Rss Feed
  1. The Setting SunThe Setting Sun by Osamu Dazai
    My rating: 5 of 5 stars

    Title: The Setting Sun (斜陽--Shayō)
    Writer: Osamu Dazai
    Translator: Donald Keene
    Publisher: Tuttle Publishing, Berkeley Books
    Pages: 175 pages
    Published: 1981 

    With the Japan post World War II as the background, "The Setting Sun" follows the story of Kazuko, the oldest daughter of a fallen aristocrat family who lost all their money in the war. Kazuko and her mother moves to the countryside and starts to work for their living and even eats by ration.

    After Naoji, Kazuko's younger brother, returns from his post in South Pacific, Kazuko starts to face challenges she never faced before with the her mother declining health and Naoji's addiction to opium.

    In her struggle to take care of her family, Kazuko also struggle with her love to a man who already has a wife and a daughter. Will Kazuko be able to face all her struggles?


    My first book in 2013! This time the book is also a five stars, pretty much like last year (for your information, my first book in 2012 was Kuli Kontrak by Mochtar Lubis).

    I've been wanting to read this book for a long time, but it was quite expensive for me. Finally it was cheap enough for me during end of the year sale by Periplus.

    The beginning of the novel was a little bit slow. It was a combination of flashback and trivial things. Things started to become interesting when it came to the later part (after the death of Kazuko's mother). 

    Kazuko is probably the most optimist character, compared to the other characters around her. Kazuko, basically, is the same to most Japanese post their lost at the WW II. Pessimist and started to question the old wisdoms. This shows on page 114, where she thinks,

    Revolution and love are in fact the best, most pleasurable things in the world, and we realize it is precisely because they are so good that the older and wiser heads have spitefully fobbed off on us their sour grapes of a lie. This I want to believe implicitly: Man was born for love and revolution.
    However, instead of resigning and losing to the condition, she is optimistic and move on with her life with the focus of raising her child (the result of her "one night stand" with Mr. Uehara, the man she loves and she called as M.C.--My Chekhov early in the novel).

    Personally, I wanted to give this novel "only" 4 stars. However, the last 2 chapters were really interesting and echo in my heart. I gave an extra half star for Kazuko who calls herself a "victim" and says that a victim is needed to finish the revolution (both physically and morally). She even says "In the present world, the most beautiful thing is a victim" (page 174). Another half star was given due to the last line of this novel, in the final line of Kauko's letter to Mr. Uehara, where she calls Mr. Uehara as her M.C.--My Comedian. You need to read this novel yourself so you'll understand why I really like the final line of "The Setting Sun".

    This review is for the 2013 TBR Pile Reading Challenge

  2. 0 comments :

    Post a Comment