Friday, November 24, 2006

Book #46 - In the Miso Soup

by Ryu Murakami

Translated from the Japanese by Ralph McCarthy
It's just before New Year.
Frank, an overweight American tourist, has hired Kenji to take him on a guided tour of Tokyo's nightlife on three successive evenings. But Frank's behaviour is so strange that Kenji begins to entertain a horrible suspicion: that his client may be in fact the killer currently terrorising the city...
In the Miso Soup reminded me of Out, with its violence and social commentary on urban loneliness, rampant consumerism, and moral corruption in modern-day Japan. What made it memorable, like Out, was that it went beyond the violence, and into the psychological aspect of what made the characters do what they did, and on the flip side, what they didn't do. A dark and unnerving tale, yet a compelling read with a great element of suspense- I was never sure what would happen next. This was my first time to read anything by Ryu Murakami but I'm curious now to try more.

My Rating: 3.5/5

(Interview with The Daily Yomiuri)


  1. Sounds interesting. Urban isolation is an interesting theme.

  2. Hmm, I passed up on this one at the library a couple of weeks ago but now I want it. I'll add it to my TBR list.

  3. I've lived in a couple of major cities now, and it's something I can definitely relate to- being surrounded by strangers. Seems like the smaller the city, the more people you know.

    Iliana, it's a pretty slim book so not too big an investment of time. I'm curious what you'd think of it.

  4. Thanks for the review! I've been wanting to read one of his novels for a while now but wasn't quite sure what I was getting into. This one's going on my TBR list.

  5. Sara, I didn't know what it would be like either. I'd always heard his books were quite violent. I'm curious what you'll make of it.


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