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Earthlings af Sayaka Murata

Earthlings (original 2020; udgave 2020)

af Sayaka Murata (Autor), Ginny Tapley Takemori (Übersetzer), Ginny Tapley Takemori (Übersetzer)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
2162594,512 (3.49)17
Forfattere:Sayaka Murata (Autor)
Andre forfattere:Ginny Tapley Takemori (Übersetzer), Ginny Tapley Takemori (Übersetzer)
Info:Granta Books (2020), Edition: 01, 256 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek

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Earthlings af Sayaka Murata (2020)


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» Se også 17 omtaler

Engelsk (22)  Tysk (1)  Alle sprog (23)
Viser 1-5 af 23 (næste | vis alle)
gewöhnungsbedürftig! ( )
  Baresi | Apr 13, 2021 |
Well that was...interesting. First, this book gets all the trigger warnings. If you search out trigger warnings, avoid this one. (childhood abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, violence, cannibalism)

Natsuki, the main character in this book, is in many ways very similar to the main character in [book:Convenience Store Woman|38357895]. She has no interest in being a cog of society. As a child--a child who was mentally abused by her mother and sister--she came to believe she did not fit in. As an abused child, she was targeted by a pedophile, and her mother did not believe her. Natsuki got her revenge. As a child, her best friend (and "husband") was her cousin Yuu, who had a strange relationship with his mother and had decided he was an alien.

Twenty years later Natsuki is in a marriage of convenience to a man who also does not fit in. All of their parents are happy, though. But when they go to visit Yuu at their grandparents' old place, all three of these 30-somethings decide to drop out of society and hope to get back to their home planet. And then the story gets really disturbing.

I very much enjoyed the first half of this novel. The girl who doesn't fit in, the girl who perseveres despite being rejected by her mother and sister. Her and Yuu's friendship may be a bit wierd, but they see each other once a year and are both misfits of a sort. Natsuki's marriage and strange arrangements--fine. People do what they need to do. But when the three of them drop out and, essentially, go feral, I lost interest. Is this an allegory flying over my head? A case of group mental illness? Fungus/bacterial poisoning from the old and stolen food they are eating? I can't really take this seriously without some sort of reasoning/logic. And there isn't any. ( )
  Dreesie | Mar 22, 2021 |
The first chapters of this novel introduce us to 11-year old Natsuki. A sensitive girl, she is verbally abused by her mother and older sister, but things get markedly worse when she is sexually exploited by one of her teachers. This paedophiliac abuse is explicitly described in a revoltingly graphic scene which would probably be cut if this book were a movie.

Natsuki has her survival mechanisms. She clings to Piyyut, a toy hedgehog which, she imagines, is an alien from planet Popinpobopia who has come to Earth to give her magical powers. Another source of consolation is her family’s yearly visit to her grandparents’ house in a remote mountain village, where her aunts, uncles and cousins converge for the festival of Obon. Natsuki looks forward to her meetings with her cousin Yuu with whom she shares her woes. Yuu is understanding, as he also has his own problems, including a borderline-abusive relationship with his needy mother. For his mum, Yuu is an alien, and both Natsuki and Yuu himself seem to accept this at face value.

Fast forward a couple of decades and we find Natsuki living in a chaste marriage of convenience with her husband Tomoya. Both Natsuki and Tomoya settle for this peculiar arrangement in order to escape the strictures of what they call “the Factory”. The “Factory” refers to conventional Japanese society with its strict mores and pressures, especially on females to marry and have children. When Tomoya learns of Natsuki and Yuu’s childhood ‘alien’ fantasies, he embraces them with a naïve enthusiasm. Soon, Tomoya, Natuski and Yuu team up to create their own ‘alien commune’ in the mountain home of Natsuki’s grandparents. As they struggle to defiantly assert their own moral code, things get increasingly weird and surreal.

At its best, Earthlings is a darkly funny satire about society in general, and Japanese mores in particular. For instance, there’s a wickedly funny scene where the hapless would-be rebel Tomoya, eager to “make a statement”, visits his brother to propose an incestuous relationship, provoking a hilarious overreaction from the rest of the family. On the strength of such scenes, Earthlings would have worked brilliantly as a black comedy. More often than not, however, the novel comes across as merely gratuitous.

The fact is that for all its contemporary feel, what Murata is trying to do is not particularly new. The idea of the individual who takes on the rigid moral code of bourgeois society by breaking its taboos was a recurring one in the Romantic era. Goethe’s Young Werther, fictional rock star of his age, is just one of many examples. Looking at the literature of my country, Malta, this was also a theme dear to the modernist authors of the Sixties, whose novels often featured rebellious youths ostracized in a conservatively religious country. A case in point is Frans Sammut’s Samuraj a novel inspired by Japanese traditions. Samwel, the novel’s main character, struggles against what he feels are the stifling confines of a traditional, rural Mediterranean village, performing a hara-kiri in the final pages in homage to an “alien” culture at odds with local mores.

The problem Murata faces is that in our permissive times, very few taboos remain (at least in literature), and the few which are still considered “taboos” generally have good reason for being such. To jolt a jaded modern reader, Murata has to try hard. Perhaps too hard for my tastes.

https://endsoftheword.blogspot.com/2020/07/earthlings-by-sayaka-murata.html ( )
  JosephCamilleri | Mar 5, 2021 |
I have difficulty describing this book and the feelings it left. I was so addicted on reading it, but then the ending... I'm not sure what I think about it, it was something else than I expected. I haven't read a lot of Japanese books and I definitely want to read the [b:Convenience Store Woman|38357895|Convenience Store Woman|Sayaka Murata|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1523623053l/38357895._SY75_.jpg|51852264]. This was in no way conventional and I do find it interesting. I also like the writing style a lot. Maybe some day I can read something from the author in Japanese.

I'm definitely glad I read this, but I think it'll take awhile to sort out my feelings about it. Definitely an author worth checking out! ( )
  RankkaApina | Feb 22, 2021 |
Beware. Here be monsters.

Don’t let the cutesy childish narrator and idyllic setting of the opening chapter prompt you to let down your guard. This is not an anime for children. What follows will horrify you. Chapter by chapter, it catalogues the worst of whatever you can imagine people doing to each: sexual abuse of a child, murder, incest, brutality, infidelity, revenge, even cannibalism. That said, it does make for curiously compelling reading.

The principle protagonist, Natsuki, is first introduced to us as a highly imaginative 11-year-old. She is harshly used by her older sister and her mother. But she seems to have a great deal of inner resources. However, even at this early point her survival mechanism is to dissociate, so much so that it is hard to know what she perceives as real. We see Natsuki at different ages, but increasingly she has to make greater and greater leaps of imagination to make her life bearable. Indeed, by the time we see her as an adult, it is increasingly improbable that she could persist in normal society without being found out. Fortunately she finds someone equally troubled and together they mask their inability to deal with the real world. However, eventually the real world — here often referred to as the “Factory” — catches up with them. And only a further leap into the extreme can result.

After the first chapter which was sickly sweet, I found this novel very hard to stomach. But it did have a grinding logic. I don’t think I could recommend to anyone, at least not without the warning with which I began this review.

Very grim reading. ( )
  RandyMetcalfe | Feb 6, 2021 |
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Forfatter navnRolleHvilken slags forfatterVærk?Status
Sayaka Murataprimær forfatteralle udgaverberegnet
Takemori, Ginny TapleyOversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
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Oprindelig udgivelsesdato
Vigtige steder
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Beslægtede film
Priser og hædersbevisninger
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Deep in the mountains of Akishina where Granny and Grandpa live, fragments of night linger even at midday.
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Gennemsnit: (3.49)
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