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Words of a Bibliophile

"It's only words, and words are all I have, to take your heart away." —Bee Gees

Parade by Shūichi Yoshida

Parade - Shūichi Yoshida

I initially expected the worst thing about this book to be merely that nothing much happens, as it's a slice-of-life story about modern urban people. But some details about the characters don't quite add up or are not explained clearly, and there are also other small inconsistencies within the storytelling (simple things like a TV being turned off before a character leaves a room, but in the next scene the TV is somehow on again in the empty room without explanation). Despite that I was actually considering giving this an extra star at some point, mainly because I liked the relationship between the characters: five young men and women gathered together by circumstances to share an apartment in Tokyo. Although they say they are "playing at being friends", underneath that there seems to be something genuine between them.

But then the ending serves a unsettling twist which made me question what I had thought about the characters and their relationship. I guess that was probably the point of the whole book, to unnerve and disturb the reader, but it still didn't make me like it.