Bedtime Eyes Hardcover – 1 Apr 2006
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About the Author
Amy Yamada is the winner of the Naoki Prize, Japan's equivalent of the Pulitzer, and for BEDTIME EYES, the prestigious Bungei Prize.
Top customer reviews
Whilst they may not be everybody's cup of tea, we had a blast translating these novels.
If I had a criticism, it would be that the characters could have been given a little more depth, but Amy Yamada doesn't mince words and she's more interested in what drives her characters' destructive relationships than in delving into what makes the individual characters tick.
I hope you enjoy reading these books as much as we enjoyed working on them.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
None of the characters in the book have any redeemable qualities. They hurt one another, either verbally or physically, and sometimes get pleasure from doing such. I actually stopped while reading the second story 'The Piano Player's Fingers'...as the book was just too much of a downer.
I understand that there was a 1987 Japanese film made from the first story, which shares the title of the book; however, judging from the story I read, and the rating on IMDB (Internet Movie Database), I don't think it would be something worth seeing.
It would have been interesting if we saw different couples with varying circumstances; but, as aforementioned, we get the same type of dysfunctional characters in each of the stories. Furthermore, I don't get what Amy Yamada is trying to say in her stories. (Although, one could say there is a certain rape fantasy, and/or a fetishism for black males in the stories--and that's about it).
I can't recommend this book: No point to the stories, and no characters I cared about. Still, I am going to attempt a reading of Yamada's 'Trash,' however, judging from the reviews on Amazon, I don't think it would be much of an improvement on 'Bedtime Eyes.'
Amy Yamada doesn't mince her words and she isn't afraid to delve into the seedier side of life: a world of drugs, sex, violence and prostitution. So whilst I have to admit that they may not be everybody's cup of tea, we had a blast translating the three short novels which make up this single volume in the English.
But you have to put her work into context to understand just how ground-breaking Bedtime Eyes was when it was first published in Japan 25 years ago. These days we see a lot of sex and violence in literature, at the cinema and on TV, so with our modern perspective these stories may not have quite the same impact now that they had then. But it is important to consider that Amy Yamada was the ONLY female writer in Japan in the 1980s who dared to write this sort of material: she was a pioneer who wasn't afraid to tackle taboos head-on, whose dramatic debut spawned a whole host of "liberated" female writers and who blazed the trail for some of the more recent "controversial", prize-winning female authors such as Yu Miri ("Family Cinema", "Gold Rush"), Wataya Lisa ("The Back I Want To Kick") and Kanehara Hitomi ("Snakes & Earrings").
If I had any criticism at all, it would be that the characters could have been given a little more depth -- difficult, admittedly, given the length of the stories -- but Amy Yamada is more interested in what drives her characters' destructive relationships than in delving into what makes the individual characters tick.
I really hope you enjoy reading this book every bit as much as we enjoyed translating it. The images are powerful and strong... not always pretty of course, but they will stay with you for a long time: you certainly won't look at a piano the same way again.
The 2nd story I truly hated because Ruiko thought she was this dominatrix who would get pleasure from using men. Not to give it all away, but I hated the 2nd story because of how much of a rapist Leroy became in the end. As a Black man, LeRoy isn't the type of man to be around. He abused her because he wanted vengeance for her using him for sex and treated him as a sex slave doll.
I am still on the 3rd story and I am liking the way it is turning out. Nothing bizarre as the first two and a lot of individuals could relate to the 3rd story. For recommendations, I personally wouldn't recommend it for Blasian couples because it doesn't have struggles, no character development, and nothing but sex. I am in a relationship with a Taiwanese female. She never act like those women in the book. She's the complete opposite