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Bedtime Eyes [Hardcover]

Amy Yamada
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

April 2006
Amy Yamada is one of the most prominent and controversial novelists in Japan today. She burst onto the scene in 1985 with her short novel "Bedtime Eyes," which for critics embodied the spirit of the "shinjinru" - i.e. Generation X - in much the same way that "Less Than Zero", "Bright Lights", "Big City", and "Douglas Coupland" did in the U.S. "Bedtime Eyes" is the 1st English language publication of three of Yamada's novellas/short novels: "Bedtime Eyes," "The Piano Player's Fingers" and "Jesse." While all are centred around the relationship between a Japanese woman and a black American man, each explores love, sex, and the vast gulf between their different and equally revealing viewpoints. Starkly imagined and sharply observed, "Bedtime Eyes" introduces to the English language some of Yamada's best known and most influential work.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: St Martin's Press (April 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312352263
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312352264
  • Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 14.7 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,171,438 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Amy Yamada is the winner of the Naoki Prize, Japan's equivalent of the Pulitzer, and for BEDTIME EYES, the prestigious Bungei Prize.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We had a BLAST! 17 May 2006
Format:Hardcover
"Leroy must have been thirsty. He lapped at me like a dog, slurping at my skin deliciously, flicking the tip of his tongue over my electrified body, gorging himself on every last drop of the sweet, sticky liquid that covered me."

Whilst they may not be everybody's cup of tea, we had a blast translating these novels.

If I had a criticism, it would be that the characters could have been given a little more depth, but Amy Yamada doesn't mince words and she's more interested in what drives her characters' destructive relationships than in delving into what makes the individual characters tick.

I hope you enjoy reading these books as much as we enjoyed working on them.
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Amazon.com: 3.2 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A Pessimistic Book... 1 Jun 2010
By Joel B. Kirk - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The author Amy Yamada is married an American man (of African descent) in real life. However, in regards to the novel 'Bedtime Eyes,' I think that is where life imitating art ends.

None of the characters in the book have any redeemable qualities. They hurt one another, either verbally or physically, and sometimes get pleasure from doing such. I actually stopped while reading the second story 'The Piano Player's Fingers'...as the book was just too much of a downer.

I understand that there was a 1987 Japanese film made from the first story, which shares the title of the book; however, judging from the story I read, and the rating on IMDB (Internet Movie Database), I don't think it would be something worth seeing.

It would have been interesting if we saw different couples with varying circumstances; but, as aforementioned, we get the same type of dysfunctional characters in each of the stories. Furthermore, I don't get what Amy Yamada is trying to say in her stories. (Although, one could say there is a certain rape fantasy, and/or a fetishism for black males in the stories--and that's about it).

I can't recommend this book: No point to the stories, and no characters I cared about. Still, I am going to attempt a reading of Yamada's 'Trash,' however, judging from the reviews on Amazon, I don't think it would be much of an improvement on 'Bedtime Eyes.'
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We had a BLAST! 15 May 2006
By Marc Jardine - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
"Leroy must have been thirsty. He lapped at me like a dog, slurping at my skin deliciously, flicking the tip of his tongue over my electrified body, gorging himself on every last drop of the sweet, sticky liquid that covered me."

Amy Yamada doesn't mince her words and she isn't afraid to delve into the seedier side of life: a world of drugs, sex, violence and prostitution. So whilst I have to admit that they may not be everybody's cup of tea, we had a blast translating the three short novels which make up this single volume in the English.

But you have to put her work into context to understand just how ground-breaking Bedtime Eyes was when it was first published in Japan 25 years ago. These days we see a lot of sex and violence in literature, at the cinema and on TV, so with our modern perspective these stories may not have quite the same impact now that they had then. But it is important to consider that Amy Yamada was the ONLY female writer in Japan in the 1980s who dared to write this sort of material: she was a pioneer who wasn't afraid to tackle taboos head-on, whose dramatic debut spawned a whole host of "liberated" female writers and who blazed the trail for some of the more recent "controversial", prize-winning female authors such as Yu Miri ("Family Cinema", "Gold Rush"), Wataya Lisa ("The Back I Want To Kick") and Kanehara Hitomi ("Snakes & Earrings").

If I had any criticism at all, it would be that the characters could have been given a little more depth -- difficult, admittedly, given the length of the stories -- but Amy Yamada is more interested in what drives her characters' destructive relationships than in delving into what makes the individual characters tick.

I really hope you enjoy reading this book every bit as much as we enjoyed translating it. The images are powerful and strong... not always pretty of course, but they will stay with you for a long time: you certainly won't look at a piano the same way again.
3.0 out of 5 stars Why? 29 Nov 2012
By Kong Tzu - Published on Amazon.com
I rented the book form the library and thought it would be discussing relations between African Americans and Japanese women in Japan. The 1st story, I did not like Spoon abusing Kim because I find abusing a woman is the worst crime a man can do against a woman. I also felt the author did not explain why Spoon and Kim had an abusive relationship. Heck, she did not explain why Kim liked the abuse. Maybe because she was in love with him. In the end I felt very sad for Kim because she lost the man she loved. Even through he was sometimes abusive, she still loved him. When he left she realized that life goes on without him. But the memories of them together will always be in her mind and heart. I was hoping to see Spoon come back as a better man and treat her better than he did previously. Nope did not get that.

The 2nd story I truly hated because Ruiko thought she was this dominatrix who would get pleasure from using men. Not to give it all away, but I hated the 2nd story because of how much of a rapist Leroy became in the end. As a Black man, LeRoy isn't the type of man to be around. He abused her because he wanted vengeance for her using him for sex and treated him as a sex slave doll.

I am still on the 3rd story and I am liking the way it is turning out. Nothing bizarre as the first two and a lot of individuals could relate to the 3rd story. For recommendations, I personally wouldn't recommend it for Blasian couples because it doesn't have struggles, no character development, and nothing but sex. I am in a relationship with a Taiwanese female. She never act like those women in the book. She's the complete opposite
5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Some sick folk in these texts! 28 Sep 2006
By Japanese in US - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
All, (and I really tried), of her books are almost on the verge of severe pathology. I know that inter-race-relationships are hard and sometimes mixed with other poor values, morals, and psychopathic people, they can be even very difficult. How can you enjoy these books ? I feel sorry for the way the Japanese woman characters are played out in her writings. They are made out to be promiscuious, ill-witted, and attracted to low-lifes. For the younger aged due to shock value.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible 12 Jan 2007
By E. Lim - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I absolutely loved this book. Yamada has always weaved such facinating and emotionally intense stories about her characters. The way she writes about relationships in general is an interesting take on love, urban life and the young generation. She dosen't mince words or hides emotions and that makes her work all the more personal and great to read. It's rawness pulled me in and Bedtime Eyes was a great follow-up to the American release of Trash. I sincerely hope more of her books will be translated for the American public.
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