Monday, February 7, 2011

Audition - Book Review

Audition by Ryu Murakami was listed as a give-away on a few months ago.  I was intrigued by the story and entered to win a copy. It sat on my shelf for awhile but I grabbed the other day on my way out the door.

The novel begins as a romance. Aoyama's wife died seven years earlier and his teenage son suggests that his father finally start looking for another wife. During a conversation with his close friend, a film maker, about the difficulties of meeting the right kind of woman, they decide to stage an audition for a movie that will never be made. With thousands of applicants to go through, Aoyama fixates on one woman. He starts to date the stunningly beautiful Yamasaki Asami and falls madly in love with her.

Aoyama is so blinded by his love for Yamasaki Asami that he completely ignores his friends and his son's warnings that something about her doesn't seem right. And they're correct. Yamasaki Asami is not who and what she seems to be.

I was sucked in by this thriller. The story is so short and the ending so intense that I almost feel out of breath reading it. Besides the goose-bump raising story, I enjoyed the brief introduction to the culture of a Japanese city. The food at the various cafes Aoyama and Yamasaki Asami visit is described so well, that it made me hungry. Until the ending. Not hungry any more. Just saying.

There were a few moments when the language seems stunted and not quite right. It might be a problem with the translation from the original Japanese or possibly just a cultural difference.  There is also a graphic sex scene. It contributes to the story line but some may find it offensive.

This novel and the movie it spawned (I think I will skip it) were big hits in Japan and now it is available to scare the pants off the English speaking world.

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