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Sanshiro: A Novel Hardcover – 1 Jul 1977
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--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
About the Author
Natsume Soseki (1867-1916) is one of the best-known Japanese authors of the 20th century and considered as the master of psychological fiction. He wrote 14 novels. As well as his works of fiction, his essays, haiku, and kanshi have been influential and are popular even today.
Haruki Murakami (in Western order) has written twelve novels, eight volumes of short stories, and over thirty books of nonfiction while also translating well over thirty volumes of American fiction, poetry and nonfiction since his prizewinning debut in 1979 at the age of thirty. Known in the English-speaking world primarily for his novels A Wild Sheep Chase, Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, Norwegian Wood and Kafka on the Shore. His works have been translated into more than forty languages.
Jay Rubin has translated Soseki's novel The Miner and Haruki Murakami's Norwegian Wood, The Wind-up Bird Chronicle, After the quake, and After Dark. He is the author of Injurious to Public Morals: Writers and the Meiji State and Haruki Murakami and the Music of Words, and the editor of Modern Japanese Writers. He began his study of Japanese at the University of Chicago, where he received his Ph.D. in 1970, and taught Japanese literature at the University of Washington and at Harvard University, where he is now an emeritus professor.--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Top customer reviews
A twist on the classic coming of age novel this book reminded me of Murakami's Norwegian Wood with it's easy references to first love and stream of consciousness narrative style. Indeed the introduction written by Murakami would indicate that he did in fact borrow from Sanshiro when dreaming up his own novel.
The Japanese writing style is prominent in this novel, an easy going plot, interactions on a personally emotional level for the main characters and realisation of the beauty of simple everyday things. The events that transpire can seem a little dated to western culture but the underlying motives still hold true today even though the book was written in the early 20th century.
If you liked Norwegian Wood or A Catcher in the Rye, Sanshiro won't let you down.
Admittedly this novel takes place over a short space of time but Soseki's decision not to push his lead forward means that the novel never develops into what it could. Well written but ultimately slightly unsatisfying.
Sanshiro is interesting to say the least and I can see how Japanese people can consider it a classic. Indeed possibly my favourite aspect of the book is how Natsume Soseki can develop and easily set atmospheres and creatively establish tones. I personally feel that when reviewing Sanshiro, it depends on the context in which you look at it. If you want a classical book about love and romance, I can always suggest Romeo and Julliet but Sanshiro instead offers an interesting outlook on Japanese culture of which, it is the best of the kind.
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