Adult Fiction Books Reviews

In the Miso Soup by Ryu Murakami

April 22, 2020
In the Miso Soup by Ryu Murakami

I'd picked this up on a whim from work after spending so many years, literally years, walking past it picking it up and putting it back on the shelf. 

I finally bought it, read it and I'm not entirely sure what I just read. 

Hand on heart I enjoyed the book, the writing was very gripping as were the characters but it got very strange. To the point where the plot seemed to go out of the window and we entered a magical realism novel instead. I also hadn't realised that Kenji's tours of 'nightlife' were essentially tours around the Red Light District of Tokyo and accompanying him into strips clubs and 'love hotels'. It was eye-opening, to say the least, but I couldn't look away from the page! Utterly fascinating and sometimes scary considering girls as young as sixteen were doing 'compensated dating' in this. Whether that happens or not I don't know but more than likely. 

I found Kenji's narration open and warm. He was stuck between a rock and a hard place in taking this tourist round. I liked his relationship and how he deferred to Jun when they spoke. It was very sweet. 

I feel like this suffered from something similar to Emma Glass' Peach (review here) in which the premise was so promising but the execution brought it down as it seemed to be trying to be overly clever. The end of this book was a little like, that's all? I expected something so much more. A few scenes prior there had been a massacre but the way it was narrated made you question if it had actually happened. Which would have been such a good way to go with this book because everything seemed to be dreamlike and unrealistic. But then you're explicitly told, no that happened and then the book kind of just ends. 

I wanted more really because up until then I'd been enjoying what I was reading. 


Name: In the Miso Soup

Author: Ryu Murakami

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Pages: 181

ISBN: 978-0-7475-7888-8

Rating: 3/5

Have you read In the Miso Soup?

What did you think?

Thank you for reading,

Katie x

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