“Tokyo Ueno Station by Miri Yū
I love translated fiction. I especially read a lot of Asian translated fiction. Every country certainly has its own style. This Japanese story is an odd mix of ghost memoir, and history of an MRT station. Lots of Japanese fiction I seem to read has its own slow cadence, meandering plot and a fascination with death.
I used to think life was like a book: you turn the first page, and there’s the next, and as you go on turning page after page, eventually you reach the last one. But life is nothing like a story in a book. There may be words, and the pages may be numbered, but there is no plot. There may be an ending, but there is no end.
I was drawn to this book by the great cover art, and very interesting description of the book: "” A surreal, devastating story of a homeless ghost who haunts one of Tokyo’s busiest train stations."" A homeless ghost? Weird, but eh, why not?
The story jumps back and forth the the present, the ghost’s observations of people in the park, things he remembers from his past life, and his homeless life too. This novel is just very weird to describe, but I think this is a great novel for 2020. It makes you think about life, and death, and about the paths not taken. At the end of life, what will I have accomplished? All those sorts of emo-introspective musings that are usually explored in television shows we watch.
If you like quirky, and weird Japanese/Korean novels say like ones by Han Kang or Haruki Murakami, you probably will enjoy this. Don’t take the 3.65 star rating too seriously on GoodReads because I think people were just thrown off by the odd-ness of this novel, and how it jumps between time in a seamless manner.
Book #14 in my #ReadingChallenge2021 #BookReview #Fiction #MiriYū #JapaneseLit #TranslatedFiction #ghost #death",