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Publisher's Summary

The long-awaited translation of the novel behind the cult classic Japanese movie. 

In this gloriously over-the-top tale, Aoyama, a widower who has lived alone with his son ever since his wife died seven years before, finally decides it is time to remarry. Since Aoyama is a bit rusty when it comes to dating, a filmmaker friend proposes that, in order to attract the perfect wife, they do a casting call for a movie they don't intend to produce. As the resumes pile up, only one of the applicants catches Aoyama's attention - Yamasaki Asami - a striking young former ballerina with a mysterious past. Blinded by his instant and total infatuation, Aoyama is too late in discovering that she is a far cry from the innocent young woman he imagines her to be. The novel's fast-paced, thriller conclusion doesn't spare the listener as Yamasaki takes off her angelic mask and reveals what lies beneath. 

Contains mature themes.

©1997 Ryu Murakami; translation copyright 2009 by Ralph McCarthy (P)2019 Tantor

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

LOVE STORY

This is a love story like no other, just disregard the last bit... other then that its a beautiful love story (evil face). This book was so good and so was the movie

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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Great story, flat narration

I loved this movie and the book is definitely just as good. My only criticism is that the narrator reads the story, dialogue and all, in more or less the same flat, neutral tone that seems really inappropriate for the last two chapters.

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SPOILERS!

The dog dies. It's a Beagle. I was and am emotional about it. I love horror. I like body horror. I like most depictions of psychopathy. I still didn't like this book. I've been through a string of sexist books lately and it's really given me quite the reading slump. I'm admittedly devastated by it and while the tones of the author's views on women could cultural (I honestly don't know but I'm kind of hoping that's not entirely the case), I'm just beat down by what I've been reading in general. The only good woman in this book is a quiet, self sacrificing saint in this book. It left me bored and unenthusiastic to continue reading it. The whole thing just felt really shallow. The writing is gorgeous. I loved that part. The craft itself is worth enjoying, which gained it a whole star for me. I just wasn't a fan and I'm a little sad about that.

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not as good as the movie

I watched the film first, and came to this to hopefully further understand the film. the film actually adds different elements and brings forth questions not explicitly provided in the book. beyond that, it's a great book.

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Grisly

My first Ryu Murakami book and I enjoyed the narration very much. Although a bit too grisly for my taste, I really liked Murakami's sharp and precise writing. Looking forward to more of his works.

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Amazing thriller story!

Loved the whole idea of the story. Ryu always blows me away with all of his thriller fucked up stories!

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chilling, mysterious and haunting

incredible audiobook to an incredible story, incredibly narrated, translated. I absolutely adore the movie, and felt like it was overdue that I checked out the book. I was not disappointed at all!

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great narrator, story was very lackluster

I really enjoyed the narrator but jeez the story was awful. It was so anticlimactic.

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Not the best, not the worst.

Well written, psychological/ slow burn type horror or thriller story. it was hard to decide whether to give it 3 or 4 stars for me. ultimately went with 4 because I thought the build up and ending was well executed.

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  • Julie
  • 05-29-20

Violent and predictable

Aoyama, a film-maker, decides it's time to re-marry after his wife's death a long time ago. His friend comes up with an idea to host an audition for a fake film project, to find the woman of Aoyama's dreams. And she shows up. But something's not right with her. So, this wasn't quite my cup of tea. This story follows a very predictable path (though the ending is quite sudden), and I didn't particularly like any of the characters (the son seems alright, though). I liked his book "In the Miso Soup" more than this one, Note that this book has some graphic descriptions of violence, including animal abuse.