Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Book #35 - Strangers

by Taichi Yamada

Translated from the Japanese by
Wayne P. Lammers

1st book finished for the R.I.P Autumn Challenge

My Rating: 2.5/5

A ghost story that unfortunately really didn't do much for me. With a "highly recommended" from David Mitchell on the front cover, I guess I expected more (too much?) from this story. A slim book, it was a quick read, but compared to Out, the writing here feels somewhat awkward so perhaps the mystical, spooky element I was hoping for is lost in translation.


  1. That's a very good possibility - could just be the atmosphere was lost in the translation.

    Have to tell you a translation story, since you mentioned that. When I was in high school, I plopped down in the hallway beside a guy whose family was originally from Spain and who was, naturally, bilingual - I'd known him since elementary school - and asked him what he was reading. His response was to read aloud to me from the Spanish poetry book he was reading. I asked him, "What's it mean?" and he said, "Well, it's about a horse but it's absolutely breathtaking in Spanish and there just isn't any way I could share the beauty of it with you in English."

    That was a really illuminating moment for me. Wish I knew what became of that guy.

  2. That's a cool story, and so true. The little Japanese I do know, and from teaching, I know there are plenty of Japanese words and phrases that just don't translate well into English, as with any language really. It would be so cool to read the originals but that would mean getting my unmotivated butt in gear and actually studying seriously.

  3. Sorry it didn't meet your is always very disappointing when something like that happens with a book one is reading. I hope the next one on your challenge list is a better experience for you.

  4. Thanks Carl. I've already finished the next book for the challenge and will be posting on it soon- and yes it was better. :)

  5. Oh, I liked this one! I rated it 4.5/5.

  6. 3M- It could very well have been a timing thing for me. But somehow it just never really grabbed me at the time.


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