Eerie/Heartbreaking: Hardboiled and Hard Luck

Hardboiled & Hard LuckHardboiled and Hard Luck by Banana Yoshimoto

This book contains two novellas possessed by the ghosts of love found and lost.

In Hardboiled, the unnamed narrator is hiking in the mountains on an anniversary she has forgotten about. As she nears her hotel and stops on the way at a hillside shrine and a strange soba shop, a sense of haunting falls over her.
Hard Luck is about another young woman whose dying sister lies in a coma. Kuni’s fiance left her after the accident, but his brother Sakai continues to visit. 

My thoughts

Hardboiled definitely has fantastic gothic undertones. It is a little creepy with that anticipation of doom just hanging over you. It would make a great film. In fact, I enjoyed the dark side to this novella so much I was disappointed when it ended. Couldn’t it be a full novel??!! On another note, I liked the flashbacks to the narrator’s past relationship too.

Hard Luck didn’t grab me so much at first. I found it rather depressing and slow. However, towards the end of the novel I was hit with the narrator’s pain and emptiness with regards to her sister and therefore the ending really affected me.

Overall: Beautiful, simple writing.

Hardboiled and Hard Luck: 4 Stars

4 thoughts on “Eerie/Heartbreaking: Hardboiled and Hard Luck

    • Highly recommended. I’m currently getting my bookshelves under control and when I do I plan to stock up on a few of Yoshimoto’s novels. I think I will be tempted by reading them in quick succession but if these two novellas are anything to go by, her stories have the same depth as a weighty tome. It sort of creeps up on you.

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