Tokyo Decadence

Tokyo Decadence : 15 Stories

3.58 (484 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author)  , Translated by 

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A cream-of-the-crop selection of Murakami's brilliance and piercing wit.

This collection shows sides of Ryu Murakami that even avid fans may not be expecting.
The intriguing, somewhat disturbing stories that Topaz was based on are included here, as are three entertaining and revealing portraits of the artist as a young man back in the Transparent Blue period of the late sixties and early seventies. We hear tales told by four very different individuals living in eighties Tokyo, each with his or her own problems but all with a thing about a certain pro baseball player, and we meet a brokenhearted young woman who finds an unexpected moment of love in the nineties and a single mother who stumbles on a ray of hope in the hard times of the noughties.
Mixed in there somewhere are three linked stories about desire and obsession, with the timeless, seductive rhythms of Cuban music in the background.

This book contains explicit content and is not suitable for minors.

About the author:
Ryu Murakami was not yet 24 when he won the prestigious Akutagawa Prize for his debut novel, Almost Transparent Blue. He has now published some forty best-selling novels, a dozen short-story collections, an armful of picture books, and a small mountain of essays. In his spare time, Ryu hosts a popular and long-running weekly TV show focusing on business and economic topics, and has for many years promoted tours and produced records for Cuban musicians. He has written and directed five feature films, of which Topaz a.k.a. Tokyo Decadence (1992) is probably the best known, and many of his novels have been made into films by other directors (notably Takashi Miike's Audition).

Translated novels include Coin Locker Babies (Noma Prize for New Writers), Sixty-Nine, Popular Hits of the Showa Era, Audition, In the Miso Soup (Yomiuri Prize for Literature), Piercing, and From the Fatherland, with Love (Noma Prize for Literature and Mainichi Publishing Culture Award).
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Product details

  • Paperback | 280 pages
  • 127 x 203 x 16mm | 304g
  • English
  • Illustrations, black and white
  • 4902075784
  • 9784902075786
  • 34,998

Review quote

...the seamier side of Japan's capital city... captures the unique flavor of the city through his cutting dialogue and often achingly beautiful descriptions. --World Literature Today ...this book was terrifying. Terrifying because it threw a side of society which exists and thrives everywhere but is deftly hidden most of the times right to my face... --Literary Sisters Murakami is indeed Dazai's true spiritual heir: a worldly, unshockable writer whose natural milieu lurks in the degeneracy of the world around him. ... No matter how sunk into depression, nihilism and cynicism we are--how much we give ourselves up to decadence and abuse--there is another purified and elevated version of ourselves waiting to be tapped into. Resonating with some fascinating ideas on the nature of art itself, Murakami's stories offer a fearless and iconoclastic insight into the subterranean obsessions and passions of Japan's megalopolis. --Damian Flanagan, The Japan Times 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. [...] Highly recommended! --Thomas Hübner, Mytwostotinki A very welcome collection: Murakami remains an underestimated and underappreciated author (though fortunately quite a few of his works have been translated into English), and this is a very good introduction to his writing, giving a good sense of what he does and how he does it. It offers new insights to old fans, too. -- Michael Orthofer, The Complete Review
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Rating details

484 ratings
3.58 out of 5 stars
5 19% (94)
4 35% (170)
3 33% (159)
2 9% (43)
1 4% (18)
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