Archive for April, 2012

I just finished a novel called “Piercing” by Japanese author Murakami Ryu. I usually don’t blog about books but I thought I’d stop on this one because of the highly sexual component. I read several novels from this “decadent” author, starting with Almost transparent blue, war begins beyond the sea, Coin Locker Babies (My favorite) and the Melancholia trilogy.

Murakami Ryu is known for his very dark style, always dealing with tormented characters full of neurosis and paranoia. Murakami dives us in the darkest part of our reality and gives a voice to these monologues on pleasure, boredom and death. His style is brutal, cold and extremely crude, notably when it comes to sex. But there is beauty even in the darkest hour, if you know where to look. And there is something fascinating about humans capacity to survive. In all his novels, the characters stop in the middle of the chaos to contemplate something usually simple but extremely beautiful by it’s randomness, which usually makes them come to a realization about themselves. Like the sound of their own heartbeat; “There is nothing more beautiful and soothing than the sound of a regular heartbeat.”

Piercing is a sort of reversed thriller. A la Dostoevsky, we know exactly what is going on in the murderer’s head and his plans. In Piercing the main character, Kawashima, is obsessed with an idea… the idea he’s going to stab his infant with an ice pick! His solution to avoid that tragedy? Go on a elaborate plan to stab hookers in a Tokyo hotel. But oddly enough nothing goes as PLANNED!
I won’t give out too much but I’ll say that the character of the victim is as widely developed and psychotic as the night terror prone neurotic Kawashima.
I shivered more than once when reading through this novel because of some very graphic imagery… The suspense was killing me and the ending (for once unlike most of Murakami’s novel) was very satisfying. I could see this turned into a thriller or horror film like Audition. I’m not fan of the horror genre but there is something about the psychology of Murakami’s novel that I find fascinating and yet scary.

Here is some extracts from when Kawashima is writing notes about his ritual plans;
Of course, we’ll need a change of clothes as well,He wrote, since there’s bound to be a good deal of blood. Taking off all our own clothes is a possibility, but it would be risky in the event of some form of active resistance on the woman’s part. Besides, getting naked as the ritual was reaching a climax that might be interpreted as having some sort of sexual meaning. We don’t want the woman to think we’re slicing through her Achilles’s tendons just to satisfy a perverted sexual need. She must remain uncertain as to what the significance her own bloodshed and agony hold. It’s vital that those on the receiving end of violence ponder its meaning. A sad but important truth.

(…)
He read over his seven pages of notes, making a few small additions, then put the notebook in his briefcase and spun the dials on the combination lock. He opened the curtains and looked at Tokyo Tower, whose lights were off now, and as he took another sip of Whisky he was aware of the heat in his throat and stomach radiating waves of sexual desire through his body. After the second glass he decided not to drink any more, fearing that he might give in to the temptation to call an S&M club and have a woman sent over.
He hadn’t yet decided how old the victim should be. The idea of someone in her late thirties appealed to him, but he somehow felt it would be more satisfying to plunge the ice pick into a firm, smooth young belly this time, rather than one that was soft and sagging. A young woman yes, with resilient, snow-white skin.”

till soon…
D