氷菓 Home Thread

I’ve been trying to catch up for a little bit now (some other things took priority a couple weeks ago) and I’m getting close…if I can read 20 pages by the end of this week I’ll be good. I’ve been isolating at my parents’ house in the middle of nowhere (with barely any internet) so on top of being behind I also haven’t had a chance to comment :sweat_smile:

I’m not ready to drop the book though I can honestly understand why people would do so (also it seems like Haruhi is a bit infamous around these parts?). I will admit that Hotarou’s noncommittal attitude is starting to grate on me a bit. When they met at Chitanda’s house and his comment on her dress was something like 似合わないと言えないかもしれない I rolled my eyes so hard they spun in their sockets. Like dude, does it really save energy if all your thoughts take three times as long?

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Well, it’s a minor increase in energy expenditure, much lower than the energy he would have to spend to actually feel something. Think of all the ATP (Adenosine TriPhosphate) he is saving!

More seriously, I don’t really understand what makes this book hard for you or others who commented. @NicoleRauch mentioned the “crazy kanji words”, but are there really that many? :thinking:
At the same time, if it makes people feel better, that series was upgraded from light novel to “regular” novel from volume 3, so that might be the reason? But at the same time, I don’t remember people having trouble with Kombini or Kitchen :thinking:
\confused

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I must say I’m equally confused as well, but for now it’s a fact that I can read a chapter of 獣 in one or two sittings and have a good grasp on what’s going on there (at least that’s how it seems when I read discussions or when we talk about stuff in the read-aloud sessions), while I’m sometimes confused about every single sentence in 氷菓 :woman_shrugging:
(But I must confess I had quite a few of these puzzled moments with Kitchen as well, as there was sometimes a meaning on top of the words that I could not grasp too well…)

Maybe you can figure out what my difficulties are when I let you have a look inside my head?

Look inside head, 35%

This is randomly picked, from week 6 where the our protagonist and the girl are at the café. Turns out these sentences don’t even contain “crazy kanji words” at all, but I still have trouble understanding them:

そんなものは、すぐにわかる。- I immediately understand that. (That’s my translation, not my comment btw :grin:)

俺は
せいぜい - (lookup) -> as much as possible
余裕 - (lookup) -> room, space
を見せていった。
While showing the room/space as much as possible, I said. <- Eeeeh? I don’t understand this. What is “showing the room or space”? Does he wave his hands around? Does he look into the air? Hmm.

「お前の伯父は、
撤回 - (lookup) withdrawal
できないことをお前に話したんじゃないか。
Your uncle told you that he could not withdraw, didn’t he?

泣く子を相手にも、-> Even in the company of a crying child (?) (after reading it 5 more times I guess that rather means “even when having a crying child as a conversation partner” ?)
いまの話は
嘘 - (lookup) lie
だったって -> “what I just said was a lie”
言えない -> he couldn’t say
ような
肝心 - (lookup) important, essential
なこと-> an important thing such as that
を伝えたんだろう」-> he transmitted, I suppose
Even in the company of a crying child (?), he transmitted an important thing such as that he couldn’t say “what I just said was a lie”, I suppose.
(But although he transmitted it, she apparently did not get it, so what gives?..)

And so on. I guess I’m just not at the grammar level yet to easily understand all these twists and turns… :upside_down_face:

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35% spoilers

You are listing the literal meaning of that word, but it carries more the meaning of “calm/relaxed” (… I’m having kind of hard to explain it. Every time I try to form an explanation in my head, the word 余裕 itself ends up popping in there… Talk about shaped like itself. But anyway, it’s the idea that you are relaxed because you have some “spare” mentally, if that makes sense?)

So “I said while trying to look as relaxed as possible”.

Isn’t it (just) that your uncle told you about something that he couldn’t take back?

yes!

Yep, that’s it!

She did get it! That’s why she was crying. And it was apparently such a trauma that she blocked the memory from her mind.

Could be, but it seems more like an issue with vocab? :thinking: In particular 余裕 and 撤回.
余裕がある/ない and 言葉を撤回する are fairly common expressions too, so I guess you’ll eventually come across them enough to solve that problem?

Spoiler free comment: I know that’s inconvenient, but the threads are exactly there for people to ask about such thing in the first place, though :sweat_smile:

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I knew you’d say that :wink: But like I said, it’s like this with just about every other sentence, and I can’t possibly ask that many questions :sweat_smile:

So I’ll simply accept the fact that this book is still too hard for me, for some reason or another (which is totally fine for me, and I’m super happy with my progress in Japanese, so I’m not complaining at all).

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Almost there!

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I almost didn’t realize another week had passed. Time moves quickly and slowly at the same time these days somehow.
Anyway, only two chapters left!

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The final week is here!

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Are you going to add the post-reading polls as well? (I can do it too, but I do not want to overstep… :sweat_smile: )

I’m a bit busy atm so you’d be doing me a favor! Otherwise I’d try to post them soonish

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Roger that!

Have you read 氷菓?

  • I finished 氷菓
  • I’m still reading 氷菓 but plan on finishing it
  • I don’t plan to finish 氷菓
  • I never even started 氷菓

0 voters


If you read the book, how would you rate it on a 5 point scale? (1-hated it, 5-loved it)

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • Unsure / Didn’t finish

0 voters

If you read the book, how would you rate its difficulty on a 5 point scale? (1-slept walked through it, 5-felt like swimming through solid rock)

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • Unsure / Didn’t finish

0 voters

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First of all, thanks to @Sylph for organizing this and @Naphthalene for running support. I’ve been wanting to broaden my horizons to novels and this was a good motivation to start. I’ve got a couple of other books lined up once I finish this one and it’s exciting to have pushed past that barrier.

I gotta say this book was (is) pretty difficult for me. Part of that could simply be the transition from manga to prose, since I can’t rely on images for context anymore, but even now that I’m 80% through and shouldはず have found my feet, it still feels like a struggle to read. There were a lot of new words in here and having to continually check the dictionary was pretty hard on my momentum. (I did think it was funny to finally see 起訴猶予 in the wild after leeching it over and over again on WK and being convinced that I’d never need it :sweat_smile:)

On top of all the new vocabulary…I sometimes got the feeling that Hotarou was being as noncommittal as possible when it wasn’t strictly necessary. Maybe it helps to draw a contrast to the parts where he really gets interested in a case? but more often than not it just came across as unpleasant. For the most part the grammar was well within my grasp, but there were a fair few points where I struggled to parse a sentence just because it was full of double negatives and hedging.

The friction from constant dictionary use and the growing sense of being unimpressed with the protagonist just combined and left me feeling really unmotivated to read. It was easy to let other things take priority and once I was behind it was really tough to get myself to read enough to catch up.

It’s weird, because I really like the anime adaptation and I was excited to be getting into the books so I could read past the end of the show. Now that I’m pretty close to finished, I don’t really see myself continuing the series past the end of the book. Maybe it’ll be one of those things that I revisit once some time has gone by and my reading has improved.

I’d be interested to hear other peoples’ thoughts to expand on the poll results!

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Pretty much what you said, except I think I’m going to bench this novel for now. Having to be glued to a dictionary the whole time while reading makes it way too cumbersome for me. All the manga I’ve read so far has been so much fun to read and then suddenly I feel like I’ve hit a brick wall. It’s irritating and humbling, but also fills me with determination to try harder and improve! I think I’ll try コンビニ人間 first after all, and then give this one another go! Thank you everyone for this book club, I just might return here with some questions once I’m ready to try again. :slight_smile:

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I just plotted the data from this book:
image

Not bad, actually. We consistently had more than 10 people reading each week (either indicated as reading along or completed). The main issue is that the number of comments was very low, with a couple of weeks at 0, giving the impression that no one was reading anymore.
I guess I just didn’t have much to comment on each week, and others are probably in the same situations. There were a few things that could have been a comment, but it was never really worth the effort. In particular, I did not feel very engaged in the story, so it felt more annoying than fun to write something :stuck_out_tongue: Overall, I’d still give a 7/10 to that book, which I rounded up to 4/5 (didn’t think it through when making the poll…). The writing was enjoyable, and in sharp contrast with the kind of light novelgarbage I read these days. The main problem, as noted by others here and in the last week’s thread, is that I cannot relate to the characters, especially the main character. I’ve been out of high school for err, let’s say a long time. In contrast, I have read most of the books in the ビブリア, which also involves this kind of everyday mysteries, but with adult characters, which I found much more enjoyable.

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I’m sure you’ve experienced this as someone running a club but can I just say that it’s super depressing to post threads that nobody comments on :sob: even if people would just post something like “this week took me longer than usual”, it makes a world of difference to your club hoster’s heart, kids :joy: :purple_heart:

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Yeah, when I’m actually reading the book, I like to at least post comments on the story, even if I have no questions about grammar. In this case, though, I’ve got the book on hold. Definitely for sure get back to it after July, just like everything else I’ve temporarily paused.

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@Sylph

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Ahahaha :joy: I didn’t mean to guilt-trip you, just wanted to pipe up to encourage people to comment even if they feel they don’t have a lot to say!

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In an effort to not fall behind the reading club on vacation, I started and finished this on the flights instead before the book club had gotten beyond the first weeks. :+1: A+ execution of that plan. :sweat_smile:

I feel like this is a book that benefits from a more speedy read through - there’s just not that much happening in your average 15 pages. This also meant less forgetting of names! (Except for library girl, sorry library girl)

I hadn’t really read any mystery type novels aimed not at kids before, so this felt like a welcome change in that regard. After the first third or thereabout, I felt like the pace really picked up. Might have been the plot, or that the character introduction phase was finally over.

The language wasn’t that difficult overall imo, at least no more so than other intermediate book club picks.

I wouldn’t say I loved it, but I did end up liking it more than I initially thought I would. I even bought the next volume, tbr at some point. :sweat_smile:

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I haven’t really commented anything during the actual time the book club was reading the book, but I went back and read the 200 pages I had left over the last four-five-ish days and have now finished it! Nothing super special happened, but I actually kind of liked that.

It was also a much faster read than something like a SAO volume, so I guess that means I didn’t mind that much that there wasn’t anything super dramatic or anything like that :slight_smile: So, Hyouka was nice and I might read the second book sometime, after finishing some of all the other books I have lying around first though.

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