Thumbs down for Kokoro by Natsume Soseki. Literature.
Sometimes you just can’t wait to finish a book so you can write a bad review of it. God, was this one of those books. In the first section, a dull and faintly irritating student chooses as his Sensei (teacher) a man who is patently without wisdom and thus unworthy of the role. In the second section, the unappealing student goes to visit his ignorant parents and displays that he, while looking down on their ignorance, is only slightly less ignorant himself. In the third second we hear (in letter form) the story of how Sensei changed from a stupid young man into a cowardly and misanthropic old man. The only point of tension throughout is the “reveal,” except for the fact that I guessed what it was going to be two hundred pages ahead of time – and I didn’t care on any of them. And this is a “classic”? Bleagghh. Don’t waste your time.
“‘Congratulations,’ Sensei said, and raised his sake cup to me. The gesture did not make me particularly happy, partly because, by then, I was not in such high spirits about having graduated, and partly because Sensei’s tone of voice did not seem to invite a merry response from me. True, he grinned at me when he raised his cup, and I did not detect any irony in his grin. But neither did it convey happiness for my success. His grin rather seemed to say, ‘It is, for some strange reason, considered proper to congratulate people on such occasions as this.'”
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