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Paprika (Vintage Contemporaries) Paperback – February 12, 2013
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—The Independent (UK)
Top Customer Reviews
Like many readers, I selected this book as somebody who had some background on it. I am a huge admirer of Satoshi Kon, whose anime interpretation of this book Paprika was, unfortunately, his last work. I always felt disappointed that I could not read the book upon which that anime was based. Luckily for me, this translation was made available in less time than it has taken me to gain an ability to read Japanese.
In many ways, Kon's visualization is very true to this book. The problem is that the technical nature of writing makes telling this story in this format much more laborious. At the same time, some may simply appreciate the visual appeal of such abstract moving images a lot more than words. So much of this book occurs in a dream state, it is understandable that it translated so well to the anime format.Read more ›
I can only hope that the anime can attract people's attention to the book. While the anime is beautiful and perfect for Satoshi Kon's visual style, the book is a totally individual experience
This isn't even the half of it!
There are people who oppose this sort of technology and will do anything to stop it. So when Dr. Kosaku Tokita, the (almost?) mad genius behind it creates a stunningly advanced next generation device, all his prototypes are stolen and his assistant disappears. Meanwhile the colleague who used his first generation devices to cure people even back when it was illegal to do so, Dr. Atsuko Chiba, is called upon to revive her former secret identity as Paprika, the Dream Detective, in order to treat some high level patients who need to conceal the fact that they have any mental issues. In the process she picks up images leaking from the new devices and figures out who took them, but reveals herself in the process. Soon there is an all out war being fought in the dreams of the various combatants as their dream powers keep growing in strength until things from their dreams begin to manifest themselves in the real world.
Then all Hell breaks loose.
I was initially worried I'd have difficulty following the plot as even the characters find themselves unable to distinguish between dreams and reality, especially when dream constructs start leaking into the real world, but it turned out not to be that difficult. Maybe that's why unlike some reviewers I DIDN'T find the writing tedious or repetitive.Read more ›
For example, Mr. Dick Johnson, whose reviews I always enjoy and often agree with, says, "Due to the style used by Tsutsui, it will be compared with the books of Haruki Murakami. However, the writing is not at the level of Murakami's, and, while Murakami is also often even more confusing, at the end the reader feels there was some reason for it (usually I sense I'm the one who should have understood the message but am too dense to get it)."
I don't think that it's necessarily that the writing is worse, per se. I think that it is that the situations and the story are so much more different, bizarre, and grotesque than Murakami. Nowhere in his pantheon is there anything that FEELS as weird as a giant doll crushing a restaurant (although Colonel Sanders as a pimp or Jack Daniels as a psychopathic cat-killer come close).
I think that the feeling of ALIENNESS is what makes this feel less "good" than Murakami. That said, I also stopped really having any connection to the book as it got more and more bizarre, until I finally said, "Well, ****. Now what's going to happen?" But at that point, I didn't especially feel unwelcome, frustrated, or irritated, like many people did...I just felt baffled. But in a fun way. Mostly.
At the end of the day, I enjoyed the book. I will probably even read it again. But it is strange, and it isn't going to be something that is appropriate for all palates. But if you sometimes revel in the bizarre, you might enjoy this.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I first saw the anime, Paprika. It got me intrigued. This novel has some translation issues, but it is a great read. Read morePublished 18 days ago by W. Dibble
This book is very strange. There are parts about it that are very cool. Definitely made my dreams more vivid for a few days. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Bart Cubrich
I'm about half-way through. This book is so awesome!! Really good story with interesting characters.Published 8 months ago by Mia
This book is wonderful and intriguing. I am looking forward to reading other titles by this authorPublished 12 months ago by C. Freitas
When I opened the package the book was damaged on the bottom left corner with a couple of pages too. It was also a good chunk to.Published 14 months ago by Isaac
Some of the translation is off. Still an intriguing tale that was worth the effort to explore. Different from the movie, but that's not unexpected. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Mark Puterbaugh
I really enjoyed this book. After seeing the movie based on it I had to read it. However it is like most books adapted to film, different. Read morePublished on April 6, 2014 by C.Pappas
Yasutaka Tsutsui’s “Paprika” (Vintage, $18, 342 pages) was actually written in 1993, but is the first novel by the popular and controversial Japanese science fiction legend to be... Read morePublished on January 31, 2014 by Clay Kallam