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Tokyo Decadence PDF, ePub eBook In una Tokyo in piena decadenza, giovani schiave del sesso a pagamento tentano di conservare un briciolo di dignità tra un incontro erotico e l'altro. Tutto ciò che trovano, però, è umiliazione, perversione, brutale sopraffazione fisica e il più assoluto vuoto emotivo e sentimentale. Non ci sono tracce di umanità nella capitale giapponese, e l'unica via di fuga è riposta n In una Tokyo in piena decadenza, giovani schiave del sesso a pagamento tentano di conservare un briciolo di dignità tra un incontro erotico e l'altro. Tutto ciò che trovano, però, è umiliazione, perversione, brutale sopraffazione fisica e il più assoluto vuoto emotivo e sentimentale. Non ci sono tracce di umanità nella capitale giapponese, e l'unica via di fuga è riposta nel passato, nel ricordo di un'infanzia spensierata che diventa una mitica età dell'oro, o nella disperata e vana ricerca del vero amore. Nelle pagine di questo libro il ritratto spietato e lucidissimo di ua degradate discesa agli inferi collettiva, sullo sfondo di una metropoli alienante che riduce le persone a semplici corpi, strappando loro l'anima.

30 review for Tokyo Decadence

  1. 4 out of 5

    Thomas Hübner

    http://www.mytwostotinki.com/?p=2570 The protagonists in Ryu Murakami's collection of 15 short stories Tokyo Decadence are not your average salarymen and housewives you would probably expect from a contemporary Japanese author. The stories, competently translated by Ralph McCarthy as it seems (I don't speak Japanese and can judge only from the language of the translation), are taken from five story collections originally published between 1986 and 2003. They are depicting mainly the lives of Tokyoi http://www.mytwostotinki.com/?p=2570 The protagonists in Ryu Murakami's collection of 15 short stories Tokyo Decadence are not your average salarymen and housewives you would probably expect from a contemporary Japanese author. The stories, competently translated by Ralph McCarthy as it seems (I don't speak Japanese and can judge only from the language of the translation), are taken from five story collections originally published between 1986 and 2003. They are depicting mainly the lives of Tokyoites that live outside the "average" world of offices of big corporations. The men are film directors, novelists, university drop-outs, painters, musicians, petty drug dealers, waiters, or truck drivers, the women frequently single mothers, hostesses and call girls and they are in all their weirdness not so different from "us" average people: they are looking for love and friendship, for a way out of their unhappiness and misery, and for something that is missing in their lives - or in Japanese society in general; hence their fascination with baseball (in the first four stories, taken from Run, Takahashi!), cinema (in the three stories from Ryu's Cinematheque), or Cuba and its music (in the four stories taken from Swans). And when they can't find any of these things they are in a more or less conscious way longing for, there is still enough left to fill in the gaps and the emptiness: sex (lots of it!), drugs, and the joyless joys of consumerism (as in one of the strongest stories of the book, Topaz). Tokyo Decadence could be a depressing read with all these drifters, hoodlums, prostitutes, drug addicts and women on the verge of a nervous breakdown or beyond; the fact that Ryu Murakami was hailed by some media as an author in the mould of Bret Easton Ellis or Chuck Palahniuk seemed to suggest that I was to expect a book I would most probably not really enjoy very much. But it turned out that this book was a pleasant surprise. Ryu Murakami knows the milieu about which he is writing obviously very well; he is a TV host and a film director and also a producer of Cuban music; therefore his descriptions of the world of media or about Cuban music that are central to several stories feel absolutely authentic. As a film director and script writer he knows also how to write gripping dialogues. They are frequently very interesting because they reveal the real character of most protagonists. In several of the stories we get to know a character as narrator of the story before in the next story, told by another narrator, the main protagonist of the previous story is depicted in a very different way. Although each story is a stand-alone story, the frequent links between the individual stories of each collection give sometimes a feeling as if we are reading a novel or novella written from the standpoint of different narrators. And when I said in a recent review of a Colum McCann novel that that author obviously cannot create interesting female characters, the opposite is true of Ryu Murakami. Several of the narrators and main characters in the stories are women, and Murakami shows great empathy in describing them in all their humanity. Another element that I must mention here and that adds to the flavour of this story collection is the humor in most of the stories. The way how the unemployed macho truck driver in It All Started Just About a Year and a Half Ago finds his true - and more than surprising - vocation as a male transvestite hostess in a gay bar; and how his daughter finds out the truth about it: it is a hilariously funny story. Or when in The Last Picture Show the young narrator who was just evicted from his home starts to collect hydrangea leaves at night with a yakuza from the neighbourhood (dried and rolled they smell like weed); the whole "drug" selling is more like a prank of two kids. At the same time Murakami is revealing the soft side of the young yakuza who starts to shed tears when he is watching the movie The Last Picture Show in a cinema with his new acquaintance. This moment seems also to be the beginning of a friendship between these two young men. There is hope in many of the stories for the protagonists that their life will change one day. One of them really makes it to Cuba. And in the final story At the Airport when we are left guessing as readers until the last paragraph if Saito, the regular costumer of the sex worker who is telling us her story, and who fell in love with her will really turn up to bring her to a place where she can pursue the training for the profession she really wanted to learn since a long time, the narrator is watching an old couple waiting nearby: he is having a cigarette in the smoking area, while she is folding the paper wrappers of some chocolate she is eating. When the old man is coming back, his wife leaves him her seat. Getting old together is maybe the best that life has in stock for some of us, and while watching the old couple, the narrator seems to realize that this is also something she could aim at with Saito - who is turning up just in time at the last moment. A hopeful end of this story and the story collection I truly enjoyed. Ryu Murakami - not related to Haruki Murakami - is author of forty novels, a dozen short story books, several collections of essays and picture books, and also director of five feature films. Tokyo Decadence is an excellent opportunity to discover one of the best and most prolific Japanese contemporary authors. Highly recommended!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Emm - One Thousand Years of Books

    4.5. Off-kilter shorts in a roulette of genres. A(n un)healthy bit of intrigue and surreal dramedy, with a bit of always ill-fated romance and the signature Murakami sense of alienation from normal life. Tokyo Decadence is a best-of album from several different collections. There is a big theme of escapism. People drowning themselves in excess and decadence, trying to figure out their identity in the confused chaos of modern culture. People who are obsessed with someone or something that they ha 4.5. Off-kilter shorts in a roulette of genres. A(n un)healthy bit of intrigue and surreal dramedy, with a bit of always ill-fated romance and the signature Murakami sense of alienation from normal life. Tokyo Decadence is a best-of album from several different collections. There is a big theme of escapism. People drowning themselves in excess and decadence, trying to figure out their identity in the confused chaos of modern culture. People who are obsessed with someone or something that they have it in their mind can lead them to what they truly want in life. Characters who go about a routine in a life they have no interest in, but have no way out of. Some are more sympathetic than others. There aren't any stories that stand out as 'bad', but the good star rating was really won with a few in particular. "Each Time I Read Your Confession", about a pharmacist's creepy son who murders a family and is unsure as to what drove him to it, exactly. "Swans", of a depressed woman who finds herself falling in love with a girl she met at an amusement park, is kind of beautiful. And "La Dolce Vita",about two teenagers who dream of becoming filmmakers, but as most people, stray into a rather different direction from their dream. These three are probably the best, but the surprise horror of "Penlight" also stands out pretty well, going from dull to disturbing in about twelve pages. Tokyo Decadence is likely not the best place to start with R. Murakami, it may be misleading since it is not as intense nor as disturbing as his novels. It is in the same observant, casually cynical tone, but without a lot of the extreme subject matter. Still hardly the fluffiest read you'll ever find, but probably the lightest work from this author.

  3. 4 out of 5

    তানজীম Rahman)

    I read somewhere that this book is supposed to surprise hardcore Ryu Murakami fans, since it's so very different from his other works. Well, that statement is kind of true, and kind of not. I'm a huge fan of the master satirist (personal favorites being 'In the Miso Soup' and 'Popular Hits of the Showa Era'). His writing is often brutal, violent and merciless, but also filled with sharp observations about humanity along with a dark sense of humor. Tokyo Decadence has almost all of these qualities I read somewhere that this book is supposed to surprise hardcore Ryu Murakami fans, since it's so very different from his other works. Well, that statement is kind of true, and kind of not. I'm a huge fan of the master satirist (personal favorites being 'In the Miso Soup' and 'Popular Hits of the Showa Era'). His writing is often brutal, violent and merciless, but also filled with sharp observations about humanity along with a dark sense of humor. Tokyo Decadence has almost all of these qualities, which is why I wasn't as surprised as I was supposed to be. Most of the short stories contained within this book are dark, dirty, sly and as sharp as a razor blade hiding under a pillowcase. But what did manage to surprise me was the subtle sweetness Murakami shows in some of the stories. Most often this sweetness manifests itself as a happy ending, such as in the story titled 'At the Airport'. Sometimes it's an odd friendship, like in 'The Last Picture Show'. And sometimes this sweetness, this sympathy towards his characters shows itself in the form of a breakup and reconciliation, like in 'Se Fue'. I also enjoyed the more bizarre stories, like 'I Am A Novelist', because they too had something to say about humanity (the strange relationship between personality and love in this case). Overall I'd give the book a 3.5, and would recommend it to Murakami's fans and non-fans alike. Those who already like his style will like a lot of the stories, and this is a good, milder introduction for those who aren't familiar with his quirks.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    This really was not my type of book. Some of the stories have insightful thoughts, but overall I didn't really like the writing style.

  5. 4 out of 5

    JQ Salazar

    4.5/5 - A lot of great stuff here, the kind of dark and fucked up characters I love to read about. A handful of these stories will certainly stick with me, like the three interlinked Cinematheque ones and a particular one where a girl gets her feet sawed off. While I had a great time, one thing that really bugged me is how almost all of the characters sound the same and approach telling their stories with full biographies out the gate. Still, hyped to read more Ryu.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Blake Fraina

    This review is of the US edition issued by Kurodahan Press in March 2016 and translated into English by Ralph McCarthy. To be completely honest, when I requested this book I thought the author was Haruki Murakami (of Q184 and The Wind Up Bird Chronicle fame). If I had known these stories were written by the man responsible for the story behind the Japanese torture-porn film Audition, it's more than likely I would have taken a pass. Be that as it may, I received a free copy in exchange for an hones This review is of the US edition issued by Kurodahan Press in March 2016 and translated into English by Ralph McCarthy. To be completely honest, when I requested this book I thought the author was Haruki Murakami (of Q184 and The Wind Up Bird Chronicle fame). If I had known these stories were written by the man responsible for the story behind the Japanese torture-porn film Audition, it's more than likely I would have taken a pass. Be that as it may, I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review so I was obligated to neck it out and write my thoughts. I'll start by saying that, as a feminist, I'm deeply suspicious of male writers who obsess over the sex lives of women and, further, have the audacity to write from a female viewpoint. Call me retrograde, but no matter how evolved we become as a species, men will never, ever understand women's attitude toward sex (and, frankly, I don't think they're particularly interested in trying). Ryu Murakami is no exception. His female characters are pretty much all pathetic victims of the male characters, yet most of them also seem to secretly lust after the sort of sex that men fantasize about (self-denying, masochistic, fellatio, anal - with utterly no focus on self-pleasure whatsoever). It seems many men want to believe that women enjoy being debased and humiliated in order to relieve themselves of any guilt that they might be treating women badly. So yeah, the repeated depictions of prostitutes, not to mention women with mental illness or simply low self-esteem sexually degrading themselves was a real drag. I could never completely lose myself in the stories, because I smelled the author's misogynist stench rising off most of them. Not to say that they were poorly written or that the [loving] translation was bad. Quite the contrary, in fact. These stories were chosen by the translator from five separate books and, within each book, the stories are woven rather tightly around a specific theme. Sometimes the focus is on a single moment in time, as in Run, Takahashi, as each of the four stories climaxes at the moment when two fans at a Carps baseball game jump up and shout those very words to a star player stealing a base. It reminded me very much of Jim Jarmusch's film Mystery Train in which the through-line in each of the four scenarios is when you hear the DJ (played by Tom Waits) announce the time and then play a particular song on the radio. Topaz is a more loosely strung together series of stories that follows the lives of a group of call girls who work for the same Tokyo agency. In both Cinematheque and Swans, there are overlapping and recurring characters as well. The concepts were intriguing and the stories were tight and well-written, helped, I suspect, by an expert translation that is less interested in being literal than in communicating the messages/ideas as the author intended. I wanted to enjoy the stories and even considered re-visting them to see all the interconnections, but unfortunately, as a woman, this is very alienating and offensive stuff so once I was finished, I demurred from cracking the spine again. I wish there was absolutely no market for stuff like this and I particularly discourage women readers from buying it because if no one were to support content like this in literature and films, maybe it would be relegated to the margins again. Cannot recommend.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Alex Fyffe

    Murakami details the lives of alienated young Japanese men and women adrift in a Westernized society that has confused their cultural understanding of self. Obsessed with empty sex, consumerism and drugs, prostitutes, thugs and art students wander through dead city streets, in and out of expensive hotels and fancy restaurants, seeking connections with other human beings but failing to ever hold on to anything meaningful. Lovers destroy each other through jealousy and excess, co-workers demean ea Murakami details the lives of alienated young Japanese men and women adrift in a Westernized society that has confused their cultural understanding of self. Obsessed with empty sex, consumerism and drugs, prostitutes, thugs and art students wander through dead city streets, in and out of expensive hotels and fancy restaurants, seeking connections with other human beings but failing to ever hold on to anything meaningful. Lovers destroy each other through jealousy and excess, co-workers demean each other over perceived sleights, students waste years in apathetic drug stupors, unable to commit to people or work. These themes of cultural identity crisis and isolation should be familiar to long-time readers of Ryu Murakami, whose novels Audition, Coin Locker Babies, In the Miso Soup, and, particularly, Almost Transparent Blue, are layered with many of the same obsessions. Although some readers will cringe at the disturbing violence and degradation shockingly depicted in several of the stories, these scenes emphasize the dehumanizing effects of a society advertising the American Dream to a defeated people. References to modern pop music, American GIs, television programming, jazz, drugs, and Western films fill the pages of these characters' lives, drowning them in the postwar dream, leaving them to figure out how to stay afloat, how to rebuild their identities in an increasingly homogeneous world. For the narrator of "Historia de un Amor," escaping Japan for the tenements of Cuba, a country that "doesn't tolerate any childish dependence on others," brings him to the understanding that people mature only through independence, by reclaiming individuality and finding a beauty and inner strength uncorrupted by outside forces.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Dexter Caulfield

    If you've been feeling lost, lonely and utterly hopeless prior to reading this book, it will probably devastate you even further when you're done reading it. But if you're like me and enjoy deliberately tormenting yourself, then go right ahead. Play some melancholic jazz music in the background and allow yourself to get lost in the painfully relatable tales of Tokyo Decadence. "...the social pressure of “You’ve got everything you need, what’s your problem?” is more powerful than you might ever th If you've been feeling lost, lonely and utterly hopeless prior to reading this book, it will probably devastate you even further when you're done reading it. But if you're like me and enjoy deliberately tormenting yourself, then go right ahead. Play some melancholic jazz music in the background and allow yourself to get lost in the painfully relatable tales of Tokyo Decadence. "...the social pressure of “You’ve got everything you need, what’s your problem?” is more powerful than you might ever think, and it’s hard to defend yourself against it. In this country it’s taboo even to think about looking for something more in life." - from Historia de un Amor

  9. 4 out of 5

    Roberta

    Chissà come mai i giapponesi scrivono così spesso di sesso. Scelta commerciale o è proprio un modo diverso di viverlo? Entrambe le cose, penso. Eppure alcune di questi racconti mi sembrano tanto storie d'amore. Mi sono piaciute le donne rappresentate in queste pagine.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Norbert Preining

    The other Murakami, Ryu Murakami (村上 龍), is hard to compare to the more famous Haruki. His collection of stories reflects the dark sides of Tokyo, far removed from the happy world of AKB48 and the like. Criminals, prostitutes, depression, loss. A bleak image onto a bleak society. This collection of short stories is a consequent deconstruction of happiness, love, everything we believe to make our lives worthwhile. The protagonists are idealistic students loosing their faith, office ladies on aberr The other Murakami, Ryu Murakami (村上 龍), is hard to compare to the more famous Haruki. His collection of stories reflects the dark sides of Tokyo, far removed from the happy world of AKB48 and the like. Criminals, prostitutes, depression, loss. A bleak image onto a bleak society. This collection of short stories is a consequent deconstruction of happiness, love, everything we believe to make our lives worthwhile. The protagonists are idealistic students loosing their faith, office ladies on aberrations, drunkards, movie directors, the usual mixture. But the topic remains constant – the unfulfilled search for happiness and love. I felt I was beginning to understand what happiness is about. It isn’t about guzzling ten or twenty energy drinks a day, barreling down the highway for hours at a time, turning over your paycheck to your wife without even opening the envelope, and trying to force your family to respect you. Happiness is based on secrets and lies.Ryu Murakami, It all started just about a year and a half ago A deep pessimistic undertone is echoing through these stories, and the atmosphere and writing reminds of Charles Bukowski. This pessimism resonates in the melancholy of the running themes in the stories, Cuban music. Murakami was active in disseminating Cuban music in Japan, which included founding his own label. Javier Olmo’s pieces are often the connecting parts, as well as lending the short stories their title: Historia de un amor, Se fué. The belief – that what’s missing now used to be available to us – is just an illusion, if you ask me. But the social pressure of “You’ve got everything you need, what’s your problem?” is more powerful than you might ever think, and it’s hard to defend yourself against it. In this country it’s taboo even to think about looking for something more in life.Ryu Murakami, Historia de un amor It is interesting to see that on the surface, the women in the stories are the broken characters, leading feminists to incredible rants about the book, see the rant^Wreview of Blake Fraina at Goodreads: I’ll start by saying that, as a feminist, I’m deeply suspicious of male writers who obsess over the sex lives of women and, further, have the audacity to write from a female viewpoint… …female characters are pretty much all pathetic victims of the male characters… I wish there was absolutely no market for stuff like this and I particularly discourage women readers from buying it…Blake Fraina, Goodreads review On first sight it might look like that the female characters are pretty much all pathetic victims of the male characters, but in fact it is the other way round, the desperate characters, the slaves of their own desperation, are the men, and not the women, in these stories. It is dual to the situation in Hitomi Kanehara’s Snakes and Earrings, where on first sight the tattooist and the outlaw friends are the broken characters, but the really cracked one is the sweet Tokyo girly. Male-female relationships are always in transition. If there’s no forward progress, things tend to slip backwards.Ryu Murakami, Se fué Final verdict: Great reading, hard to put down, very much readable and enjoyable, if one is in the mood of dark and depressing stories. (originally published on There and back again - Ryu Murakami – Tokyo Decadence

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    Yeah, this book earns its “adults-only” rating. Not so much for the graphic stuff, in my opinion, but for the bleak portrayal of adult relationships. One of my favorites was the story of the truck driver, mainly for the mostly happy ending. Many of the stories don’t feel complete; but not in a bad way. It’s more that I felt the author had communicated what he wanted you to know, and you needed to create the rest on your own. Or that the reader contributes to the story by thinking about it. An in Yeah, this book earns its “adults-only” rating. Not so much for the graphic stuff, in my opinion, but for the bleak portrayal of adult relationships. One of my favorites was the story of the truck driver, mainly for the mostly happy ending. Many of the stories don’t feel complete; but not in a bad way. It’s more that I felt the author had communicated what he wanted you to know, and you needed to create the rest on your own. Or that the reader contributes to the story by thinking about it. An intriguing set of stories.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jackie

    Really enjoyed it. As any short story collection goes, some stories were more interesting then others. And a couple completely forgettable. Always enjoy Ryu's style and his ability to capture different protagonists so distinctly. Also always unnerving not knowing when any of his stories could go completely unhinged into outright horror. Mostly on the tame side though this one.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Everett

    While I do enjoy reading Ryu Murakami's work, this was probably one of his weakest. Don't get me wrong, it was good. I just don't think it comes close to comparing to his best. If you are already a Murakami fan then read it. If not then I would start with Audition or Almost Transparent Blue.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Connor Foley

    Fantastic and eclectic collection of stories. Brilliant and unhinged character writing, finally got into Murakami’s groove with this one (my third book of his)

  15. 4 out of 5

    incipit mania

    Incipit Quando mi è passato accanto sono quasi caduta a terra.... Tokyo decadence Incipitmania

  16. 5 out of 5

    Laurissa Crawford

    Terrible book in my opinion.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Evelyn Sander

    Some fabulous stories and some not so good ones. My favorite is the first one.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Roberto

    Piccole fioche lanterne, nel buio della nostra decadenza Mi aspettavo, anche con insana curiosità, un tasso di degrado e morbosità oltre i limiti, donne prive (per scelta o costrizione) della propria dignità in un contesto di grande squallore morale, e che fosse sopratutto il loro. E invece, con sorpresa, le donne di Ryu Murakami nella loro semplicità primitiva sono di una profonda bellezza naturale, nella migliore tradizione giapponese. Sono fragili e tenere, a volte introverse e un poco smarrit Piccole fioche lanterne, nel buio della nostra decadenza Mi aspettavo, anche con insana curiosità, un tasso di degrado e morbosità oltre i limiti, donne prive (per scelta o costrizione) della propria dignità in un contesto di grande squallore morale, e che fosse sopratutto il loro. E invece, con sorpresa, le donne di Ryu Murakami nella loro semplicità primitiva sono di una profonda bellezza naturale, nella migliore tradizione giapponese. Sono fragili e tenere, a volte introverse e un poco smarrite pur sapendo dove andare e cosa fare, solitarie ma anche solidali tra loro, appassionate e devote con i loro amori segreti che non le meritano, a volte loro malgrado sessualmente coinvolte al di là del libero arbitrio della ragione, come succede a tutti noi. Trovano senza malignità propria una dimensione tollerabile per se stesse e poi, negli spazi concessi, malamente tollerata nel mondo che le circonda. E quello si, invece, è maligno e decadente, travolto e imputridito dalla sua noia di vivere che solo forme di potere personale e immorale, come quello sui remissivi (fosse anche solo per soldi), possono forse appena attenuare. Ma non per molto, il loro (e nostro) percorso sulla via del degrado non può essere interrotto.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sara Booklover

    Ho letto questo libro attirata da una pura curiosità. Solitamente amo i libri giapponesi e questo, (romanzo più famoso di Ryu Murakami, considerato dalla critica una delle opere più importanti del panorama letterario erotico postmoderno e dal quale nel 1992 è stato tratto un film) dal contenuto della trama, mi ispirava molto. Mi sono detta: se ne è stato tratto un film vuol dire che effettivamente è una storia che merita. Errore. Quando l'ho letto (poi me ne sono accorta dopo) non sapevo che la Ho letto questo libro attirata da una pura curiosità. Solitamente amo i libri giapponesi e questo, (romanzo più famoso di Ryu Murakami, considerato dalla critica una delle opere più importanti del panorama letterario erotico postmoderno e dal quale nel 1992 è stato tratto un film) dal contenuto della trama, mi ispirava molto. Mi sono detta: se ne è stato tratto un film vuol dire che effettivamente è una storia che merita. Errore. Quando l'ho letto (poi me ne sono accorta dopo) non sapevo che la trasposizione cinematografica è stata fatta dallo stesso Ryu, che ne è regista, sceneggiatore e produttore. Bella forza, ora si spiegano tante cose!!! Partiamo dal fatto che, anche se non era specificato da nessuna parte, questo non è un vero e proprio romanzo, ma una raccolta di racconti (che poi per il film ne hanno fatta una storia unica). Non me ne ero accorta subito, pensavo che il libro fosse suddiviso in capitoli; e invece no: ogni titolo sta ad indicare una nuova storia con una nuova protagonista. Come scelta stilistica l'ho trovata superflua, perché alla fine le protagoniste sono tutte prostitute e fanno più o meno tutte le stesse cose, il fatto che appartenessero a storie diverse, anche se similissime, mi ha confuso parecchio le idee. Ma col senno di poi, sono arrivata alla conclusione che questo difetto, anche se inizialmente mi aveva irritata, è un'inezia a confronto con tutti gli altri difetti ben più gravi che ci sono. Lo stile narrativo di questo libro è meccanico, sterile, freddo, senza sentimenti di nessun tipo e infinitamente noioso! Per non parlare poi del contenuto intrinseco delle varie storie che ne compongono la trama: storie senza senso, prive di alcuno spessore, con personaggi che sembrano marionette ritagliate dal cartone delle scatole dei cereali, che compiono azioni sconnesse e dettate dal caso; come se le decisioni che prendono non siano frutto di ragionamento, ma di una sortita nella boccia di vetro di una (pessima) lotteria. E poi vogliamo parlare del fatto che questo libro sarebbe categorizzato come erotico? Io di erotismo non ne ho percepito nemmeno un briciolo. Semmai, proprio a voler essere generosi, si potrebbe definire pulp (e forse grottesco), ma non vorrei offendere quei libri pulp (e grotteschi) degni di questo nome, perché "Tokyo decadence" in realtà non è degno di essere categorizzato neanche lì. Nella quarta di copertina del libro si fanno riferimenti ad aggettivi come "decadenza", "perversione" e "degrado", quindi io ne ero ben conscia e non mi aspettavo storie di cieli azzurri e fiorellini, niente affatto, ma mi aspettavo una lettura dai contenuti forti e che facesse provare forti emozioni, anche negative. Le scene forti ci sono, ma non rendono. Infatti io non ho provato assolutamente niente di niente, speravo solo che il libro finisse il prima possibile perché mi stavo annoiando terribilmente. Tutta questa perversione, è descritta talmente meccanicamente e asetticamente che non riesce a suscitare neanche sentimenti di indignazione e di schifo.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Milliebot

    I received this book for free from LibraryThing and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. All opinions in this post are my own. This book was not at all what I thought it would be, and my low rating is because the subjects just weren't to my taste. I'm not sure what I was expecting but... The stories are grouped based on theme, I think. For instance the first set all involve some mention of a certain baseball playe I received this book for free from LibraryThing and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. All opinions in this post are my own. This book was not at all what I thought it would be, and my low rating is because the subjects just weren't to my taste. I'm not sure what I was expecting but... The stories are grouped based on theme, I think. For instance the first set all involve some mention of a certain baseball player from the Carps - whether it's people wanting to meet him or seeing his games or something. Other sets seem to be stories told from the points of view of different characters in the same time period. As as result, much of the book felt repetitive. I couldn't relate to any of the characters, and wasn't invested in a single story. I didn't much enjoy the portrayal of women in this book either - most of them are whores, drug addicts, or abused and berated by the men in their lives. Some of the stories were pretty graphic too. I know that it touches on this in the description, but I was expecting steamy sex scenes. What I wasn't expecting to read about was a woman who was drugged, had her feet cut off in some guy's apartment (and ground up and flushed down a toilet), and then subsequently raped. That particular story was incredibly disturbing and I almost didn't pick the book up again. That's a bit too graphic for my tastes. The stories that weren't disturbingly sexual were about depressed men and their failed relationships and recreational drug use, or their love for a particular Cuban singer. I just didn't get it. Murakami's writing isn't bad, per se, it's just not anything I cared for.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Aries

    Che delusione totale, questa è la prima cosa che ho pensato chiudendo il libro di Ryu Murakami (da non confondersi manco per sbaglio con Haruki, please). Dell’autore avevo già letto Tokyo Soup, che mi aveva fatto una buona impressione pur rimanendo un genere molto particolare, sicuramente non adatta a tutti gli stomaci; quando ho affrontato Tokyo Decadence (titolo originale “Topaz”, no comment) mi aspettavo di trovare sì un libro altrettanto “forte” e “difficile”, ma che in qualche modo sapesse a Che delusione totale, questa è la prima cosa che ho pensato chiudendo il libro di Ryu Murakami (da non confondersi manco per sbaglio con Haruki, please). Dell’autore avevo già letto Tokyo Soup, che mi aveva fatto una buona impressione pur rimanendo un genere molto particolare, sicuramente non adatta a tutti gli stomaci; quando ho affrontato Tokyo Decadence (titolo originale “Topaz”, no comment) mi aspettavo di trovare sì un libro altrettanto “forte” e “difficile”, ma che in qualche modo sapesse anche coinvolgere e dare qualche tipo di emozione, anche negativa. Invece niente, il nulla più totale, la sensazione complessiva è quella di essere “asettico”. Probabilmente anche il tipo di libro non aiuta, dato che mentre Tokyo Soup era un romanzo ben definito, con una storia portante, qui abbiamo una serie di brevi racconti con unico filo conduttore quello di avere come protagoniste delle prostitute con (più o meno) notevoli problemi che incontrano clienti con (molto più che meno) notevoli problemi. Sulla carta gli ingredienti per un qualcosa di “fastidioso” e di “toccante” c’erano tutti ed assicuro che il buon Ryu non risparmia certo scene forti, ma il risultato è l’indifferenza, totale ed irrimediabile. L’unico dubbio che può sorgere è che la volontà dell’autore potesse essere proprio questa, quella di denunciare certe condizioni ed il modo in cui si possa arrivare a snaturalizzare tutto… un dubbio che non riesco a sentire così “forte” e che mi lascia in realtà la sensazione che, semplicemente, stavolta abbia toppato alla grande. Peccato.

  22. 5 out of 5

    D

    A person whose bio reads: A renaissance man for the postmodern age, Ryu Murakami—a musician, filmmaker (Tokyo Decadence), TV personality, and award-winning author—has gained a cult following in the West. would have made me stay away with my eyebrows raised to the very top of my forehead, but my first Ryu Murakami was In the Miso Soup and what that edition cleverly did was not summarise the novel but just print an excerpt from one of the more gristly scenes in the back of the book. Intriguing and A person whose bio reads: A renaissance man for the postmodern age, Ryu Murakami—a musician, filmmaker (Tokyo Decadence), TV personality, and award-winning author—has gained a cult following in the West. would have made me stay away with my eyebrows raised to the very top of my forehead, but my first Ryu Murakami was In the Miso Soup and what that edition cleverly did was not summarise the novel but just print an excerpt from one of the more gristly scenes in the back of the book. Intriguing and good marketing. I've read Miso Soup and Audition, which shows that Ryu Murakami knows how to do psychological thrillers at the very least and how to set up atmosphere. Tokyo Decadence is touted as a collection of short stories with a range that might surprise even a Ryu Murakami fan and I guess that's pretty legit. Despite all the 'shocking horror' and that incredibly hipster bio, what makes Ryu Murakami a good writer is that his stories make you feel like at the very least this author cares about the human condition, and that he examines this human condition. Maybe a limited view of it, but isn't that what everyone has anyway? Stories like 'I'm an Author' and 'Topaz' are the ones that I liked best in this collection.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Chon

    For me, some of these stories capture the sadness of being lonely and the lack of fulfilness this brings in an ongoing spiral. I'm not sure how to explain this properly. These stories are not a good companion piece to Tokyo Decadence the movie, which features a vulnerable female protagonist who befalls several misfortunes. On the other hand, i played match-up a bit, seeing how all these ideas fully fledged themselves out into one character. I grew to have a sour distaste for many of the male chara For me, some of these stories capture the sadness of being lonely and the lack of fulfilness this brings in an ongoing spiral. I'm not sure how to explain this properly. These stories are not a good companion piece to Tokyo Decadence the movie, which features a vulnerable female protagonist who befalls several misfortunes. On the other hand, i played match-up a bit, seeing how all these ideas fully fledged themselves out into one character. I grew to have a sour distaste for many of the male characters in this book. Maybe I'm meant to. I'm assuming that these stories are set in the opulence of 80s Japan. Men in high-power creative roles, women working as sex workers in valleys of mystery, sadism and discontent. Desperation is captured quite well, and indifference creates a surrealist experience for me. Not sure if this is a well known sequence, but my favourite kinds of moments are unexpected friendships and warmth. If you're as trigger-happy-bleeding-heart, there's ample opportunity to spot casual ethnocentricism and homophobia in these stories. I don't want this to go unsaid.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Yves Gounin

    Un Murakami peut en cacher un autre. La célébrité de Haruki, l'auteur de "1Q84", a éclipsé celle de Ryu, auquel on doit pourtant "Les bébés de la consigne automatique" ou "Miso Soup". Ses romans sont des descriptions trash d'un Japon contemporain déshumanisé et hyperindividualiste en quête de valeurs. "Topaze" est un recueil de quatre nouvelles publiées en 1988. Elles ont en commun d'avoir pour héroïnes de jeunes prostituées SM. Comme Virginie Despentes, Ryu Murakami décrit crûment le monde du s Un Murakami peut en cacher un autre. La célébrité de Haruki, l'auteur de "1Q84", a éclipsé celle de Ryu, auquel on doit pourtant "Les bébés de la consigne automatique" ou "Miso Soup". Ses romans sont des descriptions trash d'un Japon contemporain déshumanisé et hyperindividualiste en quête de valeurs. "Topaze" est un recueil de quatre nouvelles publiées en 1988. Elles ont en commun d'avoir pour héroïnes de jeunes prostituées SM. Comme Virginie Despentes, Ryu Murakami décrit crûment le monde du sexe et ses pratiques les plus sophistiquées. Bondage, podophilie, lavement : aucune pratique du fétichisme dernier cri ne nous est épargnée. Le plaisir égrillard qu'on pense trouver à cette lecture est vite eclipsé par la profonde tristesse qui émane de ces courtes histoires. Murakami les avait lui même portées à l'écran en 1992 dans un film intitulé "Tokyo Decadence" vite devenu cul(te) dans les vidéothèques. "La chair est triste" ... mais heureusement, il reste tant de livres à lire !

  25. 5 out of 5

    Housewife Bubuchu

    Рассказы о женщинах-проститутках с интеллектом от 2 до 5. Я могу понять альтернативщину и контр-культуру. Но это просто треш. Набор бессмысленных рассказов в которых феерически тупые бабы совершают максимально тупые и нелогичные поступки. Искать в этом некую истину и трагедию жизни невозможно. Лучше уж проститутку Кэт почитать, у нее хотя бы есть характер, интеллект и чувство юмора. А это в мусор.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Data79

    Una storia banale, sciatta, confusa e assolutamente inutile. Il ritorno all'infanzia, visto come passato mitico e via di fuga, è superfluo. L'intero libro ha come unico scopo la veicolazione della descrizione di situazioni e avventure erotiche che vive la protagonista, peccato che invece di essere pruriginose o intriganti siano mal descritte e noiose.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Marco

    Nel libro, a parte qualche rara occasione, è tutto freddo e asettico, dai dialoghi alle descrizioni degli atti sessuali e dei luoghi. Credo che l'autore abbia scelto volontariamente questo stile per denunciare la decadenza a cui si fa riferimento nel titolo, ma cercare di trasmettere qualche emozione in più, seppur negativa, non avrebbe fatto male.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Riccardo

    non so come si faccia definire questo il "romanzo di rappresentanza" di Ryu Murakami. �� mille volte meglio Tokyo Soup. non dico che per il periodo non fosse un romanzo forte, ma oggi �� solo una raccolta di novelle vagamente erotiche decisamente di cattivo gusto.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Frank Karioris

    It may be shocking to some, but it seemed much more tame to me than anticipated or than the blurb would indicate. Its well written, and I enjoy the ways the stories intertwined and, in many ways, repeated themselves in variations.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Marco Feed

    È il terzo libro più brutto in assoluto mai letto. Inutile aggiungere altro se non che solitamente amo la letteratura giapponese .

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