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In The Miso Soup - Japanese Postmodernism

About In The Miso Soup

Previous Entry In The Miso Soup Aug. 22nd, 2004 @ 06:14 am Next Entry
Hey everyone. Just stumbled onto this community and thought I'd become a member and do some posting. Anyway, what spurred me to actually post right away was Ryu Murakami's newest novel (or at least newest in terms of most recent work translated into English), "In The Miso Soup". Not to be trite or general, but whenever people ask me what the book is about, my first response comes in the form of something like "It's a cross breed between 'American Pyscho' and 'Heart of Darkness' and a little bit of 'Sleeping Beauty'." The Sleeping Beauty part is just me being an asshole. But I think the rest of the description, albeit grand and a bit generalized, is somewhat applicable. But honestly, I felt that the novel is somewhat lacking, and in the end, I just felt a bit blugeoned but without purpose or regard to reason. I understand where Murakami is coming from, but I still felt an inexplicable sentiment of incompletion. It's almost as if the book is more like a skeleton, err rough draft, of an idea rather than a complete ensemble of thought, motivation and precision. To this day, I'm still wholly partial to "69", although I know many people hate that book, at least the people that I know who have read it. I digress. What do you guys think of "In The Miso Soup"?
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Date:August 22nd, 2004 05:08 pm (UTC)
Yeah I feel the same way about the novel. I feel as though it was chosen among his other works to be brought to american simply because it has an American as one of the main characters. While I liked it, it just wasn't as good as the other novels by him that I've read.
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Date:August 22nd, 2004 06:00 pm (UTC)
69 is my favorite Murakami book as well! When I heard about In The Miso Soup I snatched it up, and I'm not sorry I did. It's a very thrilling book - I would put it down sometimes feeling a little paranoid - and I can follow the running thread of multiple cultures in Japan and how we each equally exoticize and loathe the others. The end of the book got fuzzy, though, I think, as Murakami attempted to lay out the killer's motivations. Despite it being rather weak, it's still a good book. Just not as good as 69.
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Date:February 25th, 2005 08:17 pm (UTC)
It was a nice read.

I got the feeling the author wanted to express his views on Western and Eastern culture through a story about a Japanese man guiding an American through sex clubs. The author spends a great deal of time discussing how Japanese or American people commonly act a certain way when the action or personality trait(s) in the story takes place. More focus is put on this than the plot and the characters. It's good if you're looking for a light read.
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