The Lonesome Bodybuilder

Stories
Length: 5 hrs and 9 mins
3.5 out of 5 stars (32 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A housewife takes up bodybuilding and sees radical changes to her physique - which her workaholic husband fails to notice. A boy waits at a bus stop, mocking businessmen struggling to keep their umbrellas open in a typhoon - until an old man shows him they hold the secret to flying. A woman working in a clothing boutique waits endlessly on a customer who won't come out of the fitting room - and who may or may not be human. A newlywed notices her husband's features are beginning to slide around his face - to match her own.

In these 11 stories, the individuals who lift the curtains of their orderly homes and workplaces are confronted with the bizarre, the grotesque, the fantastic, the alien - and through it, find a way to liberation. The Lonesome Bodybuilder is the English-language debut of one of Japan's most fearlessly inventive young writers.

BBC Culture Magazine Pick

Akutagawa Prize

Kenzaburo Oe Prize

Vulture.com Pick

Nylon Magazine Pick

Millions.com Pick

Huffington Post Pick

Bustle Pick

©2018 Yukiko Motoya (P)2018 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Editor's Pick

Super strong short stories
"I love short stories because their brevity often makes them more bewildering and more stimulating than longer form writing. Yukiko Motoya’s debut collection is a great example of just how shocking great short stories can be. Taken on their own, the stories in this collection are beyond baffling, but cumulatively they offer an intimate perspective of the deeply personal irrationalities we all wrestle with on a daily basis. With each new character, I felt I had fallen in on a subterranean well of emotion. And with each new narrator, even though I knew I was hearing a new voice, I felt a unifying urgency that kept me absorbed and for some reason, comfortable. Even when it got real weird."
Michael D., Audible Editor

What listeners say about The Lonesome Bodybuilder

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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Surreal Sad Lady Stories

I was super excited to hear a slice of life piece about a woman becoming obsessed with bodybuilding. Unfortunately, that story is the shortest one in this collection, and it's unsatisfactory. Although these stories portray female main characters, the characters focus heavily on their awful husbands and they don't have much personality or plot arcs outside of that aspect. Some fun, visceral, and truly bizarre scenarios are described in this collection which kept me listening, but they never have a purpose, conclusion or statement to make. It's almost like long winded poetry about sadly married and repressed women from a repressed woman's perspective. I wish more stories challenging expectations or gender roles existed. The reading voice of this book is really great however. It's soothing if you just want to zone out.

2 people found this helpful

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Interesting.

Interesting collage of stories. Real lessons to be learned here. It takes ones mind to a place we need ned to be.

2 people found this helpful