I’ve read up to 1.4 so far and I really like the writing style.
I had a look at the translated sample on Amazon out of curiosity, and I was surprised to see there was some extra information there that I didn’t see in the Japanese version. The prologue for example is specified as “Transcript of a police interview with Hisako Aosawa. Interviewer: Detective T-. File: Aosawa Murders, City of K-, I- Prefecture.” whereas the Japanese version just starts with the questions and answers, no explanation. Similarly, chapter 1 is subtitled “A conversation with Makiko Saiga, the author, thirty years after the murders”. I wonder why these were added in the translation. I really like the vagueness of the Japanese version, where you read without any idea of what you’re reading about, and information is only gradually pieced together.
I’m up to 1.5 and agree - the drifting, unfocused writing style is fun. I wonder if the translator thought it was too vague for Western audiences? I have no idea why though, plenty of novels are written like this in English. Maybe the editor read it and called it too avant garde
I haven’t finished the chapter yet (and probably won’t have time to finish today) but I’ve also been trying to figure out the location! I’ll come back to read your spoiler later, but I’ll see if I can find out myself first
All done! I love the writing so far, and very much enjoy the very gradual revealing of information. I wonder how it goes on from here…
I did figure out the city on my own, with the help of a map, wikipedia and some googling. Funnily enough, one of the first things mentioned in the wikipedia article about it is the humid subtropical climate with hot, humid summers.
I just finished this weeks reading myself. I was curious of the famous case being referenced so I looked it up:
帝銀事件 for those interested. I haven’t had time to read it in full yet as I have other book clubs to catch up on, but it is, as the book mentioned, a post-war mass murder by poisoning.
Also I had to look up in English what autotoxemia was after seeing 自家中毒病. I’ve never heard of this before! Google tells me it is self-poisoning caused by absorption of toxic products originating within the body. which sounds absolutely horrible!