This is the second and much awaited fictional novel by the Japanese author of Convenience Store Woman. A book I have also reviewed and absolutely adored in the past. Earthlings traverses familiar themes, just as in Convenience Store Woman there is a female social outcast as the main character in the book. Although that’s where the similarity ends.
Genre: Japanese fiction, fantasy, Magic realism.
Rating: This one is mindblowing, a solid 5/5 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟
We are thrust into the world of a young teenage girl, Natsuki who is suffering terrible emotional abuse at the hands of her mother and sister. Natsuki idolises her cousin Yuu whom she only gets to see once per year. To cope with the chaos around her, she listens to the advice of her toy hedgehog named Piyyut.
I won’t go into the detail of what happens in this book, or else I may actually spoil it for you. However Natsuki must go through a lot of personal challenges. There’s an intense vulnerability to Natsuki that is palpable and pulls at your heartstrings, this is a character we would love to protect from the harsh world. There are supernatural themes and occurrences in this book that defy words and are completely mind-blowing. Think a cross between Chuck Palahnuik’s Fight Club and Murakami at the height of his surreal weirdness and you may have an idea of the vibe and energy.
Sayaka Murata manages to pull off another novel that is a strange mixture of heartfelt and emotional, darkly funny, satirical and scathingly critical of the ‘normies’ of modern Japanese society. This time though the kooky weirdness is on a completely new level and it’s absolutely delicious, shocking and amazing!
This one is mindblowing, a solid 5/5 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟