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In the Miso Soup by Ryū Murakami
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In the Miso Soup (1997)

by Ryū Murakami

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1,038458,123 (3.45)1 / 88
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English (36)  French (4)  Portuguese (1)  Danish (1)  Catalan (1)  Norwegian (1)  Czech (1)  All (45)
Showing 1-5 of 36 (next | show all)
What I appreciated about In the Miso Soup the most was possibly the precision with which Ryu Murakami picked apart Japanese culture.

He takes all the idiosyncrasies, faults, flaws and quirks of Japanese culture and picks them apart as if by dissection - precisely, accurately, explicitly.

This book doesn't necessarily have any 'good' characters, thus the story continues on with a threadbare morality, all across a few nights in Tokyo. It's nightmarish, it's dark and all the reviews that mention its savagery, its raw, visceral nature are absolutely correct. Murakami writes in such a way that not a lot has to happen for me to be absolutely terrified.

The narrator, Kenji, is guided almost completely by his instincts of working as a tour guide in the thick of Tokyo's sex industry, and as a reader I found myself arguing that what he believed was impossible, but believing him anyway.

In the Miso Soup is graphic, cold, hard, and at times I had to turn away and close the book. But I kept coming back to it because Murakami writes contemporary Japan in an honest, almost affectionate way.

And if you have to ask, yes, I have another book of his waiting for me on my shelf. c: ( )
  lydia1879 | Aug 31, 2016 |
Aside from the traumatically shocking episode in the karaoke bar, this was rather a strange, sad, soggy kind of book. ( )
  soylentgreen23 | Jul 3, 2016 |
This is positively THE most disturbing book I ever read. ( )
  _amritasharma_ | Feb 5, 2016 |
It's taken me several days to sort out what I want to say about In the Miso Soup. From the description, tags, and cover, I was half expecting graphic splatterpunk, but was instead treated to a suspenseful, philosophical, and sometimes poignant novel...that happened to have a moderately long scene of graphic violence in the middle. ( )
  amanda4242 | Oct 18, 2015 |
Kenji is a tour guide of the night, normally taking Americans to the sex clubs within Tokyo. Frank, an overweight business man that appears to have only one thing on his mind wishes to take advantage of Kenji’s knowledge of the sex industry, hires him to guide him for three days. However Frank’s strange behaviour begins to make Kenji suspicious and he quickly suspects that his client is in fact the serial killer currently terrorising Tokyo. In the Miso Soup is a fast paced, philosophical piece of translated fiction by the Murakami that does not often get talked about, Ryū Murakami.

Translated by Ralph McCarthy, this Japanese novel is a short punchy novel that really explores culture clash in a really interesting way. The attitudes towards sex between the Japanese and Americans are what really stands out to me while reading In the Miso Soup. The whole novel plays around with the cultural differences in an interesting way, exploring attitudes, personalities and even philosophical views. I enjoyed Ryū Murakami’s approach to these themes within In the Miso Soup, I think it was a unique take on East meets West, and I do not think I have seen the approach before.

One thing I like about Japanese fiction is the writing style, it is almost like a slow burn but novels like this still manage to build tension. I have read a few Japanese novels that explore really dark themes in this way; Revenge by Yōko Ogawa comes to mind. Be aware when reading In the Miso Soup, Ryū Murakami does not hold back and it can get descriptive in its depictions of sex and violence.

I really enjoyed reading Ryū Murakami’s In the Miso Soup and am eager to read more of his novels; in particular Coin Locker Babies and Audition. I am fascinated by the philosophical and psychological look into the darker side of humanity that seems to be a common theme within Japanese literature. Other novelists I am interested in checking out include Natsuo Kirino, Banana Yoshimoto and Kenzaburō Ōe. This does not include the authors I have already read, like Haruki Murakami, Yōko Ogawa and now Ryū Murakami. In the Miso Soup is a short novel but it packs a huge punch, not for the faint hearted but well worth reading. I have also done a video review of this book, if you are interested in checking that out.

This review originally appeared on my blog; http://www.knowledgelost.org/literature/book-reviews/genre/horror/in-the-miso-so... ( )
  knowledge_lost | Oct 6, 2015 |
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» Add other authors (18 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ryū Murakamiprimary authorall editionscalculated
Shimizu, YukoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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My name is Kenji.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 014303569X, Paperback)

From postmodern Renaissance man Ryu Murakami, master of the psychothriller and director of Tokyo Decadence, comes this hair-raising roller-coaster ride through the nefarious neon-lit world of Tokyo’s sex industry. In the Miso Soup tells of Frank, an overweight American tourist who has hired Kenji to take him on a guided tour of Tokyo’s sleazy nightlife. But Frank’s behavior is so strange that Kenji begins to entertain a horrible suspicion—that his new client is in fact the serial killer currently terrorizing the city. It is not until later, however, that Kenji learns exactly how much he has to fear and how irrevocably his encounter with this great white whale of an American will change his life.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:23 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Frank, an overweight American tourist, has hired Kenji to take him on a tour of Tokyo's nightlife on three successive evenings. But Frank's behaviour is so strange that Kenji begins to entertain a horrible suspicion: that his client may in fact be the killer currently terrorising the city.… (more)

» see all 3 descriptions

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