Now Re-Reading: JBC's 秋の牢獄 (Autumn Prison) 🍁 Discussion Thread

The peer pressure piles up. :scream: Japanese speakers, you say? Super cool!

4 Likes

Come on! I did not even suggest starting F&B 7 next week, did I? :innocent:
and I’m not planning to, tbh :grin:

Absolutely! :+1:

And we should read many books in that gr… oh… wait :cold_sweat:

Right? I started it yesterday (well technically it was today already :roll_eyes:) and I thought that I haven’t had so few vocab lookups in ages!

4 Likes

ABC, Mystery, 金田一, this one, and technically supposed to be reading 三体 with my partner but he’s been delightfully lazy about starting :joy:

…What should we read in Compulsive Readers Anonymous?

edit: Same on the vocab! It’s a been a very chill read thus far

4 Likes

Hahaha, thank you. :pray: We just need to get @ekg wrapped up ten million book clubs to truly complete the trifecta.

This is music to my ears. :thinking: Adding an easier book to my pile is easier to justify than a harder book… I might see if I can finish this week’s reading for おばちゃんたち and 体育館 and then see where I’m at time-wise to start this one and ユージニア. Normally weekends would be a ton of extra time to read, but upcoming holidays throw that into complete chaos. I’ve got a wedding I’ll be attending this weekend, so that’s a wash.

Easy: we all talk about how overloaded we are with all the books we’re reading. Other members see those books and go, “wow, that book looks fun to read :melting_face:” add it to their own reading pile, and the cycle continues.

Edit: Wait! I just remembered I have two days off work this week! :open_mouth: Omg, all that extra reading time…

4 Likes

I only had time for the first chapter today, but I thought I’d leave a comment about the book today, as it’s November 7 (even though it’s not a Wednesday).

Nothing much has happened yet (our main character’s days are spectacularly empty so far) but it made me think what I might do with a day on repeat. I guess I’d start pretty much like her, with movies and restaurants, then experiment with changing the day in different locations like she did. After that, I’d probably try more extreme experiences. I mean, since it always resets, it’s safe to do anything, right? Even die?
I’d probably gradually get around to trying out all the things I don’t normally do, either because they’re expensive, or dangerous, or just take me out of my comfort zone. I might even try and get to know everyone in a one-day radius around me, one person per day. I guess with some of them it would be very frustrating that there could be no tomorrow. And with others it would be a relief.

Doesn’t our main character have a family? Friends back home? She’s strangely isolated. But then it’s just one day. We don’t tend to speak with all our family, friends and acquaintances on every random Wednesday.

4 Likes

I don’t think I’d be brave enough to do anything extreme. I’d always be worried that the day I took the time loop for granted was also the day it ended…

4 Likes

You’re probably right. But then again, if it did continue for years, I guess it would start to not matter. Life would start to feel more or less futile and pointless anyway, if none of your actions had any consequences, if there never was any change or progress.
Anyway, looking forward to see what direction the book takes.

3 Likes

I finished the first story. Thoughts:

This felt too charming and thoughtful to be horror, so my edition calling itself ‘ホラー’ is a bit funny. It was mildly creepy at times, and definitely uncomfortable a few (犬飼 beating his wife to a pulp…10+ times), but it was never really horror to me.
Overall I enjoyed it. The little hints that 隆一 was into 藍 (I hope that’s the right kanji, too lazy to check), 犬飼 starting to say ‘can you just hold my arm a bit longer’ and stopping. Just a general feeling of unfinished business when they had all the time in the world.

I look forward to the other stories, but hope they’re shorter because waiting til I finish a story to discuss kills me but taking too long to read and not being able to catch up is also horrible :joy:

side note: whenever I see the name 犬飼 I think of this actor (犬飼貴丈) from 押井刑事

hidden cause pic is large

4 Likes

When I read this book, it took me embarrassingly long to realize that he isn’t a dogfood vendor…

6 Likes

Wouldn’t it translate to “dogkeeper”? Cool name, either way. Does it come in other animals as well? 猫飼?牛飼? 狐飼? Wait, yomichan tells me 牛飼 exists! Not as a name though…

But surely you can discuss halfway? Just state clearly where you are so only people who’ve read that far click on your spoilers. For example, I’m now reading chapter 3 and I’m dying to ask something, but I’d better wait until I at least finish the chapter, since it may very well be explained in the next couple of sentences. For the curious: How on earth is it possible for everyone to have repeated the same day a different number of times? Surely time was linear for them before the loop started? And since no one seems to be in caveman or medieval clothing, I’m guessing they all entered the loop in the same year? So how come some have relived the day hundreds of times, and some only dozens? Yeah, I’m sure it will be explained…

4 Likes

‘Can’ and ‘Want to’ are different things. It’s just not satisfying for me to do so. :sweat_smile:

4 Likes

I wouldn’t count my answer as a big spoiler. More a discussion of what kind of story it is. But YMMV so only open if you are not super sensitive to spoilers:

Sadly no. Your theory is as good as the replayers. Don’t expect a story that will explain everything that is happening with this one.

3 Likes

My impressions so far [now somewhere in Chapter 4:]
I quite like the author’s writing style. It’s not spectacular, but somehow clear and straightforward and easy to read, and rich enough and not boring to read at the same time. I had that impression already with Night Market, and it got reinforced here. Very good author for beginner readers, I think.
The story itself is great! Especially how things get revealed bit by bit through her experiments, like what happens when she stays outside overnight. My very first thought was “well she will run out of money at some point” and then “what if something happens to her body, like injuries or change of weight”, and just when I arrived there it became clear that everything (including her body, but not her mind/brain/…?) will reset overnight. (I hadn’t thought about what happens if she died one day, that would be another very spooky thing).

I thought it was so smart how the other replayer found her: because she did something differently from the day before. And he did as well, so she also got a hunch straight away. Also interesting to observe this little community of replayers. So funny when she reflected about her social position and giving it up, and the opportunities that opened up.

The disappearing people are scary. I wonder what’s behind that? And what is behind this White Earl?

FWIW, they are all roughly the same length.

… Flying Witch :blush:

Please enjoy all the names (that Jisho knows ^^) that end in 飼: *飼 #name - Jisho.org
Not all of them are related to animals, but at least some are.

Are you asking about the logic of a fictional story? :rofl:

No, you’re totally right. Assuming they all started in the same year (because otherwise they wouldn’t be able to meet) and assuming that for everybody one day is of equal length, they must have done the same number of repetitions, or else it doesn’t line up.

What I found even more confusing (but it’s only in Chapter 4 which I’m halfway through): The lady who drinks all day suddenly disappears, and somebody says that it’s because she crossed the line into Nov 8th. But that doesn’t make sense, as all the non-replayer people also cross the line into Nov 8th, but they exist on Nov 7th nonetheless. And that would be true for that lady as well. She would probably become a non-replayer just like the others and every day she would do the exact same things she did on her first iteration, just like almost everybody else.
So my take on this is that the person who spread the information of “the Gods called her” is a liar and is secretly plotting with the White Earl :scream:

3 Likes

One possible explanation is that everyone is stuck in a time loop; the replayers are just the ones who’ve become aware of it. And they didn’t become aware on the same iteration of the loop.

4 Likes

Ooh, thanks. I didn’t know I could search like this. And I love 亀飼.

Yes? There has to be some internal logic, surely, even in fantasy.

I like this! And it’s somehow scary. Imagine reliving the same day again and again and never realizing it.

Meanwhile I haven’t made much progress because I was stuck in this ここがわがってえがったなあ. Then found an answer upthread.

3 Likes

Yeah, that is a good one. I think she even thinks as much for herself. When she throws in the question (I think it was ch2 or 1) if the days before and after the 7th even truly existed or if it was all an elaborate ruse.

Okay, so, if she crossed the line to the 8th, she might be a “drone” on the 7th. The book doesn’t say it isn’t so. They don’t actually know what she would have done on a regular 7th day. They say they know where her house is, and they went to visit but

  1. They didn’t stay the whole day
  2. They left a letter which wouldn’t help them because after reading it she would go there the next day which they can’t reach, not even to mention I have no Idea if any of their actions would translate to something non-replayers could perceive.
  3. Maybe she wasn’t at home in the morning of the 7th and never came home during the whole non-looping day. So how would they even find her and confirm she is a drone?

So overall I think the theory of the old geezer is still possible ^^.

Keep reading XD.

3 Likes

There’s no need for replayers and non-replayers to follow the same rules :slight_smile:

3 Likes

I was more referring to the fact that most logic in fantasy/SF, especially around time travel and stuff, is more or less flawed because (a) most of the authors aren’t scientists and therefore are prone to mess up something (which often results in scenarios that I would consider illogical), and (b) the general consensus as of now is that time travel is impossible and therefore the authors need to bend or break some laws of physics which also makes the story illogical wrt the current belief of laws of nature. So yeah, while I agree that authors usually try to come up with an internal logic, it’s rather the norm that there are gaps in it, is my experience.

Philosophical question: Would you actually relive it if you don’t realize it? :thinking:

That would be a non-replayer? I haven’t come across that term yet.

Yep, these are good points. I actually wondered why they thought she’d be home, but maybe because she’s a housewife, that would be the most natural thing to assume? :woman_shrugging:

Oh you mean she could still be a replayer AND could cross into the next day? That’s a very good point, indeed. :thinking:

I think I need to continue reading asap, before my head slowly starts to explode :sweat_smile:

4 Likes

I just finished chapter 4.

Hmm, good point. The mechanics of this time loop or whatever it is are still very much unclear, like with the different number of repetitions. What I wondered about those disappearing is, does no one have people who would look for them? Even before they disappear, they stop doing their regular jobs or going to school and just gather at the park. Wouldn’t anyone’s family worry? Look for them, call the police? I realize it’s only one day, but surely for some of them even a few hours missing would be enough to alarm their loved ones?

An even better one than that tree that no one knows whether it makes a sound as it falls in that forest. :joy: I have no answer.

So, crazy thought: Are they dead? Did they all die on the 7th, and are now in limbo, or purgatory, or whatever equivalent the author has in mind, until it’s time for them to move on?

3 Likes

Finished the first story! The three stories are unrelated, right?

I enjoyed it a lot, but I’m very frustrated by the lack of answers and shaky internal logic. All the questions I had in the beginning I still have, all the theories I had in the beginning may still be true or not. Nothing is clear. I like an open-ended story a lot, but a few things still needed some sort of explanation, in my view, or at least a hint.

Exactly my thoughts on the previous book of his I read as well, and that one had even won a horror award. It seems Japanese horror is an entirely different beast. I guess there is some horror in contemplating the possibility of being stuck in a time loop for eternity. It’s just I read mystery fiction, or even regular fiction, that was much more horrific than that.

I loved how the whole time loop was after all a metaphor for life as we know it. At first Ai was lost and without purpose, going through the motions. But then she met people, liked some and disliked others, made friends, avoided the unpleasant ones, built a routine and relationships (although strangely there never was anything more intimate than fleeting handholding), explored and had fun. And what gave meaning to it all, what defined it and made it precious, was the knowledge that it would all end, that the white mysterious figure would come for every one of them at some point. Whether he would come for death, or for transferring them to tomorrow, or what, is irrelevant. It would still end the current life they had built, and that made it valuable, worth relishing every moment.

On the other hand, I still don’t understand how it’s all supposed to work. Is Nov 7 frozen for everyone, and some people realize it while others don’t? And some realize it later than others? Or is this a bubble of sorts where Nov 7 plays again and again, while the rest of the world carries on regardless? But that would mean that those who are mere “robots” in this bubble, are normal functioning people outside of it, in real time. So then how do some of them (or all, eventually?) suddenly realize they’re repeating the day? I still like my theory of them being dead and in some sort of purgatory, but then again, the distinction between dead people and “robots” should be clear from the beginning, you can’t add dead people to the same day after the fact. Or, maybe time isn’t linear, and all times are sort of happening all at once, and… Ok I’m stopping or my head will explode. :exploding_head:

3 Likes