HomeGroupsTalkMoreZeitgeist
Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Underground [Lingua inglese] by Haruki…
Loading...

Underground [Lingua inglese] (edition 2006)

by Haruki Murakami (Autore)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,294544,978 (3.83)134
Covers the 1995 Tokyo Gas Attack, during which agents of a Japanese cult released a gas deadlier than cyanide into the subway system, as documented in interviews with its survivors, perpetrators, and victim family members. In March 1995, agents of a Japanese religious cult attacked the Tokyo subway system with sarin, a gas twenty six times as deadly as cyanide. Attempting to discover why, Murakami conducted hundreds of interviews with the people involved, from the survivors to the perpetrators to the relatives of those who died. Underground is their story in their own voices. Concerned with the fundamental issues that led to the attack as well as these personal accounts, Underground is a document of what happened in Tokyo as well as a warning of what could happen anywhere. This is an enthralling and unique work of nonfiction that is timely, vital, and as brilliantly executed as Murakami's novels. From Haruki Murakami, internationally acclaimed author of the Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and Norwegian Wood, a work of literary journalism that is as fascinating as it is necessary, as provocative as it is profound. It was a clear spring day, Monday, March 20, 1995, when five members of the religious cult Aum Shinrikyo conducted chemical warfare on the Tokyo subway system using sarin, a poison gas twenty-six times as deadly as cyanide. The unthinkable had happened; a major urban transit system had become the target of a terrorist attack. Attempting to discover why, Murakami conducted hundreds of interviews with the people involved, from a subway authority employee with survivor guilt, to a fashion salesman with more venom for the media than for the perpetrators, to a young cult member who vehemently condemns the attack though he has not quit Aum. Through these and many other voices, Murakami exposes intriguing aspects of the Japanese psyche. And, as he discerns the fundamental issues leading to the attack, we achieve a clear vision of an event that could occur anytime, anywhere. Hauntingly compelling and inescapably important, Underground is a powerful work of journalistic literature from one of the world's most perceptive writers. Concerned with the fundamental issues that led to the attack as well as these personal accounts, Underground is a document of what happened in Tokyo as well as a warning of what could happen anywhere. This is an enthralling and unique work of nonfiction that is timely and vital and as wonderfully executed as Murakami's brilliant novels.… (more)
Member:ianjamison
Title:Underground [Lingua inglese]
Authors:Haruki Murakami (Autore)
Info:Random UK (2006), Edition: 01, 320 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:None

Work details

Underground by Haruki Murakami

Asia (564)
Romans (43)
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 134 mentions

English (48)  Spanish (2)  Danish (2)  French (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (54)
Showing 1-5 of 48 (next | show all)
This is really two books in one, the first part is a collection of interviews and thoughts from the victims of the attack with a summary of Murakami's thoughts at the end. The second part is a collection of interviews with people who were in the Aum religious group. Murakami states from the outset that he wanted to write this book as he saw the way some of the victims were treated by society as double victimisation and wanted to tell their story without the media sensationalism that the press favour.

At first the victim interviews are very interesting and gives an insight into Japanese society that a lot of the other books would probably miss. It makes you feel great sympathy for those affected and have huge amount of admiration for those station staff who ultimately died trying to help others. A lot of the tales have a similar twist to them in that fate conspired to make them catch that particular train and not another. A few things instantly stand out though. There stories are all very similar, telling the tale of people starting work early, working until late and feeling very under appreciated by the whole process. Another quirk is that many of them admit to getting in the same door of the same carriage every day, something I found pretty peculiar.

Ultimately though, this becomes repetitive pretty quickly and I found myself hoping that the rest of the book wasn't just a collection of the same type of interviews all the way through. Fortunately there is an interval of sorts where Murakami puts his thoughts on the whole affair to paper. He has some interesting thoughts but there is nothing here that stands out from what I would expect.

The final part of the book is for me, the most interesting part of it and I found to be a bit of a saviour. It is a collection of interviews with people who had been in Aum and many of who are still part of the group. None of these people were involved in the attack and tell a tale of what it was like in the group. Most of the tales start with a feeling of alienation and looking for something more in life which ultimately leads to them joining Aum. One of the things that really stood out for me is that pretty much everyone was highly educated and not the type of person I would expect to join a cult.

Despite the repetitive nature of the first section of the book I found this to be an interesting read. It covers some aspects of Japanese culture that others would have omitted but also lacks some of the facts that others would have included. ( )
  Brian. | Jun 19, 2021 |
Makes Japanese society feel totally alien to me. I just cannot relate to the way people in this book think, despite this not being a work of fiction. ( )
  Paul_S | Apr 26, 2021 |
this is a work of non-fiction, a study of the 1995 Tokyo subway sarin attack by the religious cult Aum Shinrikyo. Murakami wanted to know what those he was interviewing, victims and cultists alike, were thinking and feeling, both as they experienced the attack and in retrospect. he was interested in breakdown of society during the attack and also in the breakdown of society at the edges of the time: conformity and crisis, anomie and apocalypse, Self and consignment of self to an Other, at the end of the millennium, or as his novels sometimes frame it, the end of the world. and of course the themes he teases out of this disaster - the voices of postmodern angst, the pathless paths that stem from and sometimes materialize out of underground, the world-wide drift of undirected flow that affects values and destinations - are also common to his contemporary narratives that speak to us through the characters in his fictional works. which makes this an important book from the point of view of wanting to understand Murakami's mind and focus. sociologically, see also: Durkheim's 1893 Division of Labor in Society. ( )
  macha | Apr 11, 2021 |
I won't rate this book as it interviews the victims of the Tokyo gas attack and it will be inappropriate for me to try and rate their stories.
  justamoon | Aug 16, 2020 |
It was unsettling to read these accounts, as someone who takes the subway every day myself, and I found myself thinking about the differences and similarities in how this situation might play out in New York. It was also interesting to see the contrast between the first and second halves of the book. The victims were all so committed to their jobs that they still went into the office even when they couldn't see, while the cult members didn't find enough meaning in working life and turned to philosophy and religion. Each half deepened my understanding of the other. I did think the first half was on the long side, and could have been edited down. I also didn't love that Murakami had to comment on how attractive everyone he interviewed was. For a novelist, his descriptions of real people were pretty uncreative. Overall though, I appreciated this insight into the "Japanese psyche," as the title promised. ( )
  nancyjean19 | Jun 3, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 48 (next | show all)
"Citing examples from recent and ancient Japanese history, Murakami establishes a pattern of a traditionally proud culture that discourages examining or accepting shame. It is precisely this painful examination that Murakami has undertaken."
 
"Like ''Sputnik Sweetheart,'' which begins with a straightforward love-triangle plot before developing an odder geometry, the cult members describe humdrum personal histories that suddenly lurch into the bizarre."
 
"Like Mr Murakami’s novels, “Underground” makes for an unsettling read."
added by Edward | editThe Economist (May 17, 2001)
 

» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Haruki Murakamiprimary authorall editionscalculated
Birnbaum, AlfredTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gabriel, PhilipTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

Belongs to Publisher Series

You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
PREFACE: Leafing through a magazine one afternoon, I found myself looking at the readers' letters page.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Covers the 1995 Tokyo Gas Attack, during which agents of a Japanese cult released a gas deadlier than cyanide into the subway system, as documented in interviews with its survivors, perpetrators, and victim family members. In March 1995, agents of a Japanese religious cult attacked the Tokyo subway system with sarin, a gas twenty six times as deadly as cyanide. Attempting to discover why, Murakami conducted hundreds of interviews with the people involved, from the survivors to the perpetrators to the relatives of those who died. Underground is their story in their own voices. Concerned with the fundamental issues that led to the attack as well as these personal accounts, Underground is a document of what happened in Tokyo as well as a warning of what could happen anywhere. This is an enthralling and unique work of nonfiction that is timely, vital, and as brilliantly executed as Murakami's novels. From Haruki Murakami, internationally acclaimed author of the Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and Norwegian Wood, a work of literary journalism that is as fascinating as it is necessary, as provocative as it is profound. It was a clear spring day, Monday, March 20, 1995, when five members of the religious cult Aum Shinrikyo conducted chemical warfare on the Tokyo subway system using sarin, a poison gas twenty-six times as deadly as cyanide. The unthinkable had happened; a major urban transit system had become the target of a terrorist attack. Attempting to discover why, Murakami conducted hundreds of interviews with the people involved, from a subway authority employee with survivor guilt, to a fashion salesman with more venom for the media than for the perpetrators, to a young cult member who vehemently condemns the attack though he has not quit Aum. Through these and many other voices, Murakami exposes intriguing aspects of the Japanese psyche. And, as he discerns the fundamental issues leading to the attack, we achieve a clear vision of an event that could occur anytime, anywhere. Hauntingly compelling and inescapably important, Underground is a powerful work of journalistic literature from one of the world's most perceptive writers. Concerned with the fundamental issues that led to the attack as well as these personal accounts, Underground is a document of what happened in Tokyo as well as a warning of what could happen anywhere. This is an enthralling and unique work of nonfiction that is timely and vital and as wonderfully executed as Murakami's brilliant novels.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.83)
0.5
1 5
1.5 1
2 15
2.5 5
3 120
3.5 49
4 172
4.5 13
5 109

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 159,093,256 books! | Top bar: Always visible