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The Pinch Runner Memorandum Kindle Edition
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
My response: are you kidding?!
Yes, it loosely follows "A Personal Matter" in the sense that Oe and his son make a return. The story begins as if it's the expected continuation of the previous book then somehow gets twisted into a completely outlandish story about a who a different father and his retarded son. At first there's a sense of betrayal--"Hey, this isn't what I signed up for!"--then you get captured in the madness tornado.
The story is about a father, ex-nuclear researcher, who meets Oe at the school for retarded children. This eccentric man takes his son out of the school because he fails to convince the teachers and parents that the children should be trained in combat for when society inevitably decides to kill all the retarded children in Japan. Shortly after storming out, he contacts Oe through a series of letters and convinces him to ghostwrite the record of him and his son.
What follows is a experimentally written story based on the letters received and Oe's occasional reactions. Mori-father and Mori experience a metaphysical transformation that sets them on a divine mission concerning warring student political factions, an atomic bomb, terrorism, and a shadowy mastermind named Big Shot. Their adventure is absolutely absurd, a demented dark comedy. Yet Oe uses his profound ability to write with dire seriousness, which results in a total mind-screw of a story.
The book is highly satirical, making a total mockery of the die-hard student movement in Japan along with eastern metaphysics. There's a subtle element of American pulp that works so good. Oe's cynical attitude does masterfully what Chuck Palahniuk constantly tries to achieve. This is one book that is definitely flying under the radar.
So far this is the only funny story I've read from Oe, which kills me because he's hilarious. It's as if he decided get silly just once to get over the urge. But this book isn't just chaos. Oe stay in control all the way to the climatic finish, which still gives me chills. Man, I wish he'd do follow-up to this underground bombshell.
Oe encompasses all of humanity in Pinchrunner Memorandum by delving into the marginal world and explicating how it reveals the darker side of society led by a force seeking chaos through subliminal tyranny. Similar to Oe's parody of Mishima in One Day He Himself Shall Wipe My Tears Away, Oe takes the role of court jester and reveals the panting, self-destructive struggle of humanity through his use of grotesque realism as a man and his son attempt to save the world from the annihilation it so desperately seeks. They brave savage riots of students from the left and right, nuclear terrorists, and maniac capitalists. One common trait among all these people is that suicide is a foregone conclusion for victory. Those who are not willing to die condemn themselves to defeat.