The long-awaited translation of the novel behind the cult classic Japanese movie.In this gloriously over-the-top tale, Aoyama, a widower who has lived alone with his son ever since his wife died seven years before, finally decides it is time to remarry. Since Aoyama is a bit rusty when it comes to dating, a filmmaker friend proposes that, in order to attract the perfect wife, they do a casting call for a movie they don’t intend to produce. As the résumés pile up, only one of the applicants catches Aoyama’s attention―Yamasaki Asami―a striking young former ballerina with a mysterious past. Blinded by his instant and total infatuation, Aoyama is too late in discovering that she is a far cry from the innocent young woman he imagines her to be. The novel’s fast-paced, thriller conclusion doesn’t spare the reader as Yamasaki takes off her angelic mask and reveals what lies beneath.
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Ryu Murakami is the best-selling author of more than a dozen novels and the winner of Japan’s prestigious literary award, the Akutagawa Prize. Many of his novels have been made into movies, including Audition. He lives in Japan.From Publishers Weekly:
Seven years after his wife's death, Aoyama, the protagonist of popular Japanese author Murakami's dud chiller, is ready to get on with his life. Aoyama has a strong relationship with his son, Shinge, but the successful businessman needs more than a teenage son to keep him company. So he turns to his friend, Yoshikawa, and the two hatch a plan to hold auditions for a fake movie where the actresses will really be interviewing to date Aoyama. Enter Yamasaki Asami, a former ballet dancer who wants to star in the fake film. Aoyama's smitten, even after it becomes clear that Asami's at least a little crazy. Unfortunately, none of this adds up to a suspenseful story, and the big finale is more uncomfortable than frightening. Murakami's work has what could be a fascinating set of characters, but the uneven pacing and ineffective dialogue provide the only hint of horror the book has to offer. (June)
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