Hilarious Horror: Audition

AuditionAudition by Ryu Murakami

Documentary-maker Aoyama hasn’t dated anyone in the seven years since the death of his beloved wife. When his best friend comes up with a plan to hold fake film auditions to help choose a new bride, he decides to go along with the idea. Of the thousands who apply, Aoyama only has eyes for Yamasaki Asami, a delicate ballerina with a turbulent past. There is more to her than Aoyama can see and by the time he discovers the terrifying truth it may be too late.

First impressions: As with many modern Japanese authors I read, I really enjoyed Murakami’s writing style and the way the characters and story is introduced. It could also be due to  a great translator!

Highlights: Your apprehension is there right from the first page. You know something terrible is going to happen and it keeps niggling at you. Why is Aoyama so naive? The foreshadowing of doom is so ridiculously obvious it is hilarious. I think this is a feature of contemporary Japanese fiction and I love it.

If I was an editor: I would say there is a little too much gore for me at the end but I still had a smirk on my face when reading it.

Overall: The ‘other’ Murakami wins my vote! More please!

Audition: 5 stars

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7 thoughts on “Hilarious Horror: Audition

  1. I haven’t read this particular novel of Ryu Murakami’s, but I felt similar ways as you mentioned when I read Piercing. The tension was ever building, and you knew it was going to be horrific. I didn’t quite cross the border into hilarious, but I think you’re right about this is the way modern Japanese literature seems to be. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Ah, I know the feeling of “foreshadowing of doom […] so ridiculously obvious it is hilarious.” I finished reading Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates a couple of days ago and it was so clear something nasty was going to happen in the end that I couldn’t decide whether to cringe or laugh. But I do think the ability to ratchet up tension and letting it spectacularly implode is a mark of a good writer.

  3. Pingback: Japanese Literature Challenge 9 Round Up | Orange Pekoe Reviews

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