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matthieumcintosh

matthieumcintosh

Joined March 2018

Snobbery! (and J-Lit)
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After Dark by Haruki Murakami
review
matthieumcintosh
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Mehso-so

The impossible has been done: A Murakami has left me feeling blasé. I love Murakami, so this book being unremarkable kinda stinks. I can‘t really tell if it needed to be longer or shorter. Doesn‘t do enough with what it has and it really doesn‘t have that much. The last 40 pages redeemed it slightly, but did not make the first 170 of mediocre Murakami any better. It‘s fine, but sometimes okay is worse than bad?

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matthieumcintosh
The Ten Loves of Nishino | Hiromi Kawakami
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Beyond excited to start this! Kawakami is climbing up my list of favorite Japanese writers as her books are just so human. All about the quotidian aspects of internal solitude in an extroverted world. She‘s great, please read her! Side note: I think the Murakami comps are surprisingly well founded but all the things that piss me off about Murakami (though I love him) are things that Kawakami does very well.

3 likes1 stack add
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matthieumcintosh
James Joyce | Richard Ellmann
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Wishing a very happy birthday to James Joyce and whatever corner of the ether he sits in. Also happy birthday to Ulysses and Finnegans Wake.

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matthieumcintosh
Binti | Nnedi Okorafor
Mehso-so

Read this for a book club at work along with @AthenaWins and @everlocalwest who both love it. Let me just say: This ain‘t my thing. I don‘t read Sci-Fi but the story itself is good enough that I can look past the shrimp ships. I appreciate the narrative arc just fine and the characters (Binti especially, duh) are good for the most part. My only major gripe is how heavy handed some of the themes felt.

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matthieumcintosh
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Pickpick

Anne Frank‘s story is one of pure humanity and it never leaves me with a feeling of indifference. Particularly, this graphic retelling explores the hope we can find in simplicity and ourselves even in times of immense stress and terror. The art style is quirky and surreal in a way that really brings out the humor in Anne‘s diary. Funny enough, the emotion didn‘t really hit me until I read the afterword, which deals with cold facts of Anne‘s death.

matthieumcintosh Tangential to the review: This diary is so powerful because it relays the profundity of youth just being slaughtered. Genocide and ethnic cleansing in any capacity is atrocious and leaves us empty. However, reading the words of children and teenagers makes that loss much harder to bear. The amount of kindness, potential, and human life wasted for hatred is impossible to swallow. (edited) 13mo
Bklover I recently purchased the version recently published that has the parts that her father edited out put back in. Haven‘t read all of it yet, but wondered if you‘d seen that version. 11mo
3 likes2 comments
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matthieumcintosh
Convenience Store Woman | Sayaka Murata
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Pickpick

This is a strange, little tale of a woman finding her way in (or out of) society. I found the corporate worship of the protagonist pretty sad but it made for a stirring story. Murata also brings up the topic of asexuality often which is a nice change of pace in Japanese fiction.

6 likes1 stack add
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matthieumcintosh
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Getting through this slowly. The systems that formed what we now call modernity are kind of endlessly interesting and disgusting. Inside: gazes of all kinds, weird erotic sketches, literary analysis, and a Kawabata novella. In other words, my kinda book. (Also, geaux tigers)

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matthieumcintosh
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Pickpick

This one's been plucking around in my head for a bit. An exceptionally entertaining, tender, and often brutal novel. Murakami has a great way of excavating and creating his character's selves through their interaction with society at large. The second best of Murakami's I've read as Norwegian Wood holds a special, special place in my heart.

5 likes1 stack add
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matthieumcintosh
Ulysses | James Joyce
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In a book full of vague endings I like this one the most. Even though I've long since finished Ulysses it still occupies a fair bit of real estate in my day to day thinking. The only book I've ever read that gets the kneejerk "Everyone should read this!" kind of enthusiasm from me.

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matthieumcintosh
Pan | Knut Hamsun
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Knut Hamsun: Nobel laureate, forefather of Modernism, Nazi sympathizer. I've got a question weighing on my mind. Is there a spectrum of toleration for disgusting (political, sexual, social, etc.) behavior on the part of artists? Is there anyone's work due for a reassessment of its place in schools or the wider public because of its creator's actions?

TrishB Good question. I ask myself a lot these days. 2y
3 likes1 comment
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matthieumcintosh
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Every time I start reading a Murakami novel all the other things in my life kinda take a backseat. I'm not sure what it is I find so comforting about his writing, but it conjures a great feeling of nostalgia and warmth (even if the contents are at odds with the rosy cozy feelings they ellicit).

BooksAndChopsticks Just finished Wind Up and I couldn't agree more with you! 2y
3 likes1 comment
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matthieumcintosh
Ulysses | James Joyce
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"Horseness is the whatness of allhorse."

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matthieumcintosh
In The Miso Soup | Ryu Murakami
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Pickpick

Ryu Murakami blends the hyperviolence of Bret Easton Ellis, perversity of Henry Miller, and psychological acuity of Natsuo Kirino into a brutally cold novel. There's an American serial killer, the underbelly of Tokyo, and dissections of both Japan's and America's cultural traditions. A desensitizing read for sure. Murakami's depictions of violence never feel cheap or wreak of shock value, making the narrative tight and at the forefront!

Faibka I think I‘ll stick with the other Murakami for now, lol. 2y
2 likes1 comment
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matthieumcintosh
Plainsong | Kazushi Hosaka
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Pickpick

A short, poignant read on the beauty of banality. Plainsong is one of those books where nothing happens. A Japanese man in his late twenties takes in some old and new acquaintances into his apartment and for the most part they all live in idle tranquility. Hosaka's prose is casual and dreamy in a way unlike any other Japanese author I've read. Terrific and breezy.

Faibka Sounds like something I would like to read and I‘ve never heard of this author before. I spy a lot of Murakami‘s in your picture :) I love his work! (edited) 2y
Faibka And Mishima! Cool collection 2y
matthieumcintosh @Faibka Murakami's the author who got me into J-Lit (pretty much my favorite). Even having read some blurb on Plainsong I was still surprised by what I got! Totally recommend it and really anything else Dalkey Archive puts out. 2y
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Faibka @matthieumcintosh great, I‘ll definitely check it out! I see you‘re also reading Ulysses 😃 2y
matthieumcintosh @Faibka Yep, for a class about geography in the Modernist novel. I'm enjoying it alot, not really trying to wring it out. Definitely the most I've ever actively enjoyed language in a novel. Every page just has a, "Wow, that's different!" moment 2y
Faibka @matthieumcintosh yes it does! I love all the clever ways he stretches the possibilities of language and narrative composition and structure, such a great book! Glad you‘re enjoying it, I‘m three chapters away from finishing it and feel both happy and sad. But I know I will definitely reread it. 2y
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