Most helpful positive review
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 28, 1997
Although some of what Kirkus Review has to say about "Trash" is true -- Koko and the other characters are pretty shallow, and often do what seem to be inexplicable things -- I venture to disagree.
I think that Yamada's novel, though not (as you can see from my rating) one of the best that I have ever read, brings up some good points. For example, she talks about people's need TO love as well as to BE loved. This shows in some of the discussions that Koko has with her gay friend Buckey and with Rick's son (I forgot his name), as well as in a lot of the actions of the characters. And if the novel doesn't actually assert a certain point of view (is that Yamada's Japanese side coming out?) I think it brings up quite a number of things to think about. And maybe we Americans just aren't subtle enough to pick up some of the things that would be plain as day to a Japanese reader. Another thing to consider is the tendency of Japanese literature to not "go" ANYWHERE. It's often not about "going," but more about the way the language sounds, and what goes on inside the characters -- and a lot of that I know (from experience) is lost in translation.
I wonder if maybe, too, the author of the Kirkus review ever knew people who just couldn't get themselves away from people that are destroying them? In any case, I don't think that this book is as bad as the Kirkus Review thought it was ... and I'd recommend it, though perhaps behind other Japanese novels (Abe Kobo's "Secret Rendezvous" for one)