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AUDITION, by Ryu Murakami, is a book that I honestly can t even begin to write a proper review for I will say that I never saw the movie based on this, and genuinely went into it without any idea of what the story was going to fully be about.I honestly couldn t stop reading it, and by the time you even realize that you are going to be traumatized, it s already too late.Good Yes.Would I read it again No. No forgiveness for liesThis book is gruesome, haunting, disturbing and all of the rest of those adjectives you can throw at a perfectly executed horror story There is nothing out of place in the novel Each event works itself perfectly into the next and the cumulative effect of it all is powerful The book is short and the prose is simple chances are that you ll be able to read it all in one sitting That is recommended because the full feeling of the novel carries itself perfectly to the last No forgiveness for liesThis book is gruesome, haunting, disturbing and all of the rest of those adjectives you can throw at a perfectly executed horror story There is nothing out of place in the novel Each event works itself perfectly into the next and the cumulative effect of it all is powerful The book is short and the prose is simple chances are that you ll be able to read it all in one sitting That is recommended because the full feeling of the novel carries itself perfectly to the last moment The last line is like best punchline to the longest joke ever told Except you re not laughing you re kind of terrified This is the story about a documentary filmmaker whose wife has just recently passed away The man, Aoyama, had to watch his wife slowly die and after it s all over, his friend, Yoshikawa, insists that he pick himself up and go looking for someone else Aoyama is resistant and goes on a long digression about the specific girl that he wants and how he could not accept another Then comes the first hint that something is not quite right Ryu does a brilliant job of keeping each character at least somewhat at fault For, Aoyama and Yoshikawa decide to hold an audition for Aoyama s future wife They advertise this audition under the pretext that they are making a movie So they sort through stacks and stacks of resumes featuring questions like What if you got this role and your boyfriend was opposed to your taking it The perversity behind a question like this seems so wrong yet perfect The novel drifts in and out of commentary on modern Japan I couldn t help but think about dating websites and the future of relationships I m sure that Murakami was thinking about these types of things while writing the book There was a way in which each supposedly desirable romantic trait was written down, analyzed and competed over that struck a strange chord within me That,so than the gross out ending is what makes this a horrifying story Horror is a fascinating genre and replete with readings for every liberal arts major to geek out over But what is truly at its core is some anxiety in the culture, some unspoken tension that is brought out in our worst nightmares Audition is the worst nightmare of human connection When one tries so desperately to choose their mates and delineate each exact detail of their sexual desires, something slips through their fingers and descends into madness Besides these themes which I mforcing a bit onto the book, because it s definitely not the main focus there are quite a few gags and bit of black humor Especially with the connection between relationships and making a movie These little pieces of interesting commentary never drown out the material but instead hover on the sidelines, suggesting something much deeper beneath the surface yet never detracting from the deviousness of it all.And the deviousness is only matched and outdone by the woman they end of selecting I can t really go much further without spoiling everything because I would so much rather you read this Like I ve said, the book is fast paced, easy to read yet devastating I can t recommend it highly enough When I was in my teens and twenties, you could put me in a room of 1000 men and I would undoubtedly gravitate toward the most damaged ones I guess Aoyama and I have that in common.The gist of the story is this Aoyama is a widower who has decided it is time to remarry Enlisting the help of a filmmaker friend, he holds an audition to find his future wife by duping women into thinking they are auditioning for a film Out of over a thousand applicants, Aoyama narrows the pool down to a small grou When I was in my teens and twenties, you could put me in a room of 1000 men and I would undoubtedly gravitate toward the most damaged ones I guess Aoyama and I have that in common.The gist of the story is this Aoyama is a widower who has decided it is time to remarry Enlisting the help of a filmmaker friend, he holds an audition to find his future wife by duping women into thinking they are auditioning for a film Out of over a thousand applicants, Aoyama narrows the pool down to a small group of women who will be invited to come in to try out for the role But before the interviews take place, Aoyama has already fallen for the beautiful Yamasaki Asami based solely on her application Little does he know, Yamasaki has a dark and horrifying past At just under two hundred pages, this book could easily be read in one sitting It will grab hold of you and keep you in suspense right through to the very end Murakami s novel reminds us that terrifying things can happen any time danger is always lurking around the corner Of course with a short novel such as this there isn t much room for character development, but Murakami does an excellent job of packing a lot of depth into a tiny box And the ending is a bit abrupt, but I don t really think the story would benefit from dragging out the inevitable If you are looking for a page turner that will scare the pants off of you, you really can t go wrong with this one Nice person, bad person that s not the level this girl is at I can see you re crazy about her and probably won t be able to hear this, Ao chan, but I think you d be better off staying away from someone like her I can t read her exactly, but I can tell you she s either a saint or a monster Maybe both extremes at once, but not somewhere in between Aoyama never remarried after losing his wife to illness He decided to raise his son by himself, but now seven years later, his son Shige is encou Nice person, bad person that s not the level this girl is at I can see you re crazy about her and probably won t be able to hear this, Ao chan, but I think you d be better off staying away from someone like her I can t read her exactly, but I can tell you she s either a saint or a monster Maybe both extremes at once, but not somewhere in between Aoyama never remarried after losing his wife to illness He decided to raise his son by himself, but now seven years later, his son Shige is encouraging his Dad to remarry Aoyama isn t opposed to the idea, and when his friend, a movie producer, suggests having a casting call to find the perfect woman for him, he goes along with the unorthodox idea An essay, accompanying an application written by one of the hopeful actresses, especially catches his eyeIt so happens that I studied ballet for many years but had to stop when, at eighteen, I injured my hip I don t suppose I really had what it takes to become a prima in any case But the injury occurred just as I was making preparations to enroll at a ballet school in London, and it felt like the end of the world It took me years to recover from this disappointment At the risk of sounding overly dramatic, it was a process not unlike learning to accept death So before they even start the tedious process of interviewing all the potential applicants, Aoyama has already decided that Yamasaki Asami is the one for him She is young and beautiful, but has been tempered by pain and loss which lends an air of melancholy and maturity to her that makes herattractive to an older man seeking a true companion rather than an adornment As he begins to take her out for dates, he sees those creative attributes that he loved about his wife inherently displayed in Yamasaki Asami There are niggling concerns Her stories about herself are vague and do not stand up to even casual scrutiny She is evasive, a ghost of her past, whenever Aoyama asks personal questions Not that he needs to know muchabout her He has already made her the heroine of his future life So this is definitely a slow burn, which seems like a funny thing to say about a book that barely edges 200 pages I have read several of Ryu Murakami s books, and so I kept thinking to myself, when is his odd, sometimes demented, mind going to show itself I felt the same way when I was watching The Hateful Eight okay, when is Quentin Tarantino s lust to shock going to take over the movie Needless to say, just as Tarantino shows up in the final part of The Hateful Eight, Murakami also shows up in the final pages of Audition.The true horror of the situation is that Aoyama has been miscast in his role as the villian He may not be perfect, but he is far from the insidious man that Yamasaki Asami must believe him to be If she sees him clearly for who he is and weighs his intentions as they truly are, she would have to see herself in a different light At one critical moment, she saysI m not that sort of personThe reader is put in the position of madness overshadowing sympathy There is a 1999 movie version of the same name, directed by Takeshi Miike, and those who are familiar with his work will understand why the movie isdisturbing to me than the book The acting by Eihi Shiina, playing Yamasaki Asami, is terrific, especially in the final scenes Her mannerisms and her gorgeous voice turning sinister are especially unsettling The changes Miike makes to the storyline actually add layers of anxiety to an already disturbing plot This is another one of those times where I really enjoyed reading the book and then watching the movie If you wish to seeof my most recent book and movie reviews, visit also have a Facebook blogger page at and an Instagram account Ry Murakami s Audition is a short novel which you can easily read in one or two sittings and unfortunately probably forget just as quickly ultimately, the book consists of a long and relatelively uneventful buildup to a sudden and quick climax, which is over almost as soon as it started Audition is the story of Aoyama, a middle aged widower of seven years, urged by his teenage son to remarry the idea is shared by his best friend, Yoshikawa, with whom Aoyama produced documentaries for Tokyo Ry Murakami s Audition is a short novel which you can easily read in one or two sittings and unfortunately probably forget just as quickly ultimately, the book consists of a long and relatelively uneventful buildup to a sudden and quick climax, which is over almost as soon as it started Audition is the story of Aoyama, a middle aged widower of seven years, urged by his teenage son to remarry the idea is shared by his best friend, Yoshikawa, with whom Aoyama produced documentaries for Tokyo television Yoshikawa urges Aoyama to hold auditions for leading actresses to offer them roles in a film, but in reality to find a suitable wife for Aoyama Although initially reluctant, Aoyama ultimately gives in and when he sees one of the candidates, the 24 year old Yamasaki Asami, he is completely smitten he cannot get her out of his mind, and quickly arranges a date.What follow is a slow romance between the older Aoyama and younger Asami Although at the beginning Aoyama is not entirely sympathetic he admits to cheating on his wife multiple times, and despite doubts goes along with Yoshikawa s audition plans he ultimately emerges as a likable figure a widower who reminisces about the old days and women he knew then he was was married for a long time, and feels no connection to or interest in most women he encounters, being able to see them only through the lens of his wife He obviously loves his son, Shige, and cares for their dog Although Aoyama is fascinated by Asami shown clearly to border and even cross into obsession, he also obviously genuinely cares about her, and wants to make her his wife Aoyama devotes time and attention to Asami, who responds in kind she is clearly receptive to his affection, and seems to need it as much as he wants to give it When Yoshikawa warns him that something is not quite right about Asami, he turns him down he is completely devoted to her, and can only think about her They spend time together, and even though he still knows very little about her, she begins to open to him, eventually confessing intimate details from her past Aoyama is touched, and continues to be devoted to Asami, planning to introduce her to his friends and son.But then it all goes terribly wrong The hints are there, but they are very few and after the end seem almost nonsensical what happens jumps at the reader like a jack out of a box, unexpected and unwelcome The final pages literally turn the novel around on its head purely for the sake of doing so, making a sympathetic character completely repulsive for no reason other than visceral shock the ending sections are well written, but just don t fit as a part of a coherent whole The end is very sudden and plain silly.The book was adapted into a movie which was well received, and a became a cult classic I have not seen it, but I wouldn t be surprised if it wouldn t actually turn out better than the book, which is too short, too underdeveloped and ultimately too forgettable to be given proper attention This review and other dark melodrama on my blog No forgiveness for lies Is it the needle sharp sting of malice, or unchecked madness grown poisonous Or, in the end, is it just a small misunderstanding twisted beyond repair Too beautiful, too wrong, too strange to be real.Aoyama himself is flawed, being a bit shallow and impatient he focuses on women s looks and historythan their personality, and resorts to dating via a lazy scam of an audition These things are somewhat small consider This review and other dark melodrama on my blog No forgiveness for lies Is it the needle sharp sting of malice, or unchecked madness grown poisonous Or, in the end, is it just a small misunderstanding twisted beyond repair Too beautiful, too wrong, too strange to be real.Aoyama himself is flawed, being a bit shallow and impatient he focuses on women s looks and historythan their personality, and resorts to dating via a lazy scam of an audition These things are somewhat small considering, but clash with the flaws of the girl he ends up choosing, persistent and with a unfathomable, unforgiving nature Audition is a nearly exact mirror to R Murakami s Piercing both with his signature theme of genders and generations at explosive odds Brutal, illogical desires and acts all stem from their utter inability to understand each other in the disconnection of modern society Audition is a little different in that the hate is one sided Aoyama never truly grows to hate Asami, I don t believe Even when he very clearly should and hasthan enough reason to He just doesn t see what she really is, or understand what she wants.Only maybe the last fifth of the book could be considered a thriller, the rest is very much a character drama A clean but uneasy surface barely covering up some pulsing, visceral horror that breaks through at the last minute to bad, bad, bad consequences Audition is a little predictable, especially with its film adaptation being so in famous, but nonetheless a thought provoking and disturbing read Note There is some violence towards both an animal and people that may upset some It s mostly concentrated to the last few chapters, and isn t drawn out or gratuitous, but felt I should mention it. This is a feminist splatter novel written by a male author from the perspective of a misogynistic protagonist and boy, does this text kick ass Our main character Aoyama, a widower who works as a documentary film maker, is searching for a new wife, and his buddy comes up with a plan to stage a movie casting which, you guessed it, actually serves as a means to check out potential wives Aoyama chooses Asami, a former ballerina, and becomes obsessed with her, projecting all of his ideas of a per This is a feminist splatter novel written by a male author from the perspective of a misogynistic protagonist and boy, does this text kick ass Our main character Aoyama, a widower who works as a documentary film maker, is searching for a new wife, and his buddy comes up with a plan to stage a movie casting which, you guessed it, actually serves as a means to check out potential wives Aoyama chooses Asami, a former ballerina, and becomes obsessed with her, projecting all of his ideas of a perfect woman onto her while his friend and his son already sense that Asami might follow her own agenda, playing into Aoyama s expectations for her very own reasons, the widower decides to trust the young woman Much like in the case of Haruki Murakami, themes like loneliness and alienation are at the center of Ry Murakami s writing but his portrayal of postmodern Japanese society also employs the aesthetics of shock and gore, and it is masterful how he uses these effects Never pointless and cheap, always meaningful and disturbing While Aoyama feels safe in his conservative worldview that commodifies women and wishes them to be demure, Asami is traumatized by past events that she suffered at the hands of a man who used his power against her Will she shatter what the documentary film maker declares to be reality Ry Murakami is a fascinating writer, and if you want to hearabout his themes and narrative strategies as well as how they compare to Haruki s, you can listen to our Murakami vs Murakami podcast special in German A brief warning, I will not be discussing the actual events of the novel at least without a spoiler tag other than a general plot description, but it is impossible to discuss this book without some spoilers in terms of tone If you want to know nothing going in, consider yourself warned Dear reader, please while reading the following paragraph, imagine it in the cheesiest movie trailer voice you can Thank you You ve laughed at Sleepless in Seattle, you were charmed by When Harry Met Sally an A brief warning, I will not be discussing the actual events of the novel at least without a spoiler tag other than a general plot description, but it is impossible to discuss this book without some spoilers in terms of tone If you want to know nothing going in, consider yourself warned Dear reader, please while reading the following paragraph, imagine it in the cheesiest movie trailer voice you can Thank you You ve laughed at Sleepless in Seattle, you were charmed by When Harry Met Sally and you can t forget about 10 Things I Hate About You Now get ready for a new sort of romantic comedy Meet Aoyama, a widower with a missing place in his heart One day though, he gets a wacky idea An audition to find a new wife Enter Yamasaki Asami, the perfect girl of his dreams but will a relationship based on a lie work After a little misunderstanding, will they win each other s hearts or will she have to do something drastic to make sure HE doesn t run away No matter how you look at it you ve never seen a romance like Audition.Yeah, anyone who has seen the movie adaptation, or knows anything about this story knows that I didn t lie in my description, but was horribly misleading and had a terrible stealth pun Now that I think about it, is it even a spoiler to discuss the ending of this one Much like Psycho, the big reveal is pretty much the one thing EVERYONE knows about it.I saw the movie based on the novel shortly after it was released in the US and found it to this day to be one of thehorrific films I d ever seen It s insidious If one didn t know what they were getting into, it would not be surprising if they genuinely thought they were watching or reading a romantic comedy If it weren t for the cover of the novel, or the menu of the DVD which is nightmare fuel in and of itself , it would be so easy to trick someone with this.The most terrifying aspect is that the foreshadowing is everywhere view spoiler Seriously, count how many times characters complain about a pain in their leg or see someone with a limp hide spoiler Some of it is overt and some subtle If you know, it gives it a quiet menace if you don t know what s coming, it will be a horrible sucker punch.Even knowing what was coming, the last 20 pages or so are quite horrific It s seriously hard to get through, as in I stopped reading them twice, watched a lighthearted episode of Doctor Who, then pressed on Hell, the entire novel is a bit of a challenge It s only 190 pages and it took me 5 days because I dreaded reaching the conclusion and my dread was not unfounded I m a pretty hardened horror fan, but this one is still painful view spoiler The last lines are also darkly humorous, but nihilistic to the point of being somewhat depressing What was that all about Aoyama shook his head weakly I don t know, he said Nothing, really Yeah it should come off as ridiculous, instead I found it rather disturbing hide spoiler Now, I imagine that a good portion of the people interested in this book have seen the film as it seems to bewell known than the novel and are wondering how different they are honestly, and I rather hate to say this, the movie is better I m not trying to insult the book as it certainly accomplished every emotion it was trying to set out in inducting upon me, but the film is one of those rare examples that stays true to its source material, but adds a lot of artful touches that improve upon it For example, there s a wonderful hallucinatory element to his search for Asami towards the end of the movie, which is not in the novel he pretty much stays home listening to music and feeling sorry for himself instead not joking Touches like that show that Miike, despite being known for some of theoutrageous films in recent Japanese cinema, is actually a thoughtful and talented filmmaker The novel is thoughtful as well, but doesn t ever really feel like there s much in terms of artistry to it The prose is fairly simple though that could be the translation Always difficult to tell on such works and while there is a bit of metaphor going throughout the book, it s not something the reader really has to work to catch as it s spelled out to them.If you ve seen and enjoyed the film, the novel is an interesting curiosity that, while I cannot say is an enjoyable read, is worth your time to see the original telling of the tale If you ve not seen the film honestly, I would suggest you go there rather than starting with the book, unless you re just a fan of the author.I give Audition a rather hesitant 3 5 stars, but a recommendation only to people who know what they re getting into Ya know, just the the other day I was walking down the street, thinking to myself, why is it so dang hard to meet nice women these days Wouldn t it be cool to meet a decent girl for a change One who isn t a total ditz or narcissist, just someone to cuddle and read books with, a girl who s sweet and kind and doesn t insist on view spoiler cutting off my feet hide spoilerThat s when I got the idea to hold an audition for the role of my perfect mate, figuring this would be the surest way t Ya know, just the the other day I was walking down the street, thinking to myself, why is it so dang hard to meet nice women these days Wouldn t it be cool to meet a decent girl for a change One who isn t a total ditz or narcissist, just someone to cuddle and read books with, a girl who s sweet and kind and doesn t insist on view spoiler cutting off my feet hide spoilerThat s when I got the idea to hold an audition for the role of my perfect mate, figuring this would be the surest way to find exactly what I was looking for But then I read this book and decided to swear off women altogether Like for good.You know that girl everyone warned you about The one you insisted on getting involved with anyway The one who view spoiler would one day drug you, dismember your dog before your very eyes, and saw off your foot with a length of wire hide spoiler Well, you re looking at her, and let s just say that ain t vitamin B12 in that fun little syringe of hers But dammmmn is she fine, and I m sure she s totally harmless, and, well alright little head, you win I usually don t do this, but I m going to review Audition in comparison to the film version, which the author reputedly loved so much he specifically requested the same director to adapt his Coin Locker Babies as well Unfortunately, that project never saw the light of day, because it s clear why Murakami dug the film as much as he did somehow it manages to remain faithful to his vision, while at the same time improving on it in significant ways Beyond the superb acting, direction, and cinematography that perfectly captures all the physical psychological horror he set out to portray in print, Takashi s celluloid adaptation makes up for some of the book s weaknesses as well As just one example, what many readers would consider to be an abrupt ending on paper is drawn out to great length on screen, quite possibly giving us eventhan we bargained for.Also as I may have mentioned before , Eihi Shiina is smoking hot in her portrayal of the book s demure, seemingly innocent sex bomb of a villain Kinda makes me wanna take up women again, actually Maybe holding that audition isn t such a bad idea after all Boy, she s a looker, ain t she Let s see Yamasaki Asami, age 24 Bust 82 cm, waist 54 cm, hips 86 cm Interests include music, dance, and view spoiler not cutting off your feet hide spoiler Yup, I d say this might be the one I m giving this book 4 stars, rounded up to 5 in light of the superb film adaptation and Murakami s sense in embracing it So shoot me if you must, just don t view spoiler cut off my fucking feet hide spoiler She looks so happy, doesn t she Well, if you ve somehow managed to make it through this entire review without peeping any of the spoilers, congrats let s see if you can resist peeping her POV here.Aww hell, who am I kidding I knew you were all too sick to resist watch the entire gory scene here ^FREE PDF ☋ Audition ⇫ Documentary maker Aoyama hasn t dated anyone in the seven years since the death of his beloved wife, Ryoko Now even his teenage son Shige has suggested he think about remarrying So when his best friend Yoshikawa comes up with a plan to hold fake film auditions so that Aoyama can choose a new bride, he decides to go along with the idea