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I Haven't Dreamed of Flying for a While Paperback – 6 Mar 2008

4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Faber and Faber (6 Mar. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571234976
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571234974
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.7 x 21.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 669,689 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Book Description

Following in the vein of Strangers and In Search of a Distant Voice, this is a wonderfully strange and haunting urban ghost story.

About the Author

Taichi Yamada worked at the world-renowned Shochiku film studios until he set out on a highly successful career as a freelance scriptwriter and novelist. Winner of the Yamamoto Shugoro Prize for the best human-interest novel, Strangers is his English-language debut.


Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I thought Strangers was a really great novel so I was keen to read this. It's not as haunting, memorable and vivid as his previous work, but it was interesting enough.

Unfortunately, Yamada's concept of a life lived backwards has been somewhat overshadowed by the filming and subsequent popularisation of Scott Fitzgerald's Life of Benjamin Button, but nevertheless there are some thought-provoking moments here.

What is perhaps more curious to me is the rather uncomfortable Japanese stereotypes that are reinforced by Yamada's writing: The Japanese man as so obsessed and defined by his work that his life becomes unbalanced, the sexual lust and fetish towards younger girls; it's all a bit overstated, although I expect Western writing is also riddled with similar stereotypes.

Still a good read though.
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Format: Paperback
After an accident middle aged Taura meets Mutsuko whilst in hospital. Forced to share a room they find they have a lot in common but their first meeting is both brief and bitter-sweet. Mutsuko takes it upon herself to find Taura it transpires that she ageing backwards and what time they have together is fraught with danger, tragedy and heartbreak. Both are damaged souls, both are adrift from themselves and their self sufficient families, both need and love each other but this is a love story with a difference. Like "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" this book is about the fragility of human relationships and how people strive to hold on to what they have against all the odds. The ending is heart-breaking as Mutsuko leaves Taura, she now aged four years old, a child in body but with a woman's mind and the last we see of her is her tiny body disappearing among a sea of legs as she leaves for destinations unknown. A superb follow up to the book strangers.
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Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed STRANGERS, but have been disappointed by Taichi Yamada's subsequent books - IN SEARCH OF A DISTANT VOICE, and now this one.

The story follows a man who is pretty unhappy with this family and working life, and is simply treading water daily. He meets and becomes strongly attracted to a 67 year old woman, who he soon finds goes through regular transformations that each time make her appear physically younger.

One of my main complaints here is I felt that once the couple's relationship had been established, the narrative pretty much repeats itself several times over. The couple meet, the woman is another 10 years younger, they have a lot of sex, and then she disappears again.

As commented on in another review, things do become a little uncomfortable and slightly sleazy when the woman concerned reaches her early teens, and there is still an air of lust even when she reaches the age of 4 - although only hinted at, this was going slightly too far for my taste.

Worth a read, but I won't rush back to it.
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Format: Paperback
I fell in love with Yamada's style ever since I read Strangers, and I don't think I'll ever fall out of it. He has a certain warm melancholy in his tone: a late September sadness, which wraps itself around your heart and wrenches it long after you put the book down. In that way this story hasn't disappointed me; although I did care about Matsuko, the ever disappearing and reappearing love interest, a little more, than about the main character. The ending is beautifully written and, for me, plain cruel. I can't wait to read his next story.
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Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed Yamada's ghost story Strangers, so I was hoping this would be as good.
It is.
The two main characters are a bit damaged I would say, with the narrator being an exhausted businessman with a thankless homelife and 67 year old woman who decreases in her physical age throughout the story.
Both sleep with each other a lot, and this gets a bit uncomfortable when the woman reaches 17 and he is 48!
Dirty old sod!

The ending is heartbreaking, but you'll have to read it to know what I mean.

It's well-written, funny in places, and hardly flags at all.

Excellent
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