Lizard

by Banana Yoshimoto | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0671532766 Global Overview for this book
Registered by Hawkette of Sydney, New South Wales Australia on 12/6/2004
Buy from one of these Booksellers:
Amazon.com | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon FR | Amazon IT | Bol.com
11 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by Hawkette from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Monday, December 06, 2004
From Amazon.com - A set of postmodern stories from young Japanese novelist Yoshimoto, blending urban anomie with themes of spiritual awakening.

And the Amazon Product Description provides a little taste....
I shall refer to her as Lizard here, but not because of the small lizard tattoo that I discovered on her inner thigh.
The woman has round, black eyes that gaze at you with utter detachment, like the eyes of a reptile. Every bend and curve of her small body is cool to the touch, so cool that I want to scoop her up in my two hands.
This may bring to mind the image of a man holding a bunny or a chick, but that's not what I mean. What I imagine is the strange, tickling sensation of sharp claws scampering around in my palms. And then, when I open up my hands to take a peek, a thin, red tongue lashes out. Reflected in those glassy eyes, I see my own lonely face, peering down, looking for something to love and cherish. That's what Lizard feels like to me....

Purchased for the December release challenge. I have had this author catch my eye lately on the BookCrossing site, so I am going to try and read it before I release it.

Journal Entry 2 by Hawkette from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Tuesday, December 07, 2004
Change of plans! Had intended to release for the 12 days of Christmas challenge - but since I had a desire to read it, I offered it up for others who were interested too!

Here's the travelling list - PM me to join!

fushmush (Sydney)
funkybamboozle (Sydney)
GateGypsy (Japan)
Rossella05
robert-walker (UK)
concertina8 (vienna, austria) EU
Dani75 (Germany)
Flicki (Germany)
CandyDarling (Finland)
Niksu (Finland)
Jebbie74 (Canada)
SqueakyChu (maryland, US) US
booklemur (Seattle)
lunabjp (MO, USA)
dospescados (USA)
mysteryfan03 (Missouri, US)
CdnBlueRose (Colorado, USA)
Ber-untung (Singapore)

Journal Entry 3 by Hawkette from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Sunday, December 19, 2004
What an enchanting collection of stories! Written in such a way to pull you into each story. And a fasinating taste at the way of life in Japanese culture.

Each story finds it's character at a point in their lives of reflection, growth, questioning and learning. And each story lays out the lessons of life, and encounters people comes across, and the changes these can impart.

Blood and Water stands out for me, as I related to so much of it. And yet the self learning and growth in each story is so relatable and mesmorising. I really liked these!

Loved the fact that Newlywed was a serial that appeared on the train system in Tokyo.
This stories have opened up my lust to visit Tokyo now...even more than before! I will be seeking out more from Yoshimoto - I think she has created some magic with her storytelling and lessons within.

Journal Entry 4 by fushmush from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Tuesday, December 21, 2004
Received in the mail today! Yay, more bookrays to add to my pile. I recently mentioned to Hawkette that my bookray pile was diminishing. What happens next? I receive two bookrays in the mail from Hawkette. It's a conspiracy I tell you!

Journal Entry 5 by fushmush from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Wednesday, February 16, 2005
Finally got round to finishing this book of stories. It was my bedtime book so my reading of it was a bit disjointed. Unlike Hawkette, I didn't really get a feel for Japan from this book. I think the stories could have been set anywhere.

(Hey Hawkette, you're in Japan now! *G*)

Banana is a woman? I thought she was a man... now that I've looked closely at the picture on the back I realise it is a photo of a woman... ooops!

Journal Entry 6 by Funkybamboozle from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Thursday, February 24, 2005
I received this in the mail today! Im adding it to Mt TBR. I have promised myself to read it by the end of next week - fingers crossed!!

Journal Entry 7 by Funkybamboozle from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Tuesday, March 15, 2005
I found this book quite interesting, and enjoyed the read.

i enjoyed Banana's experiment with narrative.

Her short stories each explore certain facets of human emotions in such a unique way that it had me hooked.

My favourite story was probably "A Strange Tale from Down by the River". possibly because I too have needed to delve into the memories of my past to discover the truths about myself (although I was never a nymphomaniac!!).

See I too belive that most people "live their whole lives repeating the same patterns, again and again and again." and I want to "... know all the right techniques, all the secrets. ... understand how to flow with time, and not get stuck in one place", and I guess that has been the philosophy backing what I do in life. It was certainly compelling to explore this through the story.

Will message GateGypsy for address to mail out ASAP

Journal Entry 8 by GateGypsy from Ladysmith, British Columbia Canada on Monday, July 11, 2005

Journal Entry 9 by GateGypsy from Ladysmith, British Columbia Canada on Monday, July 11, 2005
Ack! Sorry *laughs* wrong book! I know this book is in a ring, and will send it to the next designated person as soon as I'm done. I am currently in the middle of another ring novel right now, but will get to this one by the end of the week. Sorry if I panicked any of you +laughs+

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Read it in one night. It was fun. Interesting. Very Tokyo-centric, but most of Japan is, and I can hardly blame her for writing about the city she lives in *laughs* I think it reveals a fair bit of basic modern Japanese culture, the way people come at the world, comparitive to how people from elsewhere do... it that makes any sense. At least, it struck me that way. For example, one story comments that nearly every women's magazine will have an article about the joys and pitfalls of dating a married man; that, as long as you don't expect anything permanent to come from it, it can be just the thing for some women. It may just be my Christian upbringing, but I found it rather surprising to think that popular magazines would be *encouraging* women to engage in extramarital affairs, and though I don't tend to read popular north american magazines, I would never expect to find such an article in one of them. Perhaps in something more fringe, but not mainstream. I don't know if this book will say the same things to a European that they do to a Canadian, or if it will instead reveal other things to someone else. It's an interesting read, either way.

By the way, if anyone in this ring is interested in getting their hands on Other Banana books (Amarita and N.P.), please let me know. I used to have Kitchen, but have already sent it on it's way, but as of mid-July I have those other two, both of which will need to find new homes eventually... :-)

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Have the addy and will ship on Monday (payday) the 25th!
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Book shipped, surface mail. Post office warned me there may be a delay in delivery "due to terror."

Journal Entry 10 by XIV-590003 on Wednesday, September 14, 2005
The book has just arrived and it's next on my TBR list, thank you GateGypsy!

Journal Entry 11 by XIV-590003 on Saturday, October 08, 2005
I LOVED these short stories, thank you for sharing Hawkette! I couldn't pick a favourite, they're all excellent. Although the characters are from Tokyo, I think anyone who lives in a big city will be able to relate to the situations they face and the emotions they experience. A city IS like a river, a river of people and opportunities. It's constantly changing and since we never have time to adapt we tend to go with the flow, at least that's the way I feel. To me this book is about the search for something sacred, like Love, Faith or Self-Awareness to be our vessell.
I PMed concertina8 for her address and will mail the book as soon as I hear from her, robert-walker already has a copy of the book, in case you're wondering why I skipped him!.

Edited 10.10.05 Booked Mailed Today (I hope it reaches you soon!)

Journal Entry 12 by concertina8 from Wien Bezirk 13 - Hietzing, Wien Austria on Monday, October 17, 2005
book arrived savely. i have to finish the one i'm currently reading (two chapters left) and then read another bookring (first come, first serve, like). i'm a speedy reader...if the story is good...so - fear not! i will get to this in no time.

Journal Entry 13 by concertina8 from Wien Bezirk 13 - Hietzing, Wien Austria on Wednesday, November 02, 2005
since i didn't really like yoshimoto's "kitchen" i didn't expect much of this collection of short stories. however, these i really enjoyed a lot.

i have read many "asian" books lately (murakami, "memories of a geisha" and the like) & watched "eastern" films and i have no idea, where this sudden interest comes from, but it was surely fueled thanks to this book.

thank you for sharing.

i have contacted the next participant for an address.

Journal Entry 14 by concertina8 at by mail in To the next participant, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases on Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Released 13 yrs ago (11/9/2005 UTC) at by mail in To the next participant, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

RELEASE NOTES:

the book is off to the next participant

Journal Entry 15 by Dani75 from Rudersberg, Baden-Württemberg Germany on Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Received the book today - looking forward to reading it!

Journal Entry 16 by CandyDarling from Helsinki, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Received the book today, thank you! I read the first short story already.

Journal Entry 17 by CandyDarling from Helsinki, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Saturday, March 11, 2006
I loved Banana Yoshimoto's Kitchen, but the next book I read by her, Asleep, reached me at a time when I wasn't in a mood for these kind of stories. Lizard has again restored my faith in her writing. Of the 6 short stories included in this book, I liked the last three much more than the first three. Dreaming of Kimchee really struck a chord with me, even though I've never dated a married man. But I guess we all can relate to the feelings of insecurity in a relationship. The spiritual search in Blood and Water and A Strange Tale from Down by the River reflected some of the thoughts I've had lately, so I guess this book really reached me at a perfect time.

I have little to add to the previous reviews. I think Hawkette's comment "Each story finds it's character at a point in their lives of reflection, growth, questioning and learning. And each story lays out the lessons of life, and encounters people comes across, and the changes these can impart." sums up the book really well. I enjoy Banana Yoshimoto's stories so much because she makes the reality of her characters magical.

Journal Entry 18 by Niksu from Helsinki, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Thursday, March 16, 2006
I got this from Candydarling when I met her today. Thank you! I already read the first story of this book on a train while going home. Perfect place to read it even though my car was full of people. The rhytmical sound of the train's wheels clicking along the tracks filled my ears.

Journal Entry 19 by Niksu from Helsinki, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Sunday, March 19, 2006
I finished this yesterday. This wasn't as good as I thought it would be. Maybe my expectations were a bit high because I have loved Yoshimotos other books I've read. I think the last story A Strange Tale from Down by the River saved this whole book, that was the only one I really liked. Others I just couldn't get into that well. Maybe it was same as Candydarling had with Asleep? I was just in a wrong mood or something.

Thanks Hawkette for sharing. I have already PM'd Jebbie74 and will mail the book as soon as I have her address.

*** 31.3.06: Jebbie74 has asked to be skipped so sent to SqueakyChu today.

Journal Entry 20 by wingSqueakyChuwing from Rockville, Maryland USA on Friday, April 07, 2006
This book arrived today from Finland complete with a BookCrossing bookmark in German. It came so quickly! Thank you so much for shipping it, Niksu.


Journal Entry 21 by wingSqueakyChuwing from Rockville, Maryland USA on Saturday, April 08, 2006
I loved this book. The stories were sad, simple, and dreamlike. I often had to stop and write down quotes. This was a book that spoke to me.

The two I liked the best were "Blood and Water" and "The Stange Tale from Down by the River". The first I liked because it meinded me that the beautiful, comfortable past is gone--as sad as that may be. The second I liked because it reinforced the fact that the present can be beautiful, too, if one just lets it be that way.

A quote from the latter:
“It amazed me how utterly different things can look, just with a change of heart.”

Thank you so much, Hawkette, for sharing this book with me. I'll certainly be reading more books by this author.

For anyone who'd like to read another book by this author, I am running a bookray for Asleep. If you'd lke to join, please PM me with your mailing preferences.

Journal Entry 22 by wingSqueakyChuwing from Rockville, Maryland USA on Sunday, April 09, 2006
The book is in the mail to booklemur in Seattle, Washington. Enjoy!

P.S. If you're wondering what those purple things are...they're grape hyacinths from my spring garden.

Journal Entry 23 by booklemur on Monday, May 01, 2006
Arrived with a super-cute address bookmark...:-)

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