by Kazuki Kaneshiro

Takami Nieda (Translator)

#popsugarreadingchallenge prompt 6: Bildungsroman

What a weird book this was. Not only was the culture completely different form anything I have ever experienced, but the characters were a weird mix of quite silly kids and super sophisticated adults.
The different cultural references are why I love to read books written by people I am ‘other’ than but the casual violence depicted between teen-peers as well as between adults and teens was really quite disturbing. It shocked me every time – the idea of a father punching his teenage son with such violence jarred my very being. Especially as it is treated as pretty ordinary.

I also found it quite peculiar for these hormone driven teenagers to be lusting after each other while spending time going to the opera, listening to classical music or spewing opinions about Marx and Nietze.
Not the teenager I was or a single one I have ever known.

I found the racism very interesting too. Japan and the Japanese people are not painted in a very complimentary light in this book. I do wonder if the attitudes portrayed are any kind of realistic portrayal of generally held ideas.

In fact, so many things interested me that I am going to have to read more both by this author and by other Japanese authors. I find the style quite difficult but I think the content will carry me.