Week 10 (THE END): 虐殺器官 ☠🗡🫀 (Advanced Book Club)

Week 10

Start Date: April 13th
Previous Part: Week 9
Home Thread: 虐殺器官 :skull_and_crossbones::dagger::anatomical_heart:
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Week 10 April 13th end of book, p396 33

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I finished this much earlier in the week but I guess I should put down my thoughts now we have the thread. I think I more or less was OK with John Paul’s revealed motivation, and the way things turned out at the end of the last chapter fits well enough with the whole military downbeat atmosphere. On the other hand the protagonist’s actions in the epilogue seemed rather out of left field.

Overall I think I’d recommend the author’s other novel, ハーモニー | L38 over this one. (屍者の帝国 | L35?? I liked too but I think that other than the concept that was more 円城塔’s work.)

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I also finished way earlier so forgot to check the thread late last week.

Agreed on the feelings about the ending. In the final chapter before the epilogue I saw what would happen coming but I thought it was a good way to finish it off.

Adding less ambiguity about what happens next with the epilogue made me feel less fond of the ending. At least (before the epilogue) things made a decent amount of sense overall and I feel like there weren’t any major loose ends that I felt had to be addressed. I think it just ending with John Paul being shot so that he can’t testify his crimes and let the truth get out would have been a nice poignant ending. The epilogue might have been better if more time were dedicated to Clavis’ mental changes after this event, as then his actions might have seemed more understandable. But even in that case I think the end of Part 5 would still be a better end point.

I did appreciate the book from being different from what I usually read, and I enjoy a book that has a clear message. I am curious as to how impactful it might have been at the time: at the time of release the overall political climate was rather different (although I was too young to really know anything about geopolitics at the time, personally). I’m also familiar with how Western media treats the sorts of things that are themes in this book, but I’m wondering how the Japanese audience at the time reacted to the book as (presumably) they will be less aware of discussion around US foreign policy.

I am also interested in ハーモニー. I’m somewhat curious about 屍者の帝国 but have heard some people say that it doesn’t really live up to its potential or capitalize on what it introduces (which is understandable given the circumstances of the book’s writing).

Do you think that those two books are ‘easier reading’ than 虐殺器官? I definitely founds parts of this book a struggle to get through. Not even necessarily because I wasn’t engaged, just because the ideas and language were hard to digest if attempting to read at a faster pace.

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It’s been a while since I read either, but as I recall 屍者の帝国 had a bit more of an adventure story plot driven feel, so was more motivating to read. ハーモニー is more ideas driven, but didn’t I think have as bad a case of “I only want to read 10 pages at a time” as this book.

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