Top positive review
3 people found this helpful
on 6 March 2014
This is the second novel by Shuichi Yoshida which has been translated into English, following his hugely successful literary thriller, “Villain.” Parade looks at the lives of several young people who share an apartment in Tokyo. There is twenty one year old student, Ryosuke Sugimoto, unemployed twenty three year old Kotomi Okochi, who spends her time waiting for her boyfriend to phone, twenty four year old Mirai Soma, who manages a store, longs to become a successful illustrator and drinks too much and the eldest, twenty eight year old Naoki Uhara, who works for an independent film distributor. This book examines their past, lives and dreams as they each tell their story.
The apartment block the four live in is meant to be for young married couples, so they are wary of complaining about apartment 402, which they suspect of being involved in illegal activity. As well as concerns about their neighbours, they are aware of violent attacks happening to women locally. Then they are joined by a young boy, eighteen year old Satoru Kokubo. Nobody at first seems sure who he is or who invited him to stay, but he is gradually accepted by “these-people-playing-at-being-friends.” Gradually, Satoru changes the delicate balance which has existed within these almost random group of housemates and his story intertwines with theirs. Why is such a young boy living on the streets and how does he earn his living?
Although there are undercurrents of a crime story, this is really more a portrait of a place and the people living there. These are all young people who live in the city of Tokyo, and who have been brought together almost by random events. It is about anonymity, friendship, family and alienation amongst young people. I found it an incredibly fascinating picture of Tokyo, especially the younger generation who exist on the margins of society and the fact that so many people, especially in cities, know so little about their neighbours or friends and have to accept them on face value. I am not sure it worked so well as a thriller, but as a literary novel it was extremely interesting, even if the ending was a little abrupt and I would certainly read more books by this author. Lastly, I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, for review.