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The Book of Human Insects by Osamu Tezuka
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The Book of Human Insects

by Osamu Tezuka

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  1. 10
    Persona: A Biography of Yukio Mishima by Naoki Inose (GYKM)
    GYKM: The biography of a man who adopted not only false personas to succeed as a top national writer but in order to survive and to find meaning in postwar Japan.
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Another fascinating, clever, and horrifying graphic novel by Osamu Tezuka. Toshiko Tomura is the ultimate survivor: winding and weaving her way through a series of men and industries to achieve fame and riches. But in the end, she is an inevitable product of modernity.

Tezuka's Tomura wasn't just an empty-shell who utilized mimicry to get what she wanted. No, but like an owl butterfly she used her talent for mimicry to survive in a modern world of pretences, domestic violence, and machismo. She became the people who preyed on her beauty and talent and betrayed them a second or an hour before they would have betrayed her.

Though a short novel--two or three hours would suffice to read it, I would say that this is one of Tezuka's finest works, though the excessive number of sex scenes--even for a Tezuka novel--really detracted from my enjoyment of this novel--definitely not safe for reading on a packed 196B bus.

P.S. I couldn't help but pick up on the references to the Yukio Mishima Incident throughout the novel, which was originally serialized from 1970 to 1971. Mishima, like Tomura, was one of those strange people who lived a double life: a simple family man and a larger than life celebrity. I found the manner of Mishima's death, the calmness of his resolve, and his love for Greece paralleled in the characters of The Book of Human Insects.

Without hesitations,

Two Thumbs Up!
1 vote GYKM | Jul 3, 2013 |
THE BOOK OF HUMAN INSECTS by Osamu Tezuka is an unique graphic thriller. It is a Japanese manga comics book. It is the story of Toshiko Tomura who will stop at nothing to get what she wants. She has stolen,murdered,blackmailed, copied others works,but she has climbed the ladder to become an acclaimed stage actress and award-winning architect. I love the graphics(comic strip) style in this story. Although,the main character is a little over the top to me some will find her engaging.This is a haunting story of climbing to the top at all costs with little to no consequences. “The Book of Human Insects” is an intersting and unique story.It is the portrayal of a instead of “dog-eat-dog world” it is a “bug-eat-bug world”,where some of the charcters would sell their souls to achieve their goals.It was a little disturbing to me.If you enjoy a seductive,disturbing,brutal,cynical culture you will enjoy “The Book Of Human Insects” also. This book was received for review from the publisher.Details can be found at Vertical and My Book Addiction Reviews ( )
  tarenn | Sep 24, 2011 |
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This is Toshiko Tomura's Akutagawa-winning work, right?
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GRAPHIC NOVELS. Toshiko Tomura is the darling of the intelligentsia. A modern-day Michelangelo, this 20-year-old is already an established international stage actress, an up-and-coming architect, and the next recipient of the prestigious Akutagawa Prize as Japan's best new writer. She is the mastermind behind a series of murders. The ultimate mimic, she has plagiarised, blackmailed, stolen and replicated the works of scores of talents. Neglected as a child, she is challenging the concepts of gender inequality while unleashing her loneliness upon the world.… (more)

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