We are aiming to read this mostly over October (in time for Halloween), but without following a strict schedule. All discussions will take place in this thread, so please make liberal use of spoiler tags, and make sure to clearly mention which part you’ve read so that other readers can know if they can open your spoiler tags yet or not.
For those of us who do better with a stricter schedule, I’ve drawn a tentative schedule below. Feel free to stick to this schedule or read at your own pace.
There are two stories in the book: 夏と花火と私の死体 and 優子. The plan is to read both, but you can choose to only read one if you like.
# of Pages
一, 二, 三
四, 伍, 六
Please use spoiler tags for everything that might be considered a spoiler as we’ll be all reading at different speeds, and make sure to mention which section your post is about.
Don’t be afraid of asking questions, even if they seem embarrassing at first. All of us are here to learn.
To you lurkers out there: Join the conversation, it’s fun!
(feel free to update accordingly at any time)
I am planning to read this book
I am currently reading this book
I have finished this book
I don’t plan to read this book
I dropped the book and don’t plan to return
I have stopped reading, but I will return at some point
For the weekly sections I followed the book chapters, but unfortunately they’re not all equally long. The way it looks now the we’re taking one day from September and one week from November - I hope that’s okay. Please let me know if you have any better ideas regarding the schedule. @NicoleIsEnough ,since you have the paperback, could you provide the actual page numbers for the weekly sections? Thanks!
Yes, now that I look at the number of pages, it’s a smooth ramp-up for the first story until the last chapter, and usually final chapters are a faster read, as you’re eager to know how it’s going to end. So it should be alright, and as you say, people can always read faster or slower as they see fit.
Ideally I’d have liked to have a story finale fall on Halloween, but instead it seems that we’ll be starting the second story on that week. I wouldn’t like to break the chapters or go much faster than that though, so I guess しょうがない.
I already started today because I will be travelling for a week from tomorrow, and I don’t want to carry the (physical) book around with me.
一日目: We’re setting the scene and establishing the premise, namely that 私 is dead and how this came about, but the story keeps being told from the perspective of the now-dead 私 which is not something I’m used to, and so I keep shifting the perspective in my head to somebody else which of course doesn’t match and causes some confusion before I realize what I (once again) did
The writing style is very easy to read, which was to be expected given Natively’s (so far totally justified) L28 for this book. So far the story did not feel like horror to me at all, though… I hope this doesn’t turn out to be yet another Japanese not-really-horror book
Finished this week’s section (一日目). So far, I must say I’m not very impressed. The writing feels too simple, too superficial. I guess it’s natural if it was written by a 16 years old, but still, I hope I’m wrong and it gets more complex later on. I don’t mean I need fancy sentence constructions or anything, but some deeper characterization might be nice.
As for content, this 健くん looks like a small psychopath to me, if at 11 years old he’s so cool about finding and hiding a dead body. Not that his little murderous sister is any better
Also, why is there a dog? I didn’t want there to be a dog! I know he’s fierce and scary and all, but I still wouldn’t like something to happen to the dog. Anyway, I wonder how his strange name came to be.
Is this supposed to be funny? When 弥生 was all ‘oh no, we should tell her mom’ I was like, "huh, a story where they don’t hide the body? A rarity.’ and then they immediately after decide to hide the body and I started cackling. 健 seems like a treat, I expect him to kill his sister to prevent her from squealing. Though honestly why they hid the body when it could so easily be passed off as a 事故死 is beyond me.
Yeah same, and from what I’ve heard of this author it doesn’t seem outside the realm of possibility. I’ll ask Biblio over on Natively as they’ve read the book
Just finished week 2 (二日目) and I found this chapter much more fun than before.
Ken definitely continues to give off dangerous psychopath vibes. I’ll soon start suspecting him for all the kidnappings that have been happening in the area too
66 appears again, and he’s just a clever, loveable pup this time. I sincerely hope nothing happens to him. When Midori found the shoe, I was sure she’d tell everyone and 66 would get blamed for attacking and possibly killing/eating the narrator, but then she just put it back? And decided to not go to Ken’s house like she was planning after all? I wonder what went through her head, because I don’t think I understand at all.
Not horror, but good, lightly creepy suspense so far I’d say.
I’m pretty much positive Ken is the cause of the kidnappings, but likewise did not understand Midori’s actions. Also the final scene all I could think about is how it’s summer and that body is probably already disgusting
It’s only been a day really, but yes, if it isn’t disgusting already, it will be very soon. Which reminds me, it’s so strange 66 found the shoe but not the body. Dogs lead people to dead bodies all the time. Maybe he will do so later.
Didn’t she say she didn’t want to make a ruckus on that day and rather go the next day with icecream like she usually does? [speculation:] My guess is that she wants to act as normal as possible and then “by the way” bring up the information about the shoe, or she wants to test the waters first to see how upset everybody is, and then decide whether she reveals the information or not.
[speculation:] Classical element of course, the next day she will talk about it, the shoe will be gone, and mild confusion will ensue.
And also corpses tend to develop gas inside and let it out in the most inappropriate moments
All in all I found the book to be overly predictable so far (dog likes shoes → of course he found the shoe; man removes the concrete pieces from the ditch → of course he stops one piece short of finding the corpse; and so on) and at other times totally ridiculous (they decide to hide the corpse instead of reporting it although Ken does not even know it was not an accident; Ken decides to hide the corpse inside the house ). I guess most or all of this is due to the author being only 16 years old, but it is strangely funny anyways.
Black comedy is one of my favourite kinds.
However, I’m still not entirely sure how to take the book. Is it intended comedy, or accidental? Does it intend to creep us out or to entertain us? Are some strange behaviours due to the characters hiding something, or due to the author’s inexperience? I’ll have to read on to find out, and it’s possible I’ll never be quite sure.
Finished the titular story. I am quite impressed by the story. It retained its slapstick quality until almost the end, where we get dropped back into horrorland. Really nice ending! Also I‘m impressed by the author’s storytelling abilities. There is almost no fluff to the story, everything that gets mentioned is a Chekhov‘s gun that gets fired with precision. Granted, he still lacks expressiveness, but that’s ok for me knowing that he was only 16. Looking forward to the next story!