I was also thinking of nominating パノラマ島綺譚, but I’ll hold off for now in case a bunch of other people want to nominate stuff / in case there’s a procedural reason I shouldn’t / just to do something else since that took a little while
Out of curiosity, why パノラマ島綺譚 out of Ranpo’s books? (I was planning to skip this one, so now I want to know if I shouldn’t after all )
I think it was the first Ranpo book I heard about, and the one I’ve seen referenced most often - as an especially cool-looking manga adaptation, in the afterward of the first Ranpo collection I read, and as elements in movies, so it feels like one I should read as a prerequisite to some cool stuff, and as a major one of Ranpo’s works.
I also saw in one of the collections while I was considering nomination it that 横溝正史 said it and 陰獣 were「乱歩文学の両巨峰であると信じて疑わない」, plus wikipedia says apparently he was the magazine editor when it was originally serialized? So that makes me interested too as a budding Yokomizo fan…
Plus it’s standalone and a good length for the book club
Ugh, up until that point it sounded really interesting.
Well, I’m still interested to be honest. The very beginning of the sample pages was kinda difficult (lots of unknown vocab for me), but after that it seemed more normal, so hopefully it’s not too too bad.
It seems like it’s 12 interconnected stories, so hopefully at least the individual chunks are digestable!
And yeah, the summary’s tip-off that the start of the sample was talking about China and the terracotta army helped me contextualize the difficult vocab. It seems like maybe if you can track whatever specific topic he’s digging into it might not be too bad, but otherwise, who knows…
I noticed it’s even got a 引用 ・ 参考文献 section at the back…
I’ll just go ahead and nominate Panorama Island since I talked about it.
(also spelled パノラマ島奇談)
English (technically of the manga adaptation but I'm not sure it matters)
Hitomi Hirosuke enters the Showa era as a poor novelist dreaming of leaving his mark on the world. His latest story is rejected by his editor but Hitomi finds a new way to make his dream a reality. A school friend, a wealthy, rural family head, dies suddenly. Hitomi, who has always bared a striking resemblance to his former friend, concocts a plan to “resurrect” Genzaburo Komoda and take his place. He plans to use the Komoda fortune to realize his dream; constructing an island paradise of excess and debauchery.
Length: My copy is 136 pages or so
Category: Hard (it’s from the 1920s)
I wanted to nominate an Edogawa Ranpo book for the club, and this is a standalone novel of about the right length that’s the highest on my priorities list of stuff to read by him. I’m pretty sure hearing about the manga adaptation is how Ranpo came onto my radar in the first place, and the afterword in a Ranpo collection I read talked quite a bit about Panorama Island as well.
I haven’t read this particular book yet, but Ranpo in general seems like a great fit for the book club, since his writing can be complex but gripping.
- Prominent standalone work from a major author of mysteries and horror
- There’s a gorgeous-looking manga adaptation
- a good length, pre-divided into short chunks
- one site calls it a 幻想的でおどろおどろしい世界を描いた不思議な物語 which sounds cool
- there’s at least one English translation
- Ranpo’s writing can tend to be lurid, and reading a little deeper into the synopsis than what I posted, it sounds like it could be pretty messed up in places. It might not be for everyone in the book club, especially without someone having read it already to provide exact content warnings.
- It’s possible there’s other Ranpo books out there that could be a better fit.
How much effort would you need to read this book?
- No effort at all
- Minimal effort
- Moderate effort
- Significant effort
- So much effort my head might explode
- I don’t know
Hey hey! I can join if you folks point me toward an English translation, at this point I still require “training wheels” to read, I read in both languages side-by-side and sloooowwwwwllllyyyyy, and if you accept me I will have hundreds of questions for the next 2-3 books, but after that I think I’ll be able to mostly read like ABC regulars. I’m going for the trial-by-fire approach.
I have no nominations, and for voting, I’m open to bribery peer recommendations
Can confirm that Wikipedia is not lying about his writing style. It is… intensely confusing. I read his Akutagawa prize winning book 道化師の蝶, and wrote about my impressions here: The Akutagawa Prize Reading Challenge - #45 by Myria
Not trying to discourage anyone, and actually I am also interested in reading 文字渦 at some point. But it’ll probably be a struggle, content-wise.
Nausicaä. It’s got an English translation.
Haaaa yes I remember that. I didn’t realize it was the same author. I’ve updated my vote to “significant effort” then >_<
Reading various reviews, it seems that the writing style itself is fairly straightforward (several people say it’s 読みやすい), but the content, the story or lack thereof, is difficult to understand. Probably not for everyone, but a lot of people seem to enjoy it regardless.
Some quotes from amazon/bookmeter reviews highlighting the difficulty
I would like to nominate 金閣寺 by 三島由紀夫, but it looks like I would have to write up a nomination, eh?
Yeah I think so, but there’s a template in the wiki post at the top of the thread that’s copy-and-pastable, which made it pretty easy!
Worth noting though, it looks like there’s already a work by Mishima that’s been nominated (here) and is active for a vote, 午後の曳航. I don’t know that that precludes nominating another, but it might inform your decision to nominate or not nominate.
Thanks, I didn’t notice before that 午後の曳航 was a 三島 book. I started to make a nomination for 金閣寺 anyway, but then I realized…
- It’s almost 400 pages and probably very difficult reading.
- There doesn’t appear to be a Bookwalker edition for eBook readers.
So I’m leaning towards not nominating for now, although I still personally want to read it. Maybe I’ll end up posting it at some point in the future.
No, it doesn’t. But:
That might be a bigger issue If it really classifies as “hard” (meaning ~15 pages per week), that would take us ~26 weeks which we should avoid at all cost. Maybe we could get used to the writing and increase the speed after a while, but I would not want to bet on it. Therefore I think it might be safer to read his shorter book 午後の曳航 first in order to get to know his writing style
I’ll be posting our next poll tonight (maybe in 12 hours roundabout) so if anybody wants to nominate anything, it’s last orders now!
And everybody: please don’t forget to rate the difficulties of the books, especially the new ones
I totally agree with this Nicole! I will vote for 午後の曳航 in the poll.
Looks like it’s time to think about our next book club pick!
Please have a look at the List of Proposed Books section in the first post for details on each book. Every book has a difficulty associated with it (based on the book club members’ votes, thus subjective) out of 5, where 1 means “no effort at all” and 5 means “so difficult that my head might explode”. The difficulty is annotated in the poll in square brackets after the book’s name.
Do not rely solely on difficulty when making a choice. Please have a look at the nomination posts and text samples if you haven’t already.
Expected reading pace: The proposals fall into two categories: Fast, and Hard. We aim to read fast books at 30-50 pages and hard books at ~15 pages per week (that number might vary a bit throughout, depending on the book’s breaks and chapters). For manga, depending on difficulty and chapter length, we will probably read one to several chapters per week. The pick’s exact reading schedule will be negotiated before the book club kicks off.
Start of Book Club : We will start the next book on September 18th (after a one-week break).
Poll duration : The poll will be closed within a week (and most likely before that), whenever it looks like voting has dried up. You can choose up to 5 options .
- Fast: 86―エイティシックス― [2.67]
- Fast: クォンタムデビルサーガ アバタールチューナーⅠ [3.29]
- Fast: 狼と香辛料 [2.67]
- Fast: マスカレード・ホテル [1.89]
- Fast: 風の谷のナウシカ [3.13]
- Fast: 海辺のカフカ (上) [2.31]
- Fast: 騎士団長殺し 第１部 [2.33]
- Fast: 化物語(上) [2.8]
- Fast: 虐殺器官 - Genocidal Organ 
- Fast/Hard: 薬屋のひとりごと [3.5]
- Fast: 乳と卵 - Breasts and Eggs 
- Hard: 檸檬 [3.6]
- Hard: 風立ちぬ 
- Hard: 午後の曳航 
- Hard: 文字渦 [3.83]
- Hard: パノラマ島綺譚 [3.67]
Ahem. Just in case I haven’t made this clear enough:
The goal of the voting process is to find the most popular book. The most popular book. That means ONE book. Not seven
Interestingly enough, each of those books has a different combination of voters
We can just read them all in order.
Let me vote for the ones with 2 vote then
Edit: jk, I broke the tie. But I guess there are still members to vote.