Coin Locker Babies Paperback – 29 Jul 2002
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"The third of this prolific Japanese author's 30 novels to appear in English, this is a cyber-Bildungsroman of playful breadth and uncertain depth . . . The settings seem lifted from Japanese animation epics: an abandoned mining town, an underwater tunnel and a retreat in the mountains. . . .a lush and frantic imagination . . . expansive and exciting." -Publishers Weekly"A knockout ... a great big pulsating parable." -Washington Post"Deliciously grotesque." -Philadelphia Inquirer"The work of Murakami who is also a filmmaker begs comparison with film. Robocop comes to mind as bearing the closest resemblance to this novel." -Library Journal.".. an amazing, imaginative adventure." -Beverley Curran, The Daily Yomiuri"Its power grabbed me by the heart."-Banana Yoshimoto, best selling author of Kitchen"Devilish and brilliant." -Oliver Stone, filmmaker"Startlingly hip, frighteningly inventive." -Roger Corman, filmmaker"A writer with talent to burn." -Gary Indiana, author of Rent Boy
From the Publisher
AN EXCERPT FROM THE NOVEL
The Market was a four-lane highway that ran through a tunnel in the area. The guards had apparently been bought off so that the tunnel could serve as a ready link between customers on the outside and the services provided inside. The system seemed to work, since the stalls that lined the road were doing a brisk business--with one difference: the commerce was almost completely silent. Not a voice could be heard as buyers and sellers, whatever the commodity, conducted their transactions in whispers, their lips pressed against each other's ears. The street stalls were fairly rudimentary, just a table and some chairs set up along the side of the road where the customers sat down and waited for the prostitute in attendance--in some cases a woman, in others a man--to quietly bring them a drink. The list of drinks was simple: watered-down beer or a kind of sweet wine in dark bottles. The freelance whores lining the street advertised with creative postures but rarely went out of their way to approach a passing customer. The men, it seemed, had been there from the beginning, but the number of women had increased suddenly when the underground highway had opened. Now they lined the tunnel, leaning against the walls, smoking with one hand and hiking up their skirts with the other. One woman had got hers up further than the rest, and the silver ring embedded in the fleshy lips between her legs glittered in the ancient yellow fluorescent light. A black woman languidly sucked grapes from a bunch, skinning them deftly with her mouth and letting them roll on her tongue like green marbles. Her dress, split down the back to the top of her ass, barely covered the sour, velvet skin beneath. A young girl was dancing in the street in toeshoes tied with white ribbons. On her thigh was a tattoo of a hydrofoil, and around her neck she wore a snakeskin collar complete with leash. A pair of twins had been painted on her buttocks, one per cheek, and they seemed to be clutching the real, lighted candle protruding between them.
In addition to the women, the tunnel walls were lined with makeshift drugstores which dealt almost exclusively in tranquilizers, the non-addictive drug of choice for both the working girls and their customers. A tranquilizer called Neutro, in fact, could almost have been said to be the pillar on which the social system of The Market was built. It was Neutro that one had to thank for the placid whispers, the smooth conduct of commerce minus the usual irritations and problems. Under a Neutro-induced haze, activity along the subterranean road was reduced to mutters, sighs, and muffled coughs, the sound effects of a concert hall between the movements of a symphony. The Market was a circus with the soundtrack left off, a silent parade, a muted ballet with only a light ringing in the ears gently lulling the spectator into the general torpor. Not silence exactly, but an odd, noiseless noise, like rustling silk, or soft footsteps on wet concrete--like a tongue sucking at a gap between two teeth, or skin on skin, or clear sake being poured into a glass. The Market was a masked ball with only the sound of the feathers fluttering on a thousand strange costumes. Those who saw it for the first time invariably said they thought they had died and gone on to some other life. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
It is extremely depressing and miserable, but not in a way that you can relate and feel emotional about, but in a horribly boring way. Every page turn, you soon learn to expect something terrible will happen, even if there is no real reason for it to. The author disjointedly writes about his shallow characters, whose actions can be predicted effortlessly.
Needlessly depressing, the plot slugglishly moves from one horribly predictable event to the next, dragging you into a world of misery, leaving all emotions except boredom behind.
I would not recommend this book, and although I have heard better things about his other novels, I shall be looking elsewhere.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My daughter was delighted to receive this book as a gift and is really looking forward to reading it. She is very interested in Japanese fiction.Published on 5 Jan. 2010 by Dragon Rider
and this is one of his best books....after MISO SOUP, which probably cannot be topped. 'nuff said!Published on 27 Aug. 2009 by S. Nielebock
I bought this book because the premise of the babies abandoned in lockers sounded interesting. Aside from a few good moments it was a big disappointment. Read morePublished on 10 July 1998