Neutral rating for Coin Locker Babies by Ryu Murakami. Literature.
Um. Well. That was bizarre. In fact, that was the most bizarre book I’ve ever read, and I feel inadequate to the task of describing it to you. Let me just start with the fact that the author is in severe need of counseling (or perhaps it’s hopeless). Suffice it to say, if you are easily grossed out, you won’t make it past Paragraph #1. There is just about every imaginable type of grossness in here, be it in the manner of sex, injury, death, or insane obsessions re: the above. I am not, thankfully, easily grossed out, and so to me those passages seem very juvenile: it’s like the author’s thinking, “Oh, there’s been two pages of plot, time to pull out the squick gun.” I will however give him credit for the evocativeness of his writing, when squicky or not, and his limitless creativity (which unfortunately sometimes causes the events of the book to degenerate almost, but not completely, to the point of surreal randomness). It was the kind of book that I was engrossed in (no pun intended) while reading, but I had no urge to start reading again after having put it down. Little wonder it took me since last summer to finish it. Overall, it was time I feel could have been better spent elsewhere, though there are definitely people who would love it.
“At the time of their move into the condo, Anemone was seventeen years old, Gulliver three meters long. Anemone did some renovating in Gulliver’s new home, breaking down the walls between the rooms and adding a humidifier, with the heat turned up high all the time to simulate the crocodile’s birthplace, the delta of the Irrawaddy River in Burma. Future plans included a couple of dozen ultraviolet lights to be hung from the ceiling. Gulliver’s room she dubbed Uranus – “King of the Heavens” – a distant world where one year equals eighty-four, and where the atmosphere is so heavy that only low-lying lichens and ferns could survive, with only creeping animals like crocodiles to live among them. The Uranean wind sighed a long, low song as Anemone envisioned the tropical garden she would make in the apartment: a realm of brilliant colors, with the crocodile as lord and master and she herself as jungle goddess; the air choked with the fragrance of flowers and ripe fruit, and here and there coral reefs and pools of seaweed teeming with sea turtles, palm trees, and lite beer.”
If you enjoyed this post, please share it!