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In The Miso Soup (Anglais) Relié – 7 février 2005


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Revue de presse

"A writer with talent to burn . . . Fellini and Günter Grass, David Bowie and Dostoevski, García Márquez and Mike Leigh’s Naked all come to mind." —Gary Indiana, author of Rent Boy

"A blistering portrait of contemporary Japan . . . one of the most savage thrillers since The Silence of the Lambs." —Kirkus Reviews

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Présentation de l'éditeur

From postmodern Renaissance man Ryu Murakami, master of the psychothriller and director of Tokyo Decadence, comes this hair-raising roller-coaster ride through the nefarious neon-lit world of Tokyo’s sex industry. In the Miso Soup tells of Frank, an overweight American tourist who has hired Kenji to take him on a guided tour of Tokyo’s sleazy nightlife. But Frank’s behavior is so strange that Kenji begins to entertain a horrible suspicion—that his new client is in fact the serial killer currently terrorizing the city. It is not until later, however, that Kenji learns exactly how much he has to fear and how irrevocably his encounter with this great white whale of an American will change his life. --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .


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Amazon.com: 52 commentaires
14 internautes sur 15 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Anxiety 29 octobre 2004
Par Henry Platte - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
Ryu Murakami has never written about violence, but about the causes of violence - and not direct, ordinary causes, but the underlying psychological tensions in human beings which lead to violence. The psycopath in the novel, Frank, describes violent tendencies in children as the product of anxiety, an attempt to prove that the world will not collapse when some horrible act is perpetrated. 'Anxiety' is certainly a good term to describe the book, or any of Murakami's - every scene vibrates with an eerie strangeness, and human relations take unexpected turns. In the end, the product is somewhat mystifying, but provides a good read and ample food for thought. What it does best is pair images of extreme innocence and extreme violence, produce alternate reactions of sympathy and disgust, and force a reader to suspend all kinds of belief and judgement until the page-turner narrative is over. Still, what it isn't is a thriller, a character study, or a book with any clear message. The character of Frank could be taken to represent many things - the destructive effect of confused intentions on an insular culture, or a human loneliness common to both this American and the Japanese protagonist, or any misfit lashing out against a restrictive society. In any case, it's one of the most fascinating contemporary novels I've discovered.
26 internautes sur 31 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Cultural Differences? 2 août 2004
Par Made in DNA - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
I think that too many reviewers are expecting this book to be too much like American novels, and this is where the above reviewers are mistaken. Fans of Murakami or not, the above reviews take in none of the fact that Murakami is NOT American. This is a short 180-novella by a master of his art. Having lived in Japan for the past 7 years (and still living here), I can without a doubt in my mind say, that this book is dead on in its characterization of both American and Japanese characters, its vivid scenery, its execution, and its portrayal of the Japanese society at this current point in time. And why shouldn't it be? It was written by a Japanese author who is in the midst of it. If you are expecting Steven King, move on. If you are expecting Hollywood, move on. If you are expecting something to make the hair on the back of your neck stand up, read! This book is as realistic as it gets. After all... what would you do if you were confronted with a serial killer? Go to the police? Are you sure?
11 internautes sur 13 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
"Cutting" social commentary 1 septembre 2006
Par C. E. Stevens - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
With all of the sex and violence in In the Miso Soup, it would be easy to miss or dismiss Murakami's central purpose in writing this book - to highlight the severe problems and harshly criticize modern Japanese society. America lies within Murakami's cross-hairs as well, but Frank's function is as much to personify America's problems as it is to serve as the "outsider's eye" on Japan's issues.

Much like Coin Locker Babies, In the Miso Soup builds up to a single act of violence, and allows the reader to draw his conclusions from the aftermath. Like most other Murakami stories, violence is both destructive and cathartic, and it is in the scene at the club that the reader fully comprehends Murakami's message. Japan, like Kenji, is empty, lost, materialistic, detached, and passively voyeuristic. America, like Frank, is brutal, naive, judgmental, and schizophrenic. Both have a mutual attraction toward the other as Kenji has always wanted to go to America, and Frank is happy to finally be "in the miso soup". Both have a mutual distaste and distrust for the other as well. There is a fundamental gap between the two as well, one that surpasses language and culture, rooted perhaps in the fact that both cultures are both paradoxically fearful and ambivalent toward strangers and outsiders. It is only after the act of violence that both achieve a kind of understanding and peace, and seek the ideal that is represented by the New Year's bells.

In the Miso Soup is full of the annoying blanket statements and conclusions along the lines of "We Japanese are like this" "You foreigners/Americans are like this" that will probably vex most readers (and especially those of us who lived in Japan and confronted these superficial stereotypes daily) but the points Murakami makes are well taken. Agree with them or not, Murakami has created a chilling parable where he lays bare his thoughts on the pressing social problems of Japan and the US. Whether one looks upon Frank as a mere "virus" or an agent of change also depends on the reader's viewpoint. The scenes of violence will offend many (if not most) readers, but it is my hope that people can and will read past the violence and sex to see the social commentary that lies at the core of Murakami's story.

Frank asks Kenji, "Did that scare you?" but the question stands for the reader as well. If your answer is yes, then Murakami's mission has been accomplished.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
"The ghosts of sad, cheap souls live on in sad, cheap furniture." 31 mai 2010
Par Craobh Rua - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Ryu Murakami was born in Nagasaki in 1952. His first book, "Almost Transparent Blue" was first published in 1976 and won that year's Akutagawa Prize. "In the Miso Soup" - his eleventh book - was first published in 1997, with the English translation following in 2003.

The story is told by Kenji, a twenty year old nightlife guide based in Tokyo. He specialises in guiding foreigner tourists around the city's sex districts - which wouldn't have pleased his mother too much as she thought he was enrolled on a college preparation course. However, he earns a decent living and hopes - one day - to earn his passage to America. "In the Miso Soup" sees Kenji looking back to the previous December, when he was hired for three days by an overweight American called Frank.

Right from the moment they met, Kenji thought there was something odd about Frank. His initial story about being in Japan on Tokyo is full of holes, and - as time goes on - Kenji's becomes more and more suspicious. (There's no one major lie that rings an alarm bell - it's more a steady stream of little lies that gradually start to add up...Frank mentions two older sisters at one point, but later claims there'd only been boys his family. He also tells Kenji he's a massive baseball fan, but doesn't even know how to hold a bat). More than that, there's something not quite right about how Frank's looks - and it's more than just the extra weight or dressing sloppily. After being ignored by a tout, there's a very worrying change in his expression - even "his eyes lost any recognisable human quality." His wrists are heavily scarred, his skin looks slightly "off" - like it's almost artificial - and, for some reason, he doesn't seem to notice the cold. Frank's weirdness rattles Kenji to the point that he believes the rotund American could actually be responsible for a couple of recent murders...

Despite the one gruesome scene, I'd have described "In the Miso Soup" as more of a puzzle than a mystery / thriller. Somehow, there was something a little unconvincing about Frank and I wasn't left entirely convinced by the book's ending. Having said that, it was an easily read book overall with some nice writing - and it was an awful lot better than some other big sellers I've read. I'd certainly be willing to try a few more by Murakami based on this.
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Riveting but taxing if you want it to be. 8 janvier 2010
Par Farhana - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
I borrowed "In the Miso Soup" from the library because I was under the Haruki Murakami spell and mistakenly thought this was one of his books. Only later did I realize the author of the book is Ryu Hurakami - another Japanese novelist. Wikipedia further revealed that Ryu Hurakami is also known as Maradona of Japanese literature so I decided to read the book anyway.

Unlike other books In the Miso Soup does not give you a chapter wise overview of what to expect. Instead the book is divided into three parts. The first part is an introduction of sorts, introduction of the American tourist Frank who is visiting Japan for a few days before New Year because he is fascinated by the sex industry Kenji, who is hired by Frank to show him the sleazy nightlife. Lastly, introduction to the initial skepticism of Frank that Kenji begins to build.

The second part unravels the character of Frank, whose inquisitive humorous self begins to transform into an incredulous being. This was where I started interacting with the story- by giving my own imagination to the characters. Was Kenji's growing skepticism justified? Was Frank as infernal as Kenji thought he was? These were some of the question which kept me interested in the story line. The author lets the indecisiveness guide the reader to the end of the story. However be warned that there are various instances where the violence can get gory.

The third part of the story delves into the psychology of behavior and was to me a bit incomprehensible. Given that the author beautifully manages to convey the most convoluted situations with ease it was taxing to decipher the metaphors towards the end.

I reading the book and with 180 pages it was a quick read. If the characterization does not interest you read it just to satisfy the exploration streak.
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