Posts Tagged ‘Banana Yoshimoto’

29.5: The Lake

by Banana Yoshimoto

ooh so many things to say, where to start?

No quotes either, i never know how to quote her books, it’s very..flow…? so if you take a chunk out of it, the whole feel that you were suppose to get from that passage is completely lost.

maybe it’s because i’ve been reading too much of her stuff lately so i’m saturated in that..state of mind but this is by far, the weakest one yet.

let’s start off with format: it’s one giant chapter, YES! there’s no breathing space. I don’t like that. I like to breathe, I like chapters I like parts, I like blank pages that indicate that this is an end and an beginning. As much as I understand her point of view of doing it like this but it was extremely contrived.

also, i feel like she’s writing these books out of a formula now.

i read an article a few days ago callled how to write a book in 3 days. And you know it, it’s a freaking formula. You get your characters, you get your weapons, you get your bad guys and you get your dilemma.

I know she’s not one to publish extremely often but there is that sense that it’s kind of become a formula for her.

The first time I read her books was N.P. and it completely blew me away, there was that eeriness that i’ve never experienced before and i really though kafka on the shore was eerie. But it made me so optimistic in a way, it was so fresh, like..okay i get that this is some really sad stuff but that’s okay, you must believe. It really gave off that feeling, such a good feeling.

For me, there’s that incredibly romantic factor of soul mates in her books. That means the characters are off, they are strange, they are anti-social and they’ve all had some death and or extreme childhood/ family trauma. But yet, they find this other person and instead of being doubtful or suspicious they completely throw themselves in the middle of it. WOW! I’ve never read such a sincere beautiful recount of such an honest feeling, it even made me, who hates love, love it.

and it was a beautiful thing to witness. but this book, the characters were completely broken in their own way and they are more broken than ever, but this time, it felt so forced. i got no feeling from the narrator and instead i felt like she was constantly talking for the sake of talking…

there are are a lot of …self-doubt in her books from the narrator / protagonist, and there’s always a lot of, how do i continue to be with this person? and every other time i felt so much sincerity but this time it felt..forced and extremely contrived.

and even the big mystery at the end gave me a yawn since she’s used the same … “thing” once more in a previous novel. So I was disappointed.

and the whole lake thing, not enough detail, it was suppose to be hardcore awesome magical realism, i didn’t get any of it. i didn’t even realize that so and so was speaking out of so and so until i turned the page and really thought about it.



very disappointed

but the inside cover told me it was one of her most emotional work yet…


not saying that there weren’t good parts…but still, contrived..

Posted: June 26th, 2011
Categories: 52 weeks, BOOKS
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30.5: Good bye Tsugumi

by Banana Yoshimoto

it’s weird, if I didn’t find out about Banana Yoshimoto through that literary dictionary I would have anyway. A book came for me at the library and it’s Banana Yoshimoto’s newest book, the LAKE it’s suppose to be her darkest work yet.

anyways, it was on the recommended list.

I love it when the library book is so spanking new. I know quite a few people have had their hands on this book already but it still looks so new. Good job everything, good job at keeping nice things the way they should be.

Goodbye Tsugumi was nice, I always say that her books are faintly optimistic. Not at all in an annoying way, like when someone tells you to drink carrot juice because it’s good for you even though you hate it, not someone who tries to explain you the threat of heart disease on women. It’s not at all like that, faintly optimistic, so faint that you can barely see it, but you can feel it, some what anyway.

Tsugumi is the cousin of the narrator, and she’s beautiful but frail and sickly but no she’s not those annoying girls that you want to slap till they get well. No no, she’s spunky and she’s mean, she’s horrible and sarcastic. She’s amazing…

so the entire story basically talks about nothing but of Tsugumi, Maria (narrator) and Tsugumi’s sister; Yoko’s summer together alongside with this boy that they meet, Kyoichi.

A nice pleasant read, nothing too sad, it’s actually a lot less sad than kitchen and the other ones.. hmm

I haven’t been taking the time to record down the quotes, i’m sorry, i’ll try harder if i feel like it.

Posted: June 19th, 2011
Categories: 52 weeks, BOOKS
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31: Lizard

by Banana Yoshimoto

a collection of 6 short stories.

i keep trying to diagnose, well not diagnose, but dissect her writing.

It’s strangely optimistic in the worst of the conditions. That’s a weird feeling. You kind of know that it’s all gonna hit the fan but while it hasn’t, it’s alright….

I do feel sorry for most of her characters most of the time, but all of her characters make it eventually, and with a soul mate in tact.

nice, she writes a lot about lovers like that, she writes about them as if education/job/status doesn’t matter. Soul mates really exist in her novels.

interesting six little stories.

Posted: June 12th, 2011
Categories: 52 weeks, BOOKS
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32: Kitchen

by: Banana Yoshimoto

I feel bad doing another one of her books for this week but they are too easy to read! Seriously, 1.5 hours in a near-drowsy state and i’m done.

i am still reading Life of Pi on the side. No I don’t think it’s a difficult read but it’s what i’ve been reading at work these days.

I really can’t describe the state that her books put me in. For one thing, they’re hella sad. But the sadness is tinted with hope, hope for happiness. That’s really cheesy stuff and normally I scoff at it like nothing else.

People are constantly dying, but I realized for one reason or another, that writing about death is immensely easy. Perhaps people who are bad at facing death in real life choose to write about it instead.

I don’t even have any quotes for this week because that’s how fast I read it and I also was feeling sleepy and I chose her book to not be sleepy. The descriptions in her books are also beautiful; it’s really amazing because she points out very small details about nothing yet they conjure up enough of an image for the entire scene.

I also always really like her narrators, they are always living in a state of distress but the way they deal with things, often by not really reacting to it, is the most human reaction that i can possibly think of.

so much that this one part is too similar to something that i wrote and i’m freaking out lol

ah wells, i really did think of it on my own, funny how coincidences are.

anyways. sorry but also not sorry, try her stuff :D

Posted: June 5th, 2011
Categories: 52 weeks, BOOKS
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33: N.P.

by Banana Yoshimoto

It’s a strange occurrence that I came across her work, who is apparently quite famous.
I saw her name at the library, Banana? What?
That night that I looked for my books, I flipped through the Bedford’s dictionary of literary terms to the term Magical Realism (because hey, let’s get to know the real definition of the term that’s going to be applied to our work).

Anyways, she’s a Japanese writer who wrote ‘simply’ and was quite popular at the time.
I was suppose to read Life of Pi this week, but I only got through a little bit of it, this book that I just finished is very short and only took me two hours to read, maybe longer or shorter, I really wasn’t keeping track of time.

I don’t know how I became to like work like this, it’s not my genre to be honest.

But she really does write simply, and in my own vain attempts, i know how hard it is to write fluidly while keeping things simple and understandable, and keeping things colloquial, hey, that’s just talking! Yeah writing talk is hard…

There are a lot of very dark themes and it’s kind of like, huh…. and that kind of thing usually drives me away but everything and everyone was dealt with in such a ‘normal’ manner that it doesn’t seem dark or sad or frightening. The narrator’s surprisingly optimistic, she’s always talking about how she’s having a good day and even when she says she’s sad it’s so fleeting that you know it’s going to go away. I enjoyed the ending, because it was as plausible as it could have possibly been in a story as crazy as this.

If I were to compare her work with Murakami’s, I would say that it’s distinctively more feminine (she’s a woman duh) and simpler…..

if that made sense, i don’t know.

but im glad that i read it because it’s giving me some new insight.

i rewrote chapter 0 (of my novel, ha! I never like calling it like that, let’s call it something else, but what..) four times in the past two days, and I’m even thinking about rewriting the entire thing in first person but no, i’m not confident enough to write in first person yet although i always think it’ll be easier to write in first person, i don’t know why.

anyways, i think this was a good read for me, for many reasons.


only two…today

pg 60 She smiled peacefully. At last I realized that Sui had been as tense about our meeting as I was. A realization like that makes you feel that it’s okay to talk and spend time with someone, even if the first impression was bad. I decided to give in to her wishes.

pg 168 I’ve wanted to die for a long time. I really, truly wanted to. You probably think it ridiculous that I had difficulty choosing between marriage, romance, and death, because they all seemed about the same to me.

The library held her debut novel, Kitchen, i’m quite excited to read it.

I feel like i’m stealing sometimes, but i can only write after I read =_= ? I don’t know. I want to start taking it easy, I think I have been taking it easy but at the same time the possibility of what this “novel” is suppose to mean to me is starting to weigh heavy on my mind, i am thinking too much and not writing enough, i think about writing all the time yet i don’t do it as much as i could…

i dont know.

I really don’t read enough these days, but every time I read I think about what I’m writing and I am constantly comparing, and thinking about how my own is not sufficient and that i lack style, grammar skills, character, humor, everything.

it’s not good to live in a state in which you are constantly comparing yourself but I really can’t help it.

Posted: May 29th, 2011
Categories: 52 weeks, BOOKS
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