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Il Bambino Scambiato (2000)

by Kenzaburō Ōe(Favorite Author)
3.55 of 5 Votes: 4
8811683793 (ISBN13: 9788811683797)
review 1: I used to live in Japan and I should have known what I was going to get when I opened up this book- a translation of a prizewinning Japanese novel- yet somehow it didn't resonate. Maybe it was the awkwardness of the translation with its clunky conversational style, but I found it hard slog. The title made no sense to me. The characters didn't strike a chord. I think I expected something different- maybe a supernatural yarn?- but intead I got some heavy meditations on death, dying, relationships, and discovering that people are not who you think they are. Shame because there was so much in the premise of a man rediscovering an old friend through a tape recorder and a series of tapes. Maybe I'll try it again in the fall when there's a chill in the air and the days are shorte... morer- Japanese literature seems to make more sense when there is melancholy in the air.
review 2: Clearly this book is the case of a master at work. The subtle changes throughout the book can be confusing at first, but with the acceptance that this is a book that will require many rereads throughout subsequent years before ever really mastering all the subtleties and meanings (if thats even possible) it can be a truly enjoyable experience. This, ladies and gentlemen, is how a Nobel Laureate writes. less
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Lots of great reviews. A slow simmer they say. Too slow for me.
Interesting, thoughtful, well written but not for me, right now.
[from the 18 June 2010 issue]
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