This is the second book by Hiromi Kawakami I have read and even though I don’t remember many details about the first one, it apparently was enjoyable enough that I bought three other books by her… I hope the other two are more to my liking because this one was a struggle.
I enjoyed the writing. The story was very slow but that doesn’t bother me as a rule. I just found every single character to be extremely uninteresting. Even the not particularly nice ones. They were all uninteresting.
I’m going to try to tell you a little bit about the novel anyway. The story takes place in Tokyo, in a modest thrift shop owned by Mr. Nakano. Hitomi, our narrator, works at the shop, along with Takeo and Mr. Nakano himself. Masayo, an artist and Mr. Nakano’s sister, sometimes stops by to help and hang out. Mr. Nakano is a womanizer. He is married but usually has a mistress. He is nice to his employees but has sketchy boundaries. At some point he asks Hitomi to go visit his sister and find out more about her new lover. We also meet Mr. Nakano’s current lover when he is taken to the hospital after being the victim of a bizarre attack. And there is also a man who helps Mr. Nakano with some online auctions. At some point they agree to sell some objects for a yakuza client. Even he was uninteresting…
The main story, I guess, is Hitomi’s sort romance with Takeo.
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