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Audition PDF, ePub eBook Documentary-maker Aoyama hasn't dated anyone in the seven years since the death of his beloved wife, Ryoko. Now even his teenage son Shige has suggested he think about remarrying. So when his best friend Yoshikawa comes up with a plan to hold fake film auditions so that Aoyama can choose a new bride, he decides to go along with the idea

30 review for Audition

  1. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    Murakami doesn't believe in boundaries, so if you expect an author to pull his punches, keep on moving past Audition. From maybe the tenth page forward, it's clear that no good will come of the obsession Aoyama, a Tokyo-based, widowed documentary film-maker and father to Shige, his teen son, develops for Yamasaki, the lovely, elegant and single former-ballet dancer with a troubled childhood. The elaborate set-up of fake auditions Aoyama and his best friend, Yoshikawa devise seems to forecast tha Murakami doesn't believe in boundaries, so if you expect an author to pull his punches, keep on moving past Audition. From maybe the tenth page forward, it's clear that no good will come of the obsession Aoyama, a Tokyo-based, widowed documentary film-maker and father to Shige, his teen son, develops for Yamasaki, the lovely, elegant and single former-ballet dancer with a troubled childhood. The elaborate set-up of fake auditions Aoyama and his best friend, Yoshikawa devise seems to forecast that the cause of Yamasaki's ultimate vengeance will be the morally questionable nature of the auditions, but the initial manner of Aoyama's and Yamasaki's introduction turns out to have zero relevance to subsequent events. The only thing that matters is that they meet and Aoyama allow his besottedness to blind him to common sense and Yoshikawa's reasonable cautionary advice. I shook my head multiple times in disbelief until he redeemed himself (view spoiler)[with his brilliant move with the remote control. (hide spoiler)] Every scene between Aoyama and Yamasaki is dripping with suspense. Actually, every scene after they meet seems perilous, even when Yamasaki isn't present. It's not a case of if she'll flip out but when and how. And yet. Murakami is a master of suspense. He doesn't introduce distractions or humor to let the reader breathe. Every character is fully realized and authentic. You know who the bad guy is and who the victim is for the entire book and yet are driven to turn the next page and the next in order to see exactly how this will play out and if anyone will survive. Murakami is one of the few writers where the reader accepts that it's entirely possible that all characters will die. He's all in. Always. Read this when you have time to finish it in one sitting. A warning for readers not familiar with Ryu Murakami, however, is in order. If you thought Misery was dismayingly violent, Audition isn't for you. Nothing in Murakami's catalog is. For dog lovers: (view spoiler)[The dog dies at the end. It's brutal but over quickly. I customarily read no books where a dog dies or an animal is tortured, but in this instance, it's not a heart-rending scene because I didn't get attached to the dog and IMO not a reason to avoid the book. (hide spoiler)]

  2. 4 out of 5

    Arthur Graham

    Ya know, just the the other day I was walking down the street, thinking to myself, why is it so dang hard to meet nice women these days? Wouldn't it be cool to meet a decent girl for a change? One who isn't a total narcissist or a ditz, just someone to cuddle and read books with, a girl who's sweet and kind and doesn't insist on (view spoiler)[cutting off my feet? (hide spoiler)] That's when I got the idea to hold an audition for the role of my perfect mate, figuri Ya know, just the the other day I was walking down the street, thinking to myself, why is it so dang hard to meet nice women these days? Wouldn't it be cool to meet a decent girl for a change? One who isn't a total narcissist or a ditz, just someone to cuddle and read books with, a girl who's sweet and kind and doesn't insist on (view spoiler)[cutting off my feet? (hide spoiler)] That's when I got the idea to hold an audition for the role of my perfect mate, figuring this would be the surest way to find exactly what I was looking for. But then I read this book and decided to swear off women altogether. Like for good. You know that girl everyone warned you about? The one you insisted on getting involved with anyway? The one who (view spoiler)[would one day drug you, dismember your dog before your very eyes, and saw off your foot with a length of wire? (hide spoiler)] Well, you're looking at her, and let's just say that ain't vitamin B12 in that fun little syringe of hers. But dammmmn is she fine, and I'm sure she's totally harmless, and, well (alright little head, you win)... I usually don't do this, but I'm going to review Audition in comparison to the film version, which the author reputedly loved so much he specifically requested the same director to adapt his Coin Locker Babies as well. Unfortunately, that project never saw the light of day, because it's clear why Murakami dug the film as much as he did — somehow it manages to remain faithful to his vision, while at the same time improving on it in significant ways. Beyond the superb acting, direction, and cinematography that perfectly captures all the physical/psychological horror he set out to portray in print, Takashi's celluloid adaptation makes up for some of the book's weaknesses as well. As just one example, what many readers would consider to be an abrupt ending on paper is drawn out to great length on screen, quite possibly giving us even more than we bargained for. Also (as I may have mentioned before), Eihi Shiina is smoking hot in her portrayal of the book's demure, seemingly innocent sex bomb of a villain. Kinda makes me wanna take up women again, actually... Maybe holding that audition isn't such a bad idea after all? Boy, she's a looker, ain't she? Let's see... Yamasaki Asami, age 24. Bust 82 cm, waist 54 cm, hips 86 cm. Interests include music, dance, and (view spoiler)[not cutting off your feet. (hide spoiler)] Yup, I'd say this might be the one! I'm giving this book 4 stars, rounded up to 5 in light of the superb film adaptation and Murakami's sense in embracing it. So shoot me if you must, just don't (view spoiler)[cut off my fucking feet! (hide spoiler)] She looks so happy, doesn't she? Well, if you've somehow managed to make it through this entire review without peeping any of the spoilers, congrats — let's see if you can resist peeping her POV here. Aww hell, who am I kidding? I knew you were all too sick to resist — watch the entire gory scene here.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jenn(ifer)

    When I was in my teens and twenties, you could put me in a room of 1000 men and I would undoubtedly gravitate toward the most damaged ones. I guess Aoyama and I have that in common. The gist of the story is this: Aoyama is a widower who has decided it is time to remarry. Enlisting the help of a filmmaker friend, he holds an audition to find his future wife by duping women into thinking they are auditioning for a film. Out of over a thousand applicants, Aoyama narrows the pool down to When I was in my teens and twenties, you could put me in a room of 1000 men and I would undoubtedly gravitate toward the most damaged ones. I guess Aoyama and I have that in common. The gist of the story is this: Aoyama is a widower who has decided it is time to remarry. Enlisting the help of a filmmaker friend, he holds an audition to find his future wife by duping women into thinking they are auditioning for a film. Out of over a thousand applicants, Aoyama narrows the pool down to a small group of women who will be invited to come in to try out for the role. But before the interviews take place, Aoyama has already fallen for the beautiful Yamasaki Asami based solely on her application. Little does he know, Yamasaki has a dark and horrifying past… At just under two-hundred pages, this book could easily be read in one sitting. It will grab hold of you and keep you in suspense right through to the very end. Murakami’s novel reminds us that terrifying things can happen any time; danger is always lurking around the corner. Of course with a short novel such as this there isn’t much room for character development, but Murakami does an excellent job of packing a lot of depth into a tiny box. And the ending is a bit abrupt, but I don’t really think the story would benefit from dragging out the inevitable. If you are looking for a page turner that will scare the pants off of you, you really can’t go wrong with this one.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Stephen M

    No forgiveness for lies This book is gruesome, haunting, disturbing and all of the rest of those adjectives you can throw at a perfectly executed horror story. There is nothing out of place in the novel. Each event works itself perfectly into the next and the cumulative effect of it all is powerful. The book is short and the prose is simple; chances are that you'll be able to read it all in one sitting. That is recommended because the full feeling of the novel carries itself perfectly to the No forgiveness for lies This book is gruesome, haunting, disturbing and all of the rest of those adjectives you can throw at a perfectly executed horror story. There is nothing out of place in the novel. Each event works itself perfectly into the next and the cumulative effect of it all is powerful. The book is short and the prose is simple; chances are that you'll be able to read it all in one sitting. That is recommended because the full feeling of the novel carries itself perfectly to the last moment. The last line is like best punchline to the longest joke ever told. Except you're not laughing; you're kind of terrified. This is the story about a documentary filmmaker whose wife has just recently passed away. The man, Aoyama, had to watch his wife slowly die and after it's all over, his friend, Yoshikawa, insists that he pick himself up and go looking for someone else. Aoyama is resistant and goes on a long digression about the specific girl that he wants and how he could not accept another. Then comes the first hint that something is not quite right. Ryu does a brilliant job of keeping each character at least somewhat at fault. For, Aoyama and Yoshikawa decide to hold an audition for Aoyama's future wife. They advertise this audition under the pretext that they are making a movie. So they sort through stacks and stacks of "resumes" featuring questions like: "What if you got this role and your boyfriend was opposed to your taking it?" The perversity behind a question like this seems so wrong yet perfect. The novel drifts in and out of commentary on modern Japan. I couldn't help but think about dating websites and the future of relationships. I'm sure that Murakami was thinking about these types of things while writing the book. There was a way in which each supposedly desirable romantic trait was written down, analyzed and competed over that struck a strange chord within me. That, more so than the gross-out ending is what makes this a horrifying story. Horror is a fascinating genre and replete with "readings" for every liberal arts major to geek out over. But what is truly at its core is some anxiety in the culture, some unspoken tension that is brought out in our worst nightmares. Audition is the worst nightmare of human connection. When one tries so desperately to "choose" their mates and delineate each exact detail of their sexual desires, something slips through their fingers and descends into madness. Besides these themes—which I'm more forcing a bit onto the book, because it's definitely not the main focus—there are quite a few gags and bit of black humor. Especially with the connection between relationships and making a movie. These little pieces of interesting commentary never drown out the material but instead hover on the sidelines, suggesting something much deeper beneath the surface yet never detracting from the deviousness of it all. And the deviousness is only matched and outdone by the woman they end of selecting. I can't really go much further without spoiling everything because I would so much rather you read this. Like I've said, the book is fast-paced, easy to read yet devastating. I can't recommend it highly enough.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Emm the Bookmunculus - Half Human, Half Library

    This review and other dark melodrama on my blog. "No forgiveness for lies." Is it the needle-sharp sting of malice, or unchecked madness grown poisonous? Or, in the end, is it just a small misunderstanding twisted beyond repair? Too beautiful, too wrong, too strange to be real. Aoyama himself is flawed, being a bit shallow and impatient - he focuses on women's looks and history more than their personality, and resorts to dating via a lazy scam of an audition. These things are som/>"No This review and other dark melodrama on my blog. "No forgiveness for lies." Is it the needle-sharp sting of malice, or unchecked madness grown poisonous? Or, in the end, is it just a small misunderstanding twisted beyond repair? Too beautiful, too wrong, too strange to be real. Aoyama himself is flawed, being a bit shallow and impatient - he focuses on women's looks and history more than their personality, and resorts to dating via a lazy scam of an audition. These things are somewhat small considering, but clash with the flaws of the girl he ends up choosing, persistent and with a unfathomable, unforgiving nature. Audition is a nearly exact mirror to R. Murakami's Piercing - both with his signature theme of genders and generations at explosive odds. Brutal, illogical desires and acts all stem from their utter inability to understand each other in the disconnection of modern society. Audition is a little different in that the hate is one-sided. Aoyama never truly grows to hate Asami, I don't believe. Even when he very clearly should and has more than enough reason to. He just doesn't see what she really is, or understand what she wants. Only maybe the last fifth of the book could be considered a thriller, the rest is very much a character drama. A clean but uneasy surface barely covering up some pulsing, visceral horror that breaks through at the last minute to bad, bad, bad consequences. Audition is a little predictable, especially with its film adaptation being so (in)famous, but nonetheless a thought-provoking and disturbing read. *Note - There is some violence towards both an animal and people that may upset some. It's mostly concentrated to the last few chapters, and isn't drawn-out or gratuitous, but felt I should mention it.*

  6. 4 out of 5

    Maciek

    Ryū Murakami's Audition is a short novel which you can easily read in one or two sittings - and unfortunately probably forget just as quickly; ultimately, the book consists of a long and relatelively uneventful buildup to a sudden and quick climax, which is over almost as soon as it started. Audition is the story of Aoyama, a middle-aged widower of seven years, urged by his teenage son to remarry; the idea is shared by his best friend, Yoshikawa, with whom Aoyama produced documentaries for Tokyo televi/> Ryū Murakami's Audition is a short novel which you can easily read in one or two sittings - and unfortunately probably forget just as quickly; ultimately, the book consists of a long and relatelively uneventful buildup to a sudden and quick climax, which is over almost as soon as it started. Audition is the story of Aoyama, a middle-aged widower of seven years, urged by his teenage son to remarry; the idea is shared by his best friend, Yoshikawa, with whom Aoyama produced documentaries for Tokyo television. Yoshikawa urges Aoyama to hold auditions for leading actresses - to offer them roles in a film, but in reality to find a suitable wife for Aoyama. Although initially reluctant, Aoyama ultimately gives in - and when he sees one of the candidates, the 24 year old Yamasaki Asami, he is completely smitten; he cannot get her out of his mind, and quickly arranges a date. What follow is a slow romance between the older Aoyama and younger Asami. Although at the beginning Aoyama is not entirely sympathetic - he admits to cheating on his wife multiple times, and despite doubts goes along with Yoshikawa's audition plans - he ultimately emerges as a likable figure: a widower who reminisces about the "old days" and women he knew then; he was was married for a long time, and feels no connection to or interest in most women he encounters, being able to see them only through the lens of his wife. He obviously loves his son, Shige, and cares for their dog. Although Aoyama is fascinated by Asami shown clearly to border and even cross into obsession, he also obviously genuinely cares about her, and wants to make her his wife. Aoyama devotes time and attention to Asami, who responds in kind; she is clearly receptive to his affection, and seems to need it as much as he wants to give it. When Yoshikawa warns him that something is not quite right about Asami, he turns him down; he is completely devoted to her, and can only think about her. They spend time together, and even though he still knows very little about her, she begins to open to him, eventually confessing intimate details from her past; Aoyama is touched, and continues to be devoted to Asami, planning to introduce her to his friends and son. But then it all goes terribly wrong. The hints are there, but they are very few and after the end seem almost nonsensical; what happens jumps at the reader like a jack out of a box, unexpected and unwelcome. The final pages literally turn the novel around on its head purely for the sake of doing so, making a sympathetic character completely repulsive for no reason other than visceral shock; the ending sections are well written, but just don't fit as a part of a coherent whole. The end is very sudden and plain silly. The book was adapted into a movie which was well received, and a became a cult classic; I have not seen it, but I wouldn't be surprised if it wouldn't actually turn out better than the book, which is too short, too underdeveloped and ultimately too forgettable to be given proper attention.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Tim

    A brief warning, I will not be discussing the actual events of the novel (at least without a spoiler tag) other than a general plot description, but it is impossible to discuss this book without some spoilers in terms of tone. If you want to know nothing going in, consider yourself warned. Dear reader, please while reading the following paragraph, imagine it in the cheesiest movie trailer voice you can. Thank you. You’ve laughed at Sleepless in Seattle, you were charmed by When Harry Met Sall/>You’ve A brief warning, I will not be discussing the actual events of the novel (at least without a spoiler tag) other than a general plot description, but it is impossible to discuss this book without some spoilers in terms of tone. If you want to know nothing going in, consider yourself warned. Dear reader, please while reading the following paragraph, imagine it in the cheesiest movie trailer voice you can. Thank you. You’ve laughed at Sleepless in Seattle, you were charmed by When Harry Met Sally and you can’t forget about 10 Things I Hate About You. Now get ready for a new sort of romantic comedy! Meet Aoyama, a widower with a missing place in his heart. One day though, he gets a wacky idea! An audition to find a new wife. Enter Yamasaki Asami, the perfect girl of his dreams… but will a relationship based on a lie work? After a little misunderstanding, will they win each other’s hearts or will she have to do something drastic to make sure HE doesn’t run away? No matter how you look at it… you’ve never seen a romance like Audition. Yeah, anyone who has seen the movie adaptation, or knows anything about this story knows that I didn’t lie in my description, but was horribly misleading (and had a terrible stealth pun). Now that I think about it, is it even a spoiler to discuss the ending of this one? Much like Psycho, the big reveal is pretty much the one thing EVERYONE knows about it. I saw the movie based on the novel shortly after it was released in the US and found it (to this day) to be one of the more horrific films I’d ever seen. It’s… insidious. If one didn’t know what they were getting into, it would not be surprising if they genuinely thought they were watching or reading a romantic comedy. If it weren’t for the cover of the novel, or the menu of the DVD (which is nightmare fuel in and of itself), it would be so easy to trick someone with this. The most terrifying aspect is that the foreshadowing is everywhere (view spoiler)[Seriously, count how many times characters complain about a pain in their leg or see someone with a limp. (hide spoiler)] Some of it is overt and some subtle. If you know, it gives it a quiet menace… if you don’t know what’s coming, it will be a horrible sucker punch. Even knowing what was coming, the last 20 pages or so are quite horrific. It’s seriously hard to get through, as in I stopped reading them twice, watched a lighthearted episode of Doctor Who, then pressed on. Hell, the entire novel is a bit of a challenge. It’s only 190 pages and it took me 5 days because I dreaded reaching the conclusion… and my dread was not unfounded. I’m a pretty hardened horror fan, but this one is still painful. (view spoiler)[The last lines are also darkly humorous, but nihilistic to the point of being somewhat depressing. "What was that all about?" Aoyama shook his head weakly. "I don't know, he said. "Nothing, really." Yeah... it should come off as ridiculous, instead I found it rather disturbing. (hide spoiler)] Now, I imagine that a good portion of the people interested in this book have seen the film (as it seems to be more well known than the novel) and are wondering how different they are… honestly, and I rather hate to say this, the movie is better. I’m not trying to insult the book as it certainly accomplished every emotion it was trying to set out in inducting upon me, but the film is one of those rare examples that stays true to its source material, but adds a lot of artful touches that improve upon it. For example, there’s a wonderful hallucinatory element to his search for Asami towards the end of the movie, which is not in the novel (he pretty much stays home listening to music and feeling sorry for himself instead… not joking). Touches like that show that Miike, despite being known for some of the more outrageous films in recent Japanese cinema, is actually a thoughtful and talented filmmaker. The novel is thoughtful as well, but doesn’t ever really feel like there’s much in terms of artistry to it. The prose is fairly simple (though that could be the translation? Always difficult to tell on such works) and while there is a bit of metaphor going throughout the book, it’s not something the reader really has to work to catch as it’s spelled out to them. If you’ve seen and enjoyed the film, the novel is an interesting curiosity that, while I cannot say is an enjoyable read, is worth your time to see the original telling of the tale. If you’ve not seen the film… honestly, I would suggest you go there rather than starting with the book, unless you’re just a fan of the author. I give Audition a rather hesitant 3/5 stars, but a recommendation only to people who know what they’re getting into.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly

    AUDITION, by Ryu Murakami, is a book that I honestly can't even begin to write a proper review for. I will say that I never saw the movie based on this, and genuinely went into it without any idea of what the story was going to fully be about. I honestly couldn't stop reading it, and by the time you even realize that you are going to be traumatized, it's already too late. Good? Yes. Would I read it again? No.

  9. 5 out of 5

    11811 (Eleven)

    This does for dating what Jaws did for swimming. I don’t recommend anyone read this book. As much as I enjoyed the 1999 film, it didn’t punch me in the face the way the book did. I had no intention of reading it in one sitting, but that’s what happened. I believe it technically qualifies as a novella but it reads faster that most short stories. I’m not so much traumatized by the horror aspect as I am by the pacing. This guy’s writing sucks me in and gets under my skin. Everything was going fine This does for dating what Jaws did for swimming. I don’t recommend anyone read this book. As much as I enjoyed the 1999 film, it didn’t punch me in the face the way the book did. I had no intention of reading it in one sitting, but that’s what happened. I believe it technically qualifies as a novella but it reads faster that most short stories. I’m not so much traumatized by the horror aspect as I am by the pacing. This guy’s writing sucks me in and gets under my skin. Everything was going fine for a couple hours and then - WHAM! It sledgehammered my soul. I knew what was coming since I had seen the movie but that didn’t lessen the impact. I’m still a little short of breath. Don’t read this book if you can’t afford the therapy you’ll need afterward. Fair warning. Some of you in my horror circle have this on your TBR list (you know who you are.) I advise that you remove it immediately for the sake of your own humanity. It shouldn’t even be legal to write things this terrifying. I’ve read hundreds of horror novels and I can’t remember the last time one left me shaking at the end. Part of me wants to unread what I read. I feel hollow and damaged. For those who ignore my advice and insist on reading it, there is a bright side. This is one of the most well written extreme horror novels that I’ve ever read. It would be shelved under “Great Literature” instead of “Horror” if it weren’t for the small number of pages devoted to total anxiety induction. Forget the movie if you've seen it. This is more about the writing than the story. Dude can write.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Marvin

    I read a lot of horror but Ryu Murakami is one of the few writers that actually scare the hell out of me...not just his books but the actual person. His gift is in writing characters you care about and then exposes them as a horrifying nightmare. In fact they rarely appear evil until the last part of the book when Murakami breaks all the rules and grosses you out. Audition builds slowly, is actually kind of sweet, but he lets off little hints that something is not right. In this short novel, the build-u I read a lot of horror but Ryu Murakami is one of the few writers that actually scare the hell out of me...not just his books but the actual person. His gift is in writing characters you care about and then exposes them as a horrifying nightmare. In fact they rarely appear evil until the last part of the book when Murakami breaks all the rules and grosses you out. Audition builds slowly, is actually kind of sweet, but he lets off little hints that something is not right. In this short novel, the build-up is the point and the inevitably violent end does not let you down. The author sees terror in the most innocent events which is what makes his books so disturbing. Yes, Ryu Murakami is one hell of a writer but if by some weird event I get invited over to his house...I think I'll pass.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Paquita Maria Sanchez

    Yup, turns out the book is creepy as shit, too.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca McNutt

    Audition had an intriguing premise, but it turned out to be more overdramatic than thrilling or suspenseful. I liked the plot but it was also an easily predictable story.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Zak

    I watched Takashi Miike's "Audition" more than a decade ago and it instantly became one of my favourite movies. It was dark, spine-tinglingly chilling and full of suspense. So when I came across this book, on which the movie is based, I was really excited to relive the story again from its source. Unfortunately, the book itself did not live up to the expectations generated by the movie. There was no build-up of suspense, characters lacked development and the "action", when it came was I watched Takashi Miike's "Audition" more than a decade ago and it instantly became one of my favourite movies. It was dark, spine-tinglingly chilling and full of suspense. So when I came across this book, on which the movie is based, I was really excited to relive the story again from its source. Unfortunately, the book itself did not live up to the expectations generated by the movie. There was no build-up of suspense, characters lacked development and the "action", when it came was rather abrupt and ended even more abruptly. Perhaps it's a testament to Miike's genius that he made it into what it became, given the paucity of material at hand. Nevertheless, if you're lying by the pool on vacation and want something easy on the grey matter, it's still a fast, easy read and I can't say I was bored at any point in time. Final rating: Somewhere between 3.0 - 3.5* because without it the movie would not exist.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Saleem Khashan

    I walked past a bright picture of some 'cartoon imaged lady' holding a syringe. My eyes caught the brutality in cartoon depicting death, does the blood matter or is it just paint?. Didn't buy it the first day. "have to check the writer" I thought even with a Name like Murakami. but serious thoughts of buying the book even if I never get to read it seeped into my soul. To own it as a colorful beautiful (written maybe literal)entity would probably be a valuable act. After all I have been flippin I walked past a bright picture of some 'cartoon imaged lady' holding a syringe. My eyes caught the brutality in cartoon depicting death, does the blood matter or is it just paint?. Didn't buy it the first day. "have to check the writer" I thought even with a Name like Murakami. but serious thoughts of buying the book even if I never get to read it seeped into my soul. To own it as a colorful beautiful (written maybe literal)entity would probably be a valuable act. After all I have been flipping my credit card left and right for my daughters to play as we visit Dubai for the first time, so what would a fifty riyal extra do to my punctured budget? The story is simple, full of clues pointing toward what is to happen the size of China, the language is simple, The plot is uncomplicated, the knowledge gained is little and of doubtful value, the horror (for those who like it) is minimally invasive and barely intrudes into our shared relation in the later part of the book. But; as I read something weird happened, I found my fingers lasciviously touching the pages of the book feeling a vibrant tactile return of in-doubtful nature. I found my self failing to explain this relation developing between the two of Us, I found my self in love. This is a simple, short piece made exactly like fiction should be in its essence "entertaining to the bones". A confession I have to share is, I don't read Science fiction, crime, mystery, or horror. The only book I read of Stephen King is "on writing" which has nothing to do with his original genre. which makes me wonder what is happening here? I should get a second of these books and find out.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Bill

    SPOILER ALERT! Well…what appeared to be a good idea to Aoyama at the time, turned out to be his worst nightmare instead. I had an idea of what was going to go down in this one and was buckled down for much trauma. I wasn’t prepared for Gansta, however. Should have buckled down a wee harder, I guess. That entire scene was horrifying. Damn. I should have listened to my friend Eleven.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Brian

    I saw the movie first so this little book held few surprises for me. The pace was perfect... a steady climb to near vertical. The movie actually contained more story content with additional scenes. The book had more explicit sex, a good thing, and the rough stuff was more intense than the screen version, another good thing. No kiri kiri kiri kiri in the book, a bad thing... for that I have to revisit the film. As expected the book was deeply disturbing and graphic so made for a nice, ligh I saw the movie first so this little book held few surprises for me. The pace was perfect... a steady climb to near vertical. The movie actually contained more story content with additional scenes. The book had more explicit sex, a good thing, and the rough stuff was more intense than the screen version, another good thing. No kiri kiri kiri kiri in the book, a bad thing... for that I have to revisit the film. As expected the book was deeply disturbing and graphic so made for a nice, light read. What I like about Ryu is his perverse, twisted imagination... his ability to create damaged people and put them together to inflict various damage to each other. His characters are always fresh, psychotic and have a tendency to carry sharp pointed objects wherever they go. Moral of the story: if it looks too good to be true, it probably is... but it's still probably worth it for that moment of pleasure. Ryu is one of my favorites. He even creeped-out Rob Zombie... that big wuss. Movie responses: Rob Zombie found the film very difficult to watch, given its grisly content and one enraged woman viewer confronted Miike (the director) by shouting at him: "You're evil!" Read the book. It's creepier.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Supreeth

    Audition is probably the most popular work of Ryu Murakami, perhaps one can argue with Miso soup or piercing or Coin Locker Babies, but they either don't have the movie adaptations, or the movies suck. But audition has a movie which doesn't suck and seems to be real popular in the west too. So if one knows Ryu Murakami, chances are it's mostly because of Audition. Miso soup had me benumbed to violence and gore, so this wouldn't really be something I'd call disturbing. It was predictable, but the suspense m Audition is probably the most popular work of Ryu Murakami, perhaps one can argue with Miso soup or piercing or Coin Locker Babies, but they either don't have the movie adaptations, or the movies suck. But audition has a movie which doesn't suck and seems to be real popular in the west too. So if one knows Ryu Murakami, chances are it's mostly because of Audition. Miso soup had me benumbed to violence and gore, so this wouldn't really be something I'd call disturbing. It was predictable, but the suspense mostly has to do with the build-up than the event itself. Either way, Murakami always has something to say about the countries, his own or the others, but he always does, and that's something I would not mind reading for days. I took exactly a day to read Audition and I hadn't read a book for almost twenty days before that. That probably should mean something.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Srividya

    A very small yet brilliant thriller that really sucker punches you in the end. The story begins in a very benign manner, where we are introduced to Aayoma, a documentary film maker, who is mourning the loss of his wife and hasn't dated anyone for over 7 years since her death. When his son also comments on this predicament, he reluctantly agrees to remarry. In an attempt to find a bride, he teams up with his friend Yoshikawa and they put together an audition for a fake film, where he m A very small yet brilliant thriller that really sucker punches you in the end. The story begins in a very benign manner, where we are introduced to Aayoma, a documentary film maker, who is mourning the loss of his wife and hasn't dated anyone for over 7 years since her death. When his son also comments on this predicament, he reluctantly agrees to remarry. In an attempt to find a bride, he teams up with his friend Yoshikawa and they put together an audition for a fake film, where he meets Yamasaki Asami, the only one whom he has eyes for from the many other applicants. Being totally infatuated by Asami, he does not really look deeper into the girl and actually ignores every sign that appears before him, which proves that there is more to this situation than he is aware of. What follows is a brilliant psycho-thriller, which is definitely not something that is in your face but is of a more subtle kind. As you read through the short narrative, which is often very descriptive of the Japanese culture, you experience an uneasiness that stems from the fact that each character is portrayed in an eerie way. You are sucked into a narrative that is both brilliant and yet unassuming, sort of like being lulled into a drunken bliss till the end, where you are in for that splash of cold water. This is definitely not your average crime or psycho-thriller, where there are several twists and turns. However, despite this lack, it is an interesting as well as an easy read. The only grouse I have with this book, which made me deduct a star, was the fact that the climax was too rushed. Where the book was perfect till the end, I felt that the author could have given the ending a little more finesse. Nevertheless, it is an enjoyable read, one that I would definitely recommend to all.

  19. 4 out of 5

    David

    Aoyama is a widower whose teenage son suggests that it might be time for him to remarry. When Aoyama mentions this possibility to a friend who works in in the film industry, the friend hatches a scheme to find Aoyama an attractive young wife quickly: They will launch a phony film production and will interview aspiring actresses for the nonexistent lead role. Despite his initial reservations, Ayoama goes along with this plan, succumbing to the fantasy of "himself surrounded by ten or twelve lovel Aoyama is a widower whose teenage son suggests that it might be time for him to remarry. When Aoyama mentions this possibility to a friend who works in in the film industry, the friend hatches a scheme to find Aoyama an attractive young wife quickly: They will launch a phony film production and will interview aspiring actresses for the nonexistent lead role. Despite his initial reservations, Ayoama goes along with this plan, succumbing to the fantasy of "himself surrounded by ten or twelve lovely, intelligent, refined young ladies." As in a traditional American noir of the 1950s, in which an ordinary guy in dire financial straits cannot resist the temptation of easy money, Aoyama has cast his lot and will face unpleasant consequences. While these American noirs are sometimes read as commentaries on the American Dream (promised to all, attainable to some), Audition seems a commentary on the situation of young women in Japan and the willingness of a decent man such as Aoyama to treat them like fruit in a supermarket. First reading: 30 May 2010 Second reading: 24 April 2011 Third reading: 21 April 2016 Fourth reading: 5 May 2019

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    This is more like a three and a half. I thought the prose was like butter. I read it in one sitting. It was so smooth. I find that with a lot of the translated Japanese literature I read, there seems to be this juxtaposition between innocence and hard-core disturbing. The story was so innocent, but there was this underlying something that you just knew was going to explode eventually. I appreciate the length of this novel. Stuff like this is best when you just get right down to the business. No This is more like a three and a half. I thought the prose was like butter. I read it in one sitting. It was so smooth. I find that with a lot of the translated Japanese literature I read, there seems to be this juxtaposition between innocence and hard-core disturbing. The story was so innocent, but there was this underlying something that you just knew was going to explode eventually. I appreciate the length of this novel. Stuff like this is best when you just get right down to the business. No off-shoot stories or extra characters or other stuff. I do tend to kind of shy away from anything too disturbing, so that's why I just couldn't put it with my beloved four stars. But it was definitely good and I may pick up In the Miso Soup if I ever come across it.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Дарья

    Slow start and ended fairly quickly.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Quirky Omega

    It has to be one of the most haunting and disturbing books I've ever come across. The fact that it was a terribly gripping read didn't help me at all. Loved it, plain and simple.

  23. 4 out of 5

    John

    Great but fast read that goes from curious to brutal in one fell swoop!

  24. 4 out of 5

    David Brown

    Very disappointing. The narrative runs along at a quick pace, so it's easy to complete this novel in one or two sittings. It's an interesting book, and perhaps a lot of my problem with this book has to do with the poor, uneven translation. The dialogue is stiff and unrealistic, especially in the first half of the book, but gets slightly better toward the end. The narrative isn't much better. It seems that most Japanese novels are written by the same bad writer. The few I've read, Ringu, Out, and Very disappointing. The narrative runs along at a quick pace, so it's easy to complete this novel in one or two sittings. It's an interesting book, and perhaps a lot of my problem with this book has to do with the poor, uneven translation. The dialogue is stiff and unrealistic, especially in the first half of the book, but gets slightly better toward the end. The narrative isn't much better. It seems that most Japanese novels are written by the same bad writer. The few I've read, Ringu, Out, and a few others, all have the same stale feel. Which I'm sure is due more to the translation than the original Japanese language novel. Which is unfortunate. It's especially bad when the movie version is far better than the literary inspiration, which is the case with Audition. The movie is unsettling, creepy, and downright creeped me out. Not so with the novel, which didn't even spike the creep o meter. Part of the problem is that the main character isn't very likable or sympathetic, rendering what in the film was a horrible, teeth clenching, gut spinning climax, into a wet, fizzled fire cracker in the book.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Tze-Wen

    Having read quite a lot of horror fiction and thrillers by writers such as Stephen King and Dean Koontz, I am not the kind of person that shies away from spine-chilling suspense and blood-curdling gore. I had my eye on this Ryu Murakami novel for a while and subsequently, I was expecting quite a lot from it. Unfortunately, from the very start the story failed to pull me in. First of all, I was irritated by the slow pace of the novel, which continues for no less than three-thirds of the book. I a Having read quite a lot of horror fiction and thrillers by writers such as Stephen King and Dean Koontz, I am not the kind of person that shies away from spine-chilling suspense and blood-curdling gore. I had my eye on this Ryu Murakami novel for a while and subsequently, I was expecting quite a lot from it. Unfortunately, from the very start the story failed to pull me in. First of all, I was irritated by the slow pace of the novel, which continues for no less than three-thirds of the book. I am assuming this leading up to the main event is meant for character development – of which there is some, but never enough to make me sympathize with either the protagonist or the others – and to build up suspense. Although the author incorporated a few hints about Yamasaki’s shady past, he never really succeeded in making me feel uneasy. In my opinion, Murakami should have taken his foreboding omens a bit further; I would have enjoyed the book a lot more if, say, Yoshikawa had followed his gut feeling and gotten himself in life-threatening situations (or even killed) by investigating Yamasaki too closely. Instead, our beautiful ballerina’s little half-truths and lies are too easy to explain, making her appear more like a newly dating woman who likes to keep her ugly skeletons in the closet for a while longer… than a potential psycho-killer. But Aoyama was so blinded by love anyway, she could have been caught with a knife in someone’s chest and he’d still believe any miserable excuse she came up with. The way the style and tone of the book kept wavering from anything between romance, suspense, horror and (unnecessarily) explicit sex, make me suspect that Murakami was experimenting with genres while writing Audition. The book has a little bit of everything, but not enough of anything to convince me of his potential. Finally, when I arrived at the scary part of the book (which is pretty decent, and the only reason I rated the book two stars instead of one!), I had become totally indifferent about Aoyoma’s fate. I’ll have to write this off as one the most disappointing books I have ever read.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Arun Divakar

    Imagine this : During the commute to your work or at your office, you happen to meet up with a relative stranger and it sends a lot of bells ringing in your head. You think up of all possible scenarios with the person and enact quite a lot of day dreams. Finally when you get to know the person more intimately you realise the stench of the sewage dump in that relationship which you had chosen to ignore until then. An exclamation keeps popping up in your head 'Why the hell did I have to do this ? Imagine this : During the commute to your work or at your office, you happen to meet up with a relative stranger and it sends a lot of bells ringing in your head. You think up of all possible scenarios with the person and enact quite a lot of day dreams. Finally when you get to know the person more intimately you realise the stench of the sewage dump in that relationship which you had chosen to ignore until then. An exclamation keeps popping up in your head 'Why the hell did I have to do this ? ' Take this factor and multiply it to somewhat higher levels of helplessness and that is what the premise of this story is all about. I am yet to see the cult classic movie that this book inspired, which I am told is quite impressive. The tale though appears to be very average with strictly no surprises. The author leaves enough clues scattered throughout the pages which leads everyone but the protagonist to imagine what the closure of the tale is going to be. The attractive factor of the tale is in the buildup. Until the last chapter, there is not even a whiff of the horror that the reader would be presented with. On the contrary, it unravels as a very soft romance between a middle aged widower and stunning teenager. Having seen a few of the Japanese horror flicks, the quality of visceral horror that the film makers can inject into movies would have made this into something sublime yet horrifying. However, the whole plot bears an uncanny resemblance to the brilliant Fatal Attraction with the intense parts watered down & the terrifying parts notched up ! I lean more towards marking this as a very average thriller and nothing more.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Terri

    I was a bit disappointed with the level of suspense (I wanted more) and felt like the character development was lopsided. Aoyama was fairly well developed and his background and motivations understandable, but Asami seemed simply a character with a role to fill in a book. The past that made her into a monster is revealed, but I never got the impression of a wounded soul. Asami is simply a monster, end of story. Perhaps this was Murakami's way of making a point that just didn't resonate with me. I was a bit disappointed with the level of suspense (I wanted more) and felt like the character development was lopsided. Aoyama was fairly well developed and his background and motivations understandable, but Asami seemed simply a character with a role to fill in a book. The past that made her into a monster is revealed, but I never got the impression of a wounded soul. Asami is simply a monster, end of story. Perhaps this was Murakami's way of making a point that just didn't resonate with me. I was also baffled by what I perceived to be a very flippant ending. The translation was quite readable, but I'm wondering if there were subtleties that were lost by not reading the novel in the original Japanese. While the story itself left me dissatisfied, I found a fascinating treatise on aspects of the Japanese dining experience. The community and harmony of sushi bar dining that can alternately be seen as exclusive and xenophobic. I wish I could quote this passage for you, but I've been asked not to quote from the Advanced Readers Copy. This passage occurs in Chapter 8. Recommended: Fans of the movie will probably want to read the novel that inspired the film.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Vanessa

    #JapaneseJune Book #2. Having seen the film a few years back, none of this book surprised me. I may have been a little hazy on the particulars but I generally remembered the premise and ending quite well. After all, it's a famous movie scene! That being said, it didn't take away from my enjoyment of the book at all. It was an easy read and I could have read it in one sitting, let alone the one day I completed it in, if I'd had more spare time. I wasn't too impressed with Murakami #JapaneseJune Book #2. Having seen the film a few years back, none of this book surprised me. I may have been a little hazy on the particulars but I generally remembered the premise and ending quite well. After all, it's a famous movie scene! That being said, it didn't take away from my enjoyment of the book at all. It was an easy read and I could have read it in one sitting, let alone the one day I completed it in, if I'd had more spare time. I wasn't too impressed with Murakami's writing style though. It was pretty basic and I found the initial couple of chapters a bit slow. The pacing overall was quite poor, with the beginning dragging and the ending feeling rushed, although I don't know if this was intentional or not. I also felt that the reactions of certain characters were incredibly unrealistic at times. Overall though it was a fun and entertaining read, and I'll probably check out more of Ryu Murakami's work, even just for the alleged messed up gore factor. Call me weird but that's probably what makes his books appeal the most to me.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Styler Ribarovic

    I haven't seen the movie but have heard all about it. I don't do well with watching movies with torture, so I decided to read the book instead. Eh. That was how I felt once I finished it. I skipped the dog scene completely, stuff like that just annoys me, and disgusts me. Half the novel is the same things over and over again - him talking about how perfect she is, their dates, and people warning him. For such a slim novel, it sure is repetitive. Perhaps it would have been better as ju I haven't seen the movie but have heard all about it. I don't do well with watching movies with torture, so I decided to read the book instead. Eh. That was how I felt once I finished it. I skipped the dog scene completely, stuff like that just annoys me, and disgusts me. Half the novel is the same things over and over again - him talking about how perfect she is, their dates, and people warning him. For such a slim novel, it sure is repetitive. Perhaps it would have been better as just a short story, instead of a slim novel. Because of how much it repeated itself, I was never fully engaged. I basically read the novel in one sitting, but not because I was engrossed in it. I have no desire ever seeing the film, and the book didn't make me want to see it anymore than before.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    "What was this all about?" Aoyama shook his head weakly. "I don't know," he said. "Nothing really." This is the perfect description of this book. It is about nothing. For a book that is supposedly a horror novel, there is no suspense whatsoever - I don't know if that's because I read a translation, or if it's because it was really written this way. I hope it's the translation because I don't understand why this book has high ratings. Something finally happens on page 170, but there ar "What was this all about?" Aoyama shook his head weakly. "I don't know," he said. "Nothing really." This is the perfect description of this book. It is about nothing. For a book that is supposedly a horror novel, there is no suspense whatsoever - I don't know if that's because I read a translation, or if it's because it was really written this way. I hope it's the translation because I don't understand why this book has high ratings. Something finally happens on page 170, but there are only 190 pages in the book. This book could have been so much more sinister, but it was just 170 pages of complete boredom, and then 20 pages of random violence. I'm so glad that this was a library book, and that I didn't buy it.

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