Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Real World, Quarter 1: Nina Hori & Yuzan

***Now with fewer spoilers!***

A lot of you lazy Larryville scenesters are really hurting for a copy of this month's PBR Book Club book, so tonight I did my booksharing due and cracked open Real World for a speed-reading session.

It's a weird little book so far. The thing I loved about Kirino's earlier, better-known book, Out, was the juxtaposition of sterile box-lunch factory ladies against surprisingly grisly yet homey dismemberment scenes. In Real World we have none of the gore, and are instead just getting to know a few chatty Japanese high school girls who are doing their best to navigate a sterile, detached "Real World" in which cold-blooded matricide warrants a "yeah, whatever." The whole thing so far is kind of an absurdist neo-Japanese The Stranger. The translation feels a little awkward and forced, but I find that it somehow helps if I imagine everything in Woody Allen's voice.

My favorite part so far: Toshi talking about all the stalkers and perverts who prey on nice girls for their mailing lists whenever they set foot near train stations and shopping malls. So true! Gentlemen of the PBR Book Club -- take note.

Most depressing quote: "The world laughs at losers."

Moving on to the "Worm" chapter next -- I hope he says lots of crazy existential stuff and starts talking about his 'cool,' 'incomprehensible' manifesto.


  1. Yeah, I was wondering how the translation effects the style. Perhaps we should all learn Japanese and read this in the original. Who's in?

  2. Things SUPER pick up in the Worm section of Chapter 3. Wasn't sure about the first 2 chs., but can now safely say this is like the best thing I've ever read.