Customer Review

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The loneliness of passing time, 25 April 2008
This review is from: Hardboiled/Hard Luck (Paperback)
Banana Yoshimoto requires a certain mood. It's almost like reading poetry. On the surface it's naked and painfully mundane - but there's always some kind of parallel reality, something magic in her stories.

This book contains two novellas. The first one is about a woman who is out walking, checks in at a weird hotel and reminisces about her female friend and lover who died a year ago. The second one is about a woman and her relationship to her sister who is in coma. About the sadness and beauty that surrounds you when a close one dies.

Both stories have young female narratives and they are quite similar, living in the shadow of another woman whom they admire. At the same time they are trying to come to terms with their own identity and path in life. Lines like "when I see too many ordinary people, I start thinking that I'm strange, and that makes me uneasy" is typical of Yoshimoto's naïve, but totally believable style.

Another favourite passage is:

"The loneliness of passing time. The loneliness of the fork in the road.
`I wonder why we feel so lonely? It's odd, isn't it?'
We kept repeating such phrases, as if it were someone else's problem."

Loss is a topic in many of Yoshimoto's stories. The reason I don't give this book 5 stars is that I know that she could've written with even more pain and beauty. In the second story I would've expected a bit more from the ending.
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4.0 out of 5 stars (3 customer reviews)
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Location: Brighton, England

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