N.P. by Banana Yoshimoto
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I read two short stories by Banana a few years ago, Hard Boiled and Hard Luck, and I was entranced by the simplicity and purity of her writing. That simplicity and purity was all but lost in her novel N.P., a far cry from her earlier writings (including Kitchen). Four characters swept up in a mystery that's not very compelling, she uses their dialogues to push the story forward and describe certain scenes. But that dialogue is unrealistic at best, and muddled and confusing, to be completely honest.
The book is set in Japan, and I couldn't tell you what the city looked like. I couldn't tell you anything other than the names of the main characters, and a brief synopsis of their "inner character" none of which made sense and all of which were shamelessly romanticized.
In my opinion, a 15-year-old could have written this book. But maybe it was the translation.
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