When ones gets through the first chapter, or even for that matter, the first sentence, of Ryu Murakami’s Coin Lockers Babies, there is a sudden realization that the mundane is grotesque, sordid, and fetid–that natural everyday life hides behind it a prominent unnaturalness, and vice versa.
Murakami’s novel, after all, was based on the true phenomenon of rampant infanticide in Japan and China in the ’80s and ’90s, where parents abandoned their infants in coin lockers. While the novel’s characters, Kiki and Hashi, escape this fate, their coming of age, quasi-cyberpunk odyssey is one with no catharsis. There is an angst and anger, as personal as it is societal, in Murakami’s world of psychological torment and neglect that spans the remote Japan islands to the radioactive “toxitown” ghettos and bordellos of Tokyo, where life seems as complex in its sexuality, desire, and violence as it is simple in its needs.
|Recommended by Rhys Dipshan||Wednesday, December 9th, 2015||No Comments »|