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2.7 out of 5 stars
Trash
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 22, 1998
Format: Paperback
Definitely read Kneel Down and Lick My Feet. It is short and to the point, and drew me in immediately (you can find it in a short story collection of modern Japanese writers called Monkey Brain Sushi). Unless, of course, you have hours and days to spend lazing on the beach. Not enough to it to keep my interest. Her characters are rather transparent, and though I haven`t read the authors` works in Japanese, she reminds me a bit of Yoshimoto Banana in that they like to bring up big issues but not delve into them. Yamada starts out simply showing us how glamorous Koko`s NYC life is, as if that is the only thing needed to draw us in.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 28, 1997
Format: Hardcover
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)
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on April 26, 1998
Format: Paperback
This was my first book focused on relationships. I say that this book reminds me of people that I met while living in Japan because the main charactor lacks substance or and desire for self developement. There are many women like this in Tokyo. I was able to finish the book because the author throws in some revelations that kept me interested and hopeful for Koko (what's up with that name??). One thing that I find interesting about the story is that all the black people in it are messed-up.
I feel that the book is about the lives of people that live to fulfill their immidiate desires and to that end it is a really good story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 28, 1997
Format: Hardcover
I am not partial to spending my time reading about pathetic, immature, and shallow people. (Also touched with ignorance). I did finish this story so it wasn't all bad; although none of the characters are people you would want for friends, they did seem real
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on August 24, 2002
Format: Paperback
I have read this novel in both Japanese and English, Like someone was mentioned, I think that lots of "beauty of Japanese(language)" has lost in English version. Plus, eventhough love and relationships are common thing in all over the world, there is bit of difference of the way think/feel about Love, I think... Not just the importance of being loved, and to love someone seriously, I saw saddness in Koko and Rick - they had different way to being loved and to love seriously. Koko, who was once a easy-going party animal, now she moved on to real love, Rick, who is so afraid of being loved such a deep level. When there is such difference between two, that brings deep saddnes anyone can resolve...you just have to wait the end of relationship, but this time it's not easy, because you now know what is to really love someone, and your thirst to be loved.
Anyway, there is a short novel called "Jessy's backborn"(I don't know if it is translated or not, "Jessy no sebone" in japanese), it is more forcused on Koko and Rick's son Jessy, If you read it, Trash more makes sense and be able to enjoy it more, I think. I have lot to say about Jassy and Koko's relationship, but there is anymore spase to write!!
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on July 24, 1999
Format: Paperback
I love all Amy's books. Trash is one of them. The auther Amy always focuses on Heart and Body on her books.I learned from her books a lot. She is the person who knows what is cool or not in life.I'm sorry people living another countries can't read all Amy's books. And her essay is good,too!!!!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on October 27, 2003
Format: Paperback
I was very sad after reading Trash. I thought that it was shallow, and I was amazed at the positive reviews I read about it. It didn't leave me with anything that I felt I could reflect on either cerebrally or emotionally. Through most of the book I wondered why she had written it. I read it several years ago, and after finishing it said that I was going to read Jesse's backbone, but have not yet. While going through my closet I came across trash and also remembered that I'd said that I was going to try to find somethng else that Yamada had written and check it out in an effot to get some idea of who she is as an author and person and why she wrote Trash. Probably the biggest question I have about it is why she chose this subject matter. I plan to read it again. I also now plan to read Kneel down and kiss my feet.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on November 4, 1999
Format: Paperback
I sat down with this book last summer, read it and thought, "That was a somewhat entertaining waste of a few hours." I was inspired to read more Yamada, like others, after reading "Kneel Down and Lick My Feet." After reading Trash, I would hate to think that Yamada, who definitely has talent, peaked with "Kneel Down..." I reread Trash the other day because I thought perhaps I was just under stress the first time I read it; perhaps I did not give it its due. This time, I could see themes that are addressed in the book, like interracial relations, a host of sexual issues and moral issues, and a breakdown of the "nuclear" family and the pervasiveness of the strain that results from families being "glued" together with divergent parts. However, like everything else in the book, these issues are treated superficially, and the characters appear one dimensional with much of the story trying to grasp the reader's interest simply by being explicit. Yamada seems to hide behind "shocking" fronts because there is no depth to be found here. Perhaps she should stick to the short story format.
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on November 28, 1996
Format: Paperback
I was dissapointed after reading her only other translated works
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 28, 2006
Format: Hardcover
All, (and I really tried), of her books are almost on the verge of severe pathology. I know that inter-race-relationships are hard and sometimes mixed with other poor values, morals, and psychopathic people, they can be even very difficult. How can you enjoy these books ? I feel sorry for the way the Japanese woman characters are played out in her writings. They are made out to be promiscuious, ill-witted, and attracted to low-lifes. For the younger aged due to shock value.
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