiful honorific language. To be honest, as every Japanese learner maybe, I have always been unwilling to learn the honorific verbs and expressions. But, reading several books featuring Kaga somewhat made me see the honorific language as something cool and something I …

Currently reading: 噓をもうひとつだけ by 東野圭吾

Even if I am still struggling with Mishima’s Temple of the Golden Pavillon 「金閣寺」 that I am reading in Japanese, I just couldn’t resist the temptation to start a new book by Higashino Keigo. I was missing Higashino’s universe, and I was eager to read the next novel of the Kaga series 加賀恭一郎シリーズ. Also, I wanted to read something easy and relaxing. In the Temple of the Golden Pavillon, the protagonist has befriended Kashiwagi, who is a real stumbling block to me. Kashiwagi’s long and cynical speeches are leaving me behind and I felt a little demotivated to read this book lately. Anyway, I had to order 「噓をもうひとつだけ」, the 6th book of the Kaga series, because I couldn’t find it in any bookshop. I was afraid this might mean that this book was not very popular. I finally received it, and as far as I can tell, it is by far the easiest book I have read in Japanese so far (excluding books for children or manga). 「噓をもうひとつだけ」 is not a novel but a collection of 5 …

Book review: 「私が彼を殺した」by 東野圭吾

This is the 5th novel of the detective Kaga series by Higashino Keigo. If you are not familiar with Higashino Keigo, he is certainly the most famous contemporary Japanese writer of mystery and detective novels. His books are systematically translated into Korean, but sadly, there are only a few translations available in English or French… Detective Kaga series is maybe the main series of Higashino Keigo. The first novel of the series was published in 1986 and the last one only some years ago. Reading the books of the series in order allows us to see how Highashino Keigo himself evolved and how the society changed, too. For example, the use of cellphones or other “new technologies” is slowly introduced and used in his novels. I would say that the first three novels of the series,「卒業」, 「眠りの森」 and 「悪意」, where more or less focused on Kaga himself and you could say that he was the protagonist or one of the protagonists of the novels. In this three novels, we get to learn a little about …

Currently reading: 私が彼を殺した by 東野圭吾

Even if I am still reading 舟を編む (progressing very slowly), I couldn’t resist the temptation to start a new novel by Higashino Keigo. I am reading the Kaga series (加賀恭一郎シリーズ) and I bought the 5th novel of the series: 私が彼を殺した. When I started the novel, I really felt comfortable, I think the Japanese word 落ち着く would be appropriate to describe this feeling. Steadily reading the same author has the consequence that you get used to his or her style of writing. I have read 6 novels of Higashino Keigo so far in Japanese and I feel accustomed to his writing. Returning to one of his novels after a long pause felt like returning to a familiar and comfortable place. I have read very comfortably a good third of 私が彼を殺した this weekend and I think that there are three reasons why I can read this novel quite easily: To begin with, Higashino Keigo’s novels are not difficult. If I compare with 舟を編む for example, Higashino Keigo’s books are very straightforward. Everything is said or described plainly and …