on 6 April 2014
After reading "The Gangster and the Samurai", I was so impressed with this author that I bought "Pity the Living" straight away. "Pity the Living" is about a young man named Masami, whose job as an IT expert in a company full of women and whose living arrangements with his dementia-suffering mother are slowly sapping his will to live, leading him to consider a trip to Aokigahara (Suicide Forest). Fortunately for Masami, his long-time crush from high school is desperate for a summer job. Placing his death on hold, Masami offers a vacancy at work to Toshita and hopes to win the man over somehow, instead of just stalking him.
The premise for the story is good and you feel for the meek protagonist trying his best to seem cool. However, it's difficult to tell how the rest will pan out as you only get one chapter in this e-book instalment. I think on the author's blog it says this story will be published in ten-chapter instalments of 5,000 words, which I'm not really sure I'm happy to purchase. I've already read "The Gangster and the Samurai" - her most accomplished work, in my opinion - so to have it showcased alongside her other novels in very short excerpts doesn't really justify her publishing format. If the author has already finished this story, then she should publish it in full like she did "The Gangster and the Samurai". She's a strong writer (ignoring the occasional typos and odd punctuation, which I've kindly highlighted through the "Report Content Error" function) and she works with a great artist, so I don't see the point in delaying the other chapters.
Of course, from a marketing perspective, it's the perfect way to bulk up the profits and make it seem like the author is terribly prolific, but the approach here is too obvious and affects my appreciation of what the story is trying to do. Yes, I want to read more (I've purchased the second chapter), but if the author's going to charge me £2 a time instead of something like £6 for the whole novel (like she's doing with her series "Big Deal"), then I'm not too happy to support her.
Would I recommend "Pity the Living", though? Well, yes. I genuinely would. But you'll have to buy the chapters one at a time, it seems. So, for that reason, you might find it difficult to rate your experience higher than 3 stars