December 2009

Wrong about Japan

This is one of those books that you will love or hate. And chances are, you're likely to dislike it if you are familiar with Japanese culture. Having said that, it certain warrants mentioning this for folks who share this author's feelings.

The book is a short one, describing a short exploratory mission taken by author Peter Carey and his son. As it happens, Carey's young son becomes a manga/anime fan and somehow father and son start bonding as the son becomes more set in his new interests. The book, Wrong About Japan, is Carey's attempts to understand what his son is into. To this effect, these two actual trek over to Japan and explore the world of manga and anime. The writer describes the cultural aspects using his own culture as a point of reference.

Hell by Yasutaka Tsutsui

If you like science fiction/fantasy stories, you might want to check out Hell by Yasutaka Tsutsui. Published in Japan in 2003, with its English translation making its way to us in 2007, this story tells a dark tale of a group of people living out their own personal versions of hell. In fact, one of the appeals of this novel is its depiction of hell which is vastly different from the one that we are used to.