Monday, November 16, 2009

House of the Sleeping Beauties by Yasunari Kawabata

I am participating National Novel Writing Month right now, so this review will be brief. House of the Sleeping Beauties is a very weird book made up of three bizarre short stories. The first, House of the Sleeping Beauties is about an old man that repeatedly visits a house where old men can, for a fee, sleep with naked young girls. Sleep but not have sex. It is really creepy in a lecherous kind of way because the old man is not very pleasant. The second short story, One Arm is a surreal tale about a man that borrows a young woman's arm and takes it home. He talks to it. He substitutes it for his own arm. This one was just plain weird. Of Birds and Beasts is about a man that has a number of pets, many of which die through his negligence. I didn't really get this story at all.

The bottom line, if you are looking for good modern Japanese fiction, don't look for it here.


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