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Scandal Hardcover – August, 1988
This month's Book With Buzz: "The Lying Game" by Ruth Ware
From the instant New York Times bestselling author of blockbuster thrillers "In a Dark, Dark Wood" and "The Woman in Cabin 10" comes Ruth Ware’s chilling new novel, "The Lying Game." See more
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From Publishers Weekly
In this chilling, incisive study of the secret fears and obsessions of an aging writer, eminent Japanese author Endo examines the uncertain territory that lies between studying acts of violence and depravity and committing them. At 65, the writer Suguro is revered by his readership and most of his colleagues, although some accuse him of shying away from sex in his works and mock his rigorous sense of evil. His anticipation of a placid old age with his wife begins to crumble when a woman accuses him of pursuing a life at odds with his prose; she claims he frequents Tokyo's porn shops and bordellos. As he attempts to unravel the mystery of the accusation, prodded by a vindictive reporter who threatens to expose him, Suguro discovers that he has a double, a sinister alter ego who participates in brutal sadomasochistic encounters. But the more urgently he tries to clear his name, the farther he drifts from stability and peace. This provocative, impassioned meditation manages to explore not only the nature of identity, but also the regions of sin, salvation, art and religion, all with the unerring grace that defines a novelist in the fullest command of his craft.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top customer reviews
Suguro's attempt to clear his name brings him into contact with a side of life--and a side of himself--he did not suspect existed. He explores such phenomena as masochism, sadism, schizophrenia, racial memory, reincarnation, out of body experiences, and astral projection. But the mystery of his red light district impostor, or double, or alternate self, only deepens.
That we all carry within us a secret, evil inner self is the inevitable conclusion of Scandal. In some people this dark side is self-destructive. In others it is sadistic, seeking to destroy that which is most beautiful and which we love the most. Endo's view is rather harshly puritanical, as he appears to equate sexual desire--indeed any form of sensuality--with this dark and evil corner of the human heart. It is also enigmatic that Endo, whose Catholicism dominates much of his writing, steers away from a spiritual interpretation of evil in favor of Freudian language.
Overall I found that Scandal offers only superficial answers to some profound questions. Much of it reads like a catalog of pop psychology ideas and paranormal phenomena. The most convincing part of the novel is the way in which age and failing health have caused Suguro to become introspective, to lose his self-confidence, and to begin to question the assumptions that have shaped his life. I would chiefly recommend this book to those who are already familiar with Endo and want to see a different facet of his writing.
Well this turned out to be a very surprising read based on how it started. There were a lot of characters, that at times left me feeling bombarded with a barrage of names, best friends names, their parents, parents careers, other adults and their positions, as well as other school friends. There was also a lot of narrative for the main characters, the groups they associated with, the town and it's obsession with Ice-Hockey and the up coming semi-final match.
Then suddenly from out of nowhere, this book that I was struggling with, had me hooked. Because I had perservered with it initially, I then found I had a better understanding of the characters and their actions and reactions after "The Scandal" took place. Without this background, the story would just be a story about a town that plays ice hockey. But instead it is a whole lot more.
To summerise the story without giving anything away: The town lives and breathes for ice hockey, the pressure from sponsors, parents and supporters for the teenage boys ice hockey team to win is immense. The town is gradually dwindling, ice hockey is the one thing that gives them hope for future prospects. After an event occurs the town is in uproar, how dare anyone put their family before ice hockey! But the actions of a few individuals soon divides opinion and true colours are shown. The popularity of the best players and their parents is based on hockey, and because of this some people will always put hockey first. But others realise that their family and friends are the important things in life, they give the support and loyalty that will serve you well later in life.
As I said at the beginning, this book contains a lot of detail and narrative, but builds up some brilliant characters that are well developed, especially once you get your head around them, as there are a lot. The narrative gives some great detail into the thoughts, ideas, dreams and hopes of the residents of Beartown.
I would recommend this book to readers of contempory fiction, mystery, sports fiction. I would like to thank Netgalley and the publisher for my ARC of this book, in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.
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The story centres around ice hockey in the small town of Beartown, the whole town revolves around...Read more