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Hardboiled and Hard Luck Hardcover – Bargain Price, June 9, 2005
Four girls on a trip to Paris suddenly find themselves in a high-stakes game of Truth or Dare that spirals out of control. Learn More
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Top Customer Reviews
Both Hardboiled and Hard Luck explore themes that have been prevalent in yoshomoto's previous works. Themes like friendship, death, grief, memories and love wove their way through these two short stories.
Hardboiled, the first of the stories, is about a young woman visiting a town on her lover's anniversary. A series of strange things happen to her on the way, and she flits into dreamworld and memories. The story takes us along as she comes to terms with her friend's death.
The second part of the book, hard luck, is the story of a young woman dealing with her brain damaged sister. As a result of an ebolism in the sister's brain, she goes into a coma, and then begins the progress of her death infront of her loved ones. The narrator, the younger sister, visits her sister in the beginning of the novel and reflects on her state and is plagued with memories of the past. There she also meets her sister's fiance's brother for the first time and her reaction towards him makes her realize that altho grieving, she is also getting back to her normal life.
Both stories, although written simply as the norm with yoshomoto's novels, are filled with a myriad of strong emotions. Goodbye Tsugumi still remains my personal favorite of her novels.
Both stories are amazing and thought provoking. Profound is a word I would use to describe them. The second story is so touching when the protagonist starts to fall for the brother of her sister's fiance, but is unable to act on her feelings due to circumstance. We do see that there is hope for each of the characters on their own, but we the readers are really rooting for them. It is sad, touching, and very enjoyable.
The first story is mysterious and is a little more thought provoking. Who are we and what are we here for? Is there such a thing as destiny? Yoshimoto seems to transcend modern literature with these two stories and enter a realm that is reserved for only the very best writers.
I do sense that she and Haruki Murakami have a somewhat kindred spirit when reading these two stories. I read these two stories in a single sitting, they were so magical. This is not the obvious, spoon fed style of literature many Westerners are exposed to, but an elegant, light touch of prose that enters the mind and travels to the spirit. Not everyone will enjoy it, not everyone will agree with me... but please at least read these tales once and embrace the subtlety.
"Hardboiled" is the more straightforward of the two, albeit full of omens, dreams and ghosts from the past, sketching a woman's hike in the mountains and her eventful overnight stay in a small town hotel. Late in the tale she realizes she has forgotten the anniversary of the death of her friend/lover Shizuru. Full of cross references and symbolism and an example of how much closer Japanese feel to living in a fleeting world with multiple gods and ancestral spirits, where time can slow down, stop or surge ahead. Like Murakami's "After Midnight", this story covers less than 24 hours.
Whilst Shizuru's death came suddenly and its long-term impact on her friend is hard to grasp for readers, "Hard Luck" is a study of the predicted and real death and bereavement of female narrator's sister Kuni, for months on life support after a brain hemorrhage. The reader is taken on an emotional tour of the narrator's memories of her sister, the response from Kuni's fiancé and his older brother Sakai, her former work colleagues, her parents... It ends on a slightly higher note than "Hardboiled". Needs to be read more than once to fully appreciate it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great ,great writer !!! I will never tire of reading her books over and over! Her stories are so original and full of the unknown ... Read morePublished on February 18, 2014 by Deborah A Pfleger
I read this again after a few years and it still is a favorite. Yoshimoto gets the nuances of human emotion with economy of style and sharply focused writing. Real all her books!Published on January 23, 2012 by Carol Kay
This is the first one by Banana I read. Now I have read 5 of her books... She SUPER rocks!Published on May 3, 2010 by Bjork Girl
I can only say that these two stories are up to par with Banana's older books like Kitchen. Just read it.Published on September 9, 2005 by Terry Inskip Diez
Yoshitmoto's new book (actually composed of two short stories) is about the human reaction when death comes along. Read morePublished on August 21, 2005 by N. Wong