This book club is dedicated to the newly-coined genre of ‘profoundly weird people trying desperately to be normal’. This genre was first defined in the おいしいごはんが食べられますように discussion thread, though for many of us our interest in it was first aroused by the works of Murata Sayaka.
推し、燃ゆ is the book that was being discussed in the extensive reading thread as another ‘profoundly weird’ nomination. Rakuten, Bookwalker, Amazon, it’s also available on Audible (use Amazon link) and Audiobook.jp!
The 水たまりで息をする reading club is ongoing right now (as in, some of us are reading it right now, and no one has finished it yet).
It’s a book club hub. Existing book clubs are linked in the OP. Each book will get its own thread whenever one of us (or a group of us) decides to start reading it, then people can join at any time and read and discuss at their own pace.
I have to admit, the title had me hoping to learn about books that are, themselves, “profoundly weird.” I love that stuff. Still, this sounds cool too, I’ll look into some of these when I’m trying to pick new books.
I think you’d enjoy おいしいごはん - it’s petty and vicious and hilarious. But also kind of thoughtful? Like why must people be like this?
I personally found コンビニ人間 more depressing than anything, but a short story by the same author I enjoyed a lot more (コンビニエンスストア様) but there is no ‘trying to be normal’ in that one
推し、燃ゆ is about idol culture (insanity, ) and when I loaded it onto my ipad it was less than 100 pages
I’ll probably kick off a club for it end of month if no one starts it up before then, but I don’t imagine it will be a lengthy one
Sounds good, was just looking at your Natively review of that now too. Another book for the pile.
I’ve really liked both things I read by her, so I’m taking a small break from her writing, but I’m definitely going to come back to it! Was already thinking about the aforementioned 地球星人, but since it’s a short, maybe I’ll get on that one soon…
This seems interesting, and short is good since I’m already inundating myself with VN clubs and everything. We’ll see how things are looking for me when you do that
The “trying to be normal” is rather optional, or at least brief, in many of these books. “Failing to be normal” might be more appropriate. Or even “embracing not being normal”
I’d better go get it then while 50% coinback is still on. Which reminds me, would 正欲 be an appropriate candidate for this club? If I remember correctly from reviews, it’s about sexual minorities, but not necessarily the ones you’d expect. There’s a character aroused by water, I think? The exact opposite of 水たまりで息をする
That would be another interesting non-genre, but I believe it’s even harder to spot. Normally you’d only know a book is profoundly weird after you’ve already read it, right? Open to recommendations though
I had to drop reading it after 2 chapters to catch up on my book clubs and I didn’t get to anything like that, though the opening chapter had something about pedophilia if I’m remembering correctly. It was a pretty difficult (harder than 半落ち), but deeply interesting read. I’d be open to doing a book club for it down the line, but definitely not while I’m juggling multiple others!
It’s certainly not always clear, yeah. Unfortunately I am so much more familiar with movies and other media, I’m coming at this from the perspective of loving really weird art and thus was hoping for the help in finding such books, heh. I can only recommend the author 安部 公房, who I’ve read in English. I expect his work to be extremely difficult though – I can’t say I really understood 箱男 even in English!
On that note, I guess 箱男 fits this club if the idea is that “trying to be normal” is unnecessary. It’s about a guy who puts a cardboard box on his head to stop being a normal person and become a “box man”, so…
The story begins when Konami, a housewife with a vague sense of insecurity about her seemingly peaceful home with her husband, one day finds a sticker on a pillar at Mitsukoshi Department Store in Nihonbashi that was supposed to have been attached to her parents’ house when she was a child. She was told by her mother that her father was a mannequin doll in a miner’s outfit that was placed in an abandoned mine theme park that still exists today.
This work explores the fundamental fears of human beings as reality/everyday life and fantasy/madness erode into each other. The protagonist, who grows out of his situation through imagination and self-dialogue, engages in strange and comical behavior and actions, but this is the strength of the novel, which, with a certain humor, draws the reader in and transports us to unexpected realms.