Yeah, as soon as it started I was like “Oh boy, here we go again…”. I’ve also pre-learned some words which may hint to some themes in later chapters (which should probably not be a surprise)
I’m actually enjoying the boys chapters a bit more, since it’s more natural and doesn’t read like an interview with stiff language. I really feel no connection to anything/anyone what happened at the RICE BOWL HILL. (yet)
We get the next part of the story from the local doctor. He gets called as soon as the teacher reaches the school. The doctor, the teacher and some other folks pick up some bikes and rush to the place where the kids are in the forest. The doctor examines them: the unconscious kids had their eyes open, pupils unresponsive to light, but their eyes move from left to right as if watching something we can’t see. Some kids are starting to regain consciousness on their own. They are confused and don’t remember what happened but seem otherwise healthy. Eventually they all regain consciousness except one, who the adults carry back to the school. The doctor examines the kids some more and monitors them for a few days but they are as healthy and normal as can be. He has the mushroom checked by an expert and they are not toxic. There’s the theory that it might be some kind of new American weapon but it would make no sense for them to drop a bomb in the middle of nowhere like that. Plus the doctor didn’t notice any weird smell or anything onsite. The one kid who didn’t wake up is sent to a military hospital.
Yes, I‘d say Murakami is quite famous for throwing in random sex scenes or flashbacks of characters‘ past sexual encounters. I’ve had several Japanese people tell me that the vulgarity of these scenes is one of the reasons they don’t enjoy his works much.
These chapters were okay but certainly flew by, felt like we just got a little snippet more of each story. Quite looking forward to reading a slightly longer section next week to hopefully ‘get into’ the story a bit more as it all still feels very introductory just now.
Chapter 3 I thought was fine, I also had a bit of an eye-roll at some of the murikami-ness. Chapter 4 feels like we still haven’t got to whoever the actual protagonist of this story is going to be (maybe the boy Nakata?). I had originally thought it was the teacher but seems like she was just there for the interview. Difficulty-wise, I haven’t come across anything yet as tricky as the first few pages of chapter 2, both of these chapters were much easier going which is a relief
Two more chapters down! Certainly interesting in various ways haha. I’m more and more curious about the stuff with rice bowl hill, mysterious I hope Nakata is okay I’m sure he’ll come up again, I wonder why he had such a different experience than the rest of the kids. My most crackpot theory is that it’s connected to カラスと呼ばれる少年 somehow but don’t ask me to explicate on that because I absolute cannot, it is instinct only
I’m very curious to see how/when these things come together! I don’t remember, did we ever get a specific year for when the boy’s chapters are happening? I wonder how it matches up temporally Also we definitely don’t have any kind of name for him yet right? No way that’s a coincidence, I wonder how that’ll end up relevant
Yeah, I mean, I tried to describe that in the nomination as a negative point, and that was not meant to be a joke… Sorry that it feels uncomfortable to you!
Yeah, that’s what I actually appreciate quite a lot. It feels like his descriptions are very matter-of-fact, without any pink fluff and the like. That bit resonates very well with me. (The weird scenes that he sometimes features, on the other hand, … )
Oh, I don’t think I even saw the nomination. iirc I just saw the home thread for this book and recognized it as one I’d vaguely been interested in and decided now was as good a time as any to try reading it. I didn’t actually know anything about Murakami aside from his name and that he was a popular author
Finished as well! I did not have access to the book for a few days so I could only sit there and wait while staring at your spoilered messages
really appreciate y’all using them btw
That was my immediate thought as well! There must be a connection, I’m also sure about that.
I was also surprised that the chapter contained an interview with a different person instead of another interview with the teacher. But I liked the doctor’s way of talking even better, I guess.
Also, I’m currently studying for N2, and I find it hilarious that this book somehow seems to use random N2 grammar points in every other sentence Couldn’t have wished for a better way of reviewing the grammar last-minute.
Finally finished this week’s reading and I thought the same thing! (along with @NicoleRauch )
I also wasn’t that bothered by the Murakami Scene . It reminded me a lot of art house style films I watch where it’s suddenly deeply sexual for Symbolism . I’ve also read things much more explicit in other books But I can absolutely see how it would make people uncomfortable, especially if they didn’t know that’s what they were walking into.
Finally finished the second week’s reading - one day late, as always I found myself reading the 3rd chapter with much more ease than the 4th one due to the greater number of short sentences in the dialogues. I also found that the amount of times certain words are repeated in each chapter does wonders to my retention of readings and meanings.
As for the individual chapter impressions:
Won’t lie, I was unpleasantly surprised by the Murakami scene at the end of chapter three - although it is surprisingly tame in comparison to other Murakami scenes. It’s not about them being explicit, but about the way he decides to describe them. He gives off such a strong ‘men writing women’ energy, and it makes for an uncomfortable read every time
Chapter 4 was interesting, but I definitely liked the teacher’s account of the event more.
I don’t know if I would equate the characters he writes to his own character necessarily. Although I’m not saying it’s not possible there could be some truth to it. Considering the perspective of the character, to me it mostly just felt like the normal thoughts of a horny 15 year old boy . Albeit cringy no doubt.
The only thing I feel comfortable equating to his own character is a thing for ears It comes up in so many of his books during these the multitude of Murakami™ scenes (which never seem to happen for a guy’s body…which may also say something about the author.)