Re: RARA-AVIS: Intro

Date: 05 Feb 2005

miker wrote:

"I'm slowly sifting my way through Amazon looking for more hardboiled/noir candidates from Japan. Looks like a lot of Japanese mysteries are not hardboiled (not a surprise, really) and others tread a post-modern trail, which I am usually clueless to figure out."

Then Haruki Murakami, who you mentioned was on your short list, may not be the one for you. I read, and enjoyed, his Wild Sheep Chase, the first of his books to get major US attention. While it is written in a hardboiled style, the story becomes increasingly fantastical after the protagonist leaves the city, ending up somewhere between magical realism and postmodernism (probably more the former). As I said, I enjoyed it, but never ended up reading another of his.

Thanks for the recommendation of Ryo Murakami's Almost Transparent Blue. I've had that book on my shelf for a long time, picked up a remaindered copy for $1 over a decade ago. I should pull it out.

Like you, I've been looking for Japanese hardboiled (I'm about a third of the way through Out), but am having trouble finding it. I really liked Peter Tasker's Silent Thunder and intend to read the other two books featuring his Japanese PI, Mori, but even though Tasker has lived in Japan for a long time, he's still a gaijin, and I would like to read some homegrown hardboiled. Thanks to various sources, including Etienne's site, I know it exists, but little seems to have been translated. Maybe Out will be the first in a trend. I'd really like to read her earlier PI books. I figure they've got to be interesting if they were inspired by Crumley.

I've been having much more luck finding hardboiled Japanese films. Home Vision and Criterion, in particular, have lately been reissuing a number of yakuza films, especially those by Kinji Fukasaku and Seijin Suzuki. Samurai films can be pretty damned hardboiled and/or noir, too. Check out the Lone Wolf and Cub series, both in manga and on DVD, supposedly an inspiration for Road to Perdition.


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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 05 Feb 2005 EST