Sunday, 19 June 2016

Hardboiled / Hard Luck by Banana Yoshimoto Review


This book collects two novellas by the whimsically named Banana Yoshimoto: Hardboiled and Hard Luck. Both are total garbage.

Hardboiled is about a woman who’s glum about her recent breakup with her girlfriend. The story takes a cheesy campfire ghost story turn towards the end though that’s about the only remotely interesting part of both stories. 

Hard Luck is about a woman who’s miserable about her sister who’s on life support and the doctor’s about to pull the plug. Waaaah, death is saaaaad! 

These stories are among the most pretentious, emotionally un-affecting, boring and self-consciously “literary” I’ve ever read. They’re as bad as creative writing students’ efforts! Story? This writer doesn’t know what that is. It’s a short book but I kept putting it down after managing a handful of pages where not a single sentence conjured up anything in my head.

Yoshimoto describes trees and sunlight and whatever with all the energy of a coma patient. These were words that went into my head and exited without purchase. It’s rare to read a book that you forget as you’re reading it but Yoshimoto pulled it off here! The hardest part of this experience, besides reading this crap, was trying to remember what happened. The answer is, basically, nothing. 

Hardboiled/Hard Luck isn’t even good to wipe your bum with…. Not that I’ve tried of course… ahem.

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