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Audition Paperback – 4 Jan 2010

3.8 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (4 Jan. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408800721
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408800720
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.3 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 211,788 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'The prose in these passages is elegiac and affecting, but it has the sharp, visceral feel of the butcher's knife or surgeons scalpel a highly compulsive, one-sitting read, and Audition should add to the Renaissance Man's growing fanbase in the English speaking world' Irvine Welsh, Guardian PRAISE FOR PIERCING 'There are echoes here of Edgar Allan Poe and Dostoevsky - Murakami shares their fascination with the darkest layer of the soul, and the appalling isolation of the criminal. Creepy and gripping' The Times 'The fame, or even notoriety, of Ryu Murakami lies in his ability to write tightly plotted, well-written tales of violence, seedy sex and horror combined with a vivid sense of the neon-slashed but oppressive atmosphere of the Tokyo street, all underpinned with a fashionable nihilism' Sunday Telegraph 'A haunting Japanese version of a David Lynch nightmare' Guardian

About the Author

Renaissance man for the modern age, Ryu Murakami has played drums for a rock group, made movies and hosted a TV talk show. His first novel, Almost Transparent Blue, written while he was still a student, was awarded Japan's most coveted literary prize and went on to sell over a million copies. He is also the author of In the Miso Soup and Piercing, both published in English by Bloomsbury. Ralph McCarthy is the translator of 69, In The Miso Soup and Piercing by Ryu Murakami and two collections of stories by Osamu Dazai.


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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
'Audition' is likely to be a pretty shocking book to someone not knowing what they are getting themselves into. It is a book of two parts - the first a wonderfully perceptive description of both the grieving process after the loss of a spouse and the difficulties of re-entering the dating world years later, and the second a dash of extreme violence in almost complete contrast to all that went before.

Aoyama - a middle aged, moderately successful widower (the protagonist) - gets prodded by his teenage son Shige to perhaps start looking for a wife again, seven years after his first wife died. He appears ready for the step but completely dumbfounded how to go about it - here his friend Yoshikawa helps with an unconventional but intriguing idea - the two will hold an audition for a female lead role in a fictional movie, giving Aoyama the possibility of quickly finding some likely candidates that would conform to his ideas of what a future wife should be. Just such a candidate is eventually found, leading to a protracted courtship and gentle progress towards marriage.

The book is written in a very richly descriptive language and the translation appears excellent (not being able to judge it against the Japanese original but it is nowhere stilted or giving the impression that one would do better to learn Japanese). The author also does a monumental job of capturing the conflicting emotions of the protagonist, helplessness battling with infatuation, the difficulty of accepting any advice, which is not what one would want to hear, etc. On top of this you get a romp through Tokyo's unparalleled culinary scene and some more general observations on the development of the Japanese society (pre- and post-bubble).
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Format: Paperback
Audition by Ryu Murakami is a novel at which any thriller/horror reader will love. Throughout the novel Murakami creates a scene at which anyone who has experienced a loss of something very dear to them can relate to while at the same time recreating his classic 'What will happen next' puzzle for the reader. The 4 main characters that the novel revolves around include Aoyama our widower and father to Shige, Shige a 15 year old high school kid and son of Aoyama, Yoshikawa one of Aoyama's closest friends and finally Yamasaki Asami our female main character. The story follows these 4 characters centring around Aoyama's loss of his wife Ryoko and how after a subtle hint from his son is convinced to remarry, where upon he formulates an idea with Yoshikawa and eventually meets Yamasaki Asami. Throughout the novel we hear of how Aoyama dealt with the loss of his wife including how he handled his career and the effects the death had on him and his sons relationship. As the novel progresses we learn more of Yamasaki Asami and how Aoyama's emotions lead him to develop a more intimate relationship with her. In short the novel is fantastic, it leaves you with a taste for more and in my own personal opinion teaches the reader some valuable lessons about love, friendship and loss.
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Format: Paperback
This was my first (Ryu) Murakami ... and while it seems to have polarised other reviewers I have to say that I really enjoyed it, and am looking forward to reading his other books.

The story is simple - an older (! ... he's only early 40s) widower decides to get married again. His friend sets up a series of fake auditions to find the right girl, but it's obvious our hero has fallen for one specific one from the start. It's not a fast paced story by any means, at least not for 80% of the book, and perhaps this is where it lets down long-standing Ryu fans. Since I had no expectations as to pace it wasn't a problem for me.

It was always pretty obvious where the story was heading as well, so the ending doesn't come as any great surprise, but I don't think that providing an unpredictable twist in the tale is what this story is about. The story moves on regardless, despite multiple warning signs (and literal warnings). Our hero is blind to the reality that is obvious to everybody else. We root for him, but at the same time wonder why he's being such an idiot. But then who hasn't done stupid things for the person they love. They just don't normally end that badly ...
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Like the cult film this film doesn't hold any prisoners. If you like your extreme stories of extreme torture I would recommend all to buy. If not still buy it but make sure you pick up a brown bag, just in case.
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Format: Paperback
There is an old expression in Japan such that "I want to eat fugu, but I don't want to die". Fugu is blow-fish, and if improperly prepared, it can be deadly. Since a lot of Murakami's book deals with food, it is apt to use this analogy to describe the fatal central character of this novel - a wonderful woman that turns out to be fugu for the narrator - or thereabouts.

The tension of fugu arises from prior knowledge of the risk - unfortunately this is not the case in the novel. Though two friends warn the narrator that there is "something wrong" with the novel's beautiful heroine, their claim is not supported by any evidence - nor is the explanation given at the end of the book believable.

175 of the 200 pages of the novel are onigiri - to use another Japanese food analogy: a triangular mass of rice, wrapped in nori seaweed. Sometimes a bit of fish is found inside, or pickled ginger. Bland as they come. The last 25 pages are vintage Ryu - a gruesome tale of gratuitous horror. If at least it all ended in gore, to give a tragic ending to the book: alas in extremis the narrator escaped grisly death. So the novel is badly unhinged. Not worth the bother, unless, like me, you are stranded at Kansai International Airport with a few loose yen in your pocket.
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