Genre: Fiction / Magical realism
Page count: 200
Release date: 2019
Japanese (pop)culture and stories have always been a part of my life. I grew up with SEGA and Nintendo consoles and often the videogame producers that I played games from where Japanese. Later I started watching anime too and I’ve always loved the way the Japanese can tell a story.
When we came across this book, I was instantly drawn to it and we really wanted to have it. It’s been on our shelves for half a year or so and when I was browsing through our home library I decided to finally give this book a read!
The protagonist of this story has just been diagnosed with a brain tumor and only has at most a few days left to live, but then the Devil shows up and offers him a deal: Make something disappear from the Earth and you’ll get one more day to live. Of course the Devil wouldn’t be the Devil if the deal was crooked.
“Love inevitably ended. Yet, people fall in love, knowing full well that the end is inevitable. Maybe this was true about life as well. The end would inevitably come, we realised this, yet we lived. Just like with love this finiteness gave it its shine.” ~ page 73
I just couldn’t put this book down and was enthralled by it. It’s written with very simple, plain language and I think that is also its biggest strength. Its simplicity in execution, but also the struggle of the protagonist as he looks back at a life and what he has accomplished. Or rather, the lack of accomplishment. This is a story that will make you think about your own life and how much you’ve done and what makes life worth living. The story contained everything I am looking for in a good story; humour, questioning the Human Condition, and some really smart twists.
“Cats are great. Normally he never reacted to my moods, but when I was having a really bad time, he was at my side, just like now.” ~142
This book will definitely linger in my mind for quite some time and it’s given me a lot of inspiration! So, that’s great 🙂 I am really curious about more works by Genki Kawamura too. So, I’ll definitely be looking into more of his writing!
Paper Smell: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟